Sunday, April 4, 2010

St Anne's, Belmont - Blessing the Stations

Fr Rowe has just sent me a kind Easter present: photographs of the interior of St Anne's, Belmont, the new headquarters of the Latin Mass Apostolate in Perth, W.A., taken on the occasion of the blessing of the Stations of the Cross.

St Anne's is significantly larger than St John's Pro-Cathedral where the Apostolate used to have Mass (as back in my days there); from the image it cannot be estimated, however, how many hours of labour have gone into renovating and rejuvenating and restoring a very run-down church edifice – the floor, the pews, the walls, the glass, the rails, the sanctuary, and above all the altar have all been lovingly readied, with nearly all work done by volunteers.  (Justin spent week after week on lacquering the wood of the altar, which is an old "movable" altar that Father had rescued.)  

Every excess of Vatican II had to be rectified and blotted out: so the modern minimalist sanctuary with Cranmer table had to be removed, and a proper Eastward facing altar on steps put back in!  May this be the forerunner of many more such returns to Tradition...

I particularly like this second photo: the pleasingly old-fashioned windows (with plain but tinted glass), now repaired, can be opened to admit a cooling breeze – very important in Western Australia – and the relative heights of the Stations and of the celebrant (note stepladder) can be ascertained at a glance.  I don't think Fortescue mentions how to cense Stations from atop a ladder...  Aaron (foreground), knowing Fr Rowe's penchant for liturgizing, can but place his trust in the Cross.

All kudos to Fr Rowe and his flock.  They still have much work to do in fitting out St Anne's, such as emplacing the high pulpit, and putting in a full organ.

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