Salvatorian priests from the dioceses of Perth, Bunbury, Geraldton, Broome and Broken Bay, NSW gathered in St Simon Peter parish, Ocean Reef, on December 8 to celebrate their foundation day and to make their annual renewal of vows.
They were joined for the occasion by a Salvatorian nun, Sr Greta Freeman, of Clifton diocese in England who celebrated her 50th anniversary as a Salvatorian last August in Rome.
She is currently in Perth visiting her brother and two sisters, and hopes to continue on to Melbourne to visit another sister.
Sr Greta spent 22 years of her religious life in England and 28 years as a missionary in Taiwan.
She said there are about 1200 Salvatorian nuns worldwide, working in most of the places where the Salvatorian priests work, but not yet in Australia.
A highlight of the celebration was the first profession as a Salvatorian of Symon Smyth-Kirk (20), of Gosford NSW, who entered the novitiate last year, and the second profession of Daniel Tolcxyk (21), of Kalamunda.
Both made their vows before Fr Boguslaw Loska, of Balcatta, the Superior of the Salvatorians in Australia, and both will continue their studies for the priesthood in Perth.
Symon’s parents, Carmel and Peter, and Daniel’s parents, Sue and Irek, were present.
On display in the church were four new stained glass windows representing the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Erected the previous week by Kim Fitzpatrick, of Tradition Stained Glass and Leadlights, Fremantle, from art work by parishioner Dale Dee, the windows represent the completion of a six-year program to tell in stained glass the story of the beginning of the Catholic Church.
The program began with two windows high above the altar level with the crucifix representing Mary and St John at the foot of the cross when Jesus made us his brothers and sisters by giving us his mother Mary to be our mother.
Then came four windows on each of the altar, those on the left showing scenes before Christ’s death and resurrection, depicting St Peter’s growth as the leader of the Apostles in faith.
Those on the right are post-resurrection scenes showing Christ confirming Peter’s leadership and that leadership being put into practice after Pentecost, at the Council of Jerusalem, and finally in taking the Church away from Jerusalem to Rome enabling her to shed any ethnic or national identity and to become what Jesus intended, the truly universal Church for all mankind.
At the rear of the Ocean Reef church, looking over the congregation and the altar, is a window of the Holy Spirit, and now, at the rear on the western side are the four evangelists, whose Gospels present all of Scripture in the person of Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the Saviour.
All the windows were made by Mr Fitzpatrick and all tell their stories clearly so that parents can easily explain them to their children.