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Sr Josephine Marie writes an icon of St John the Baptist (The Catholic Leader/Joe Higgins)

Six new icons will soon watch over the Blessed Sacrament inside Brisbane’s Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary’s oratory as part of a new installation. Source: The Catholic Leader.

The icons depict Mary, Mother of God, St John the Baptist, Sts Peter and Paul, St Mary Magdalene and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.

The iconographer behind the brush is Sister of Mary Morning Star Josephine Marie, who has been working on this set since mid-October and is now living as an artist-in-residence on campus for the next six months as she completes the icons.

She will also hold training seminars for the seminarians on the basics of iconography.

Seminary rector Fr Neil Muir commissioned the icons after a discussion between seminary spiritual director Carmelite Father Paul Chandler and Sr Josephine Marie.

Fr Muir said many, if not most, of the seminarians grew up in parishes without icons.

By having icons at the seminary, just like they had Gregorian chant and Taizé, the seminary staff were equipping the seminarians to meet the needs of different Catholic communities and broaden their understanding of prayer, he said.

“We have a beautiful icon already in the (seminary) oratory of the Annunciation, and I’ll often spend time looking at that,”  Fr Muir said.

“You get drawn into the scene, but then you get drawn into prayer with Mary.”

He said the newly-commissioned icons would add to the sense of the Communion of Saints “with us in prayer”.

Sr Josephine Marie said she is excited for the future of iconography because there is a real sense of rediscovery of the practice within the Church today.

“In the daily life of many people, they get imagery hurled at them through so many forms of media, and it’s fast and it’s colourful and it’s furious and it’s a bit violent in some sense. 

“So beauty, the beauty found in an icon is still. It slows us down and it helps us, as sacred music does, to take us into the life of faith.”


Six newly-commissioned icons to draw seminarians into deeper life of prayer (By Joe Higgins, The Catholic Leader