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Sally Towns and John Maitland with the painting of Jesus (Brisbane Catholic Education)

Brisbane Catholic Education is celebrating the Year of Prayer with a new painting of Jesus with God the Father and the Holy Spirit by artist John Maitland.

The artwork was commissioned by BCE and will be hung at its office in Woolloongabba.

Maitland said he was invited to paint the image of Jesus at a time when he was about to travel to the UK and Ireland. His visits to ancient pilgrimage and historical sites “ended up becoming research and reflection opportunities”. 

“It was while standing at the top of Grianan Fort [in Ireland] looking down into the circle I saw the elongated shadows of two figures converge into one central figure on the ancient stones, and this was the moment of inspiration for my composition of the Trinity,” Maitland said. 

“My image of Jesus ‘in the now’ is a pared back image, it is of Jesus the Son in the moment he blesses the loaves and fishes and his compassion for the hungry crowd as described in Mathew 14:19.  

“It allows the viewer the opportunity to glance at the power of the moment as it is stripped of any emotion.

“The representation of The Father and the Holy Spirit through the presence of shadows indicates the indivisible and eternal presence of the Trinity.” 

BCE’s Head of Catholic Identity, Sharon O’Keeffe, said when Maitland unveiled the painting she was left in “awe and wonder”.  

“Of all the images of Jesus I’ve sighted across the world, I’ve never seen Jesus portrayed with the Trinity in this way – its contemporary nature is uniquely appealing,” she said. 

“This is a symbolic way to commemorate the Year of Prayer for BCE and across the Archdiocese of Brisbane. It supports our focus on Jesus through our relaunched Catholic identity framework.”  


 BCE celebrates the Year of Prayer with a commissioned painting of Jesus and the Holy Trinity (Brisbane Catholic Education)