Since churches can't be adorned with palms branches this Sunday, Brisbane Catholic Steven Bird has a plan to cover the front of his home instead. Source: The Catholic Leader.
By Emilie Ng, The Catholic Leader
The father of three is among millions of Catholics who will enter Holy Week this Palm Sunday with a heavy heart because of the unforeseen closure of churches nationwide.
When he was a youth minister at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Sunnybank, in Brisbane, he would plaster palm branches all over the driveway and outside wall of the church, creating a stunning contrast from the full-on red interior.
But this year, without a church to adorn, Mr Bird is plucking up his courage to show his love for the faith by putting palm branches outside his home.
The Bird family house is already covered with coronavirus boredom busters - last week Mr Bird put his Christmas lights back up for some well-needed cheer, and he rustled his two sons to perch teddy bears on their four front windows.
But four days ago Mr Bird had an idea for Christians who were struggling to “get out of that desert before Easter” - why not put palm branches outside their homes as a type of “modern-day evangelisation”?
“I thought that on the weekend, maybe we should put palms outside our houses to represent, as one Christian community, our unity in sharing with others the struggle that we can’t get to our communities to celebrate together,” Mr Bird said.
“I thought, ‘How cool would it be to see palms on letterboxes?’”
Mr Bird wasn’t alone in his thinking. On March 30, the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in the US state of Oregon posted a similar idea on their Facebook page, calling Christians to put branches on their doors. The idea was eventually shared by a Brisbane priest earlier this week.
Mr Bird said this motivated him to start an Australian Facebook event, Palm Your Place, to encourage Christians Down Under to share their faith on the streets.
Within 24 hours, Mr Bird had more than 120 people confirmed to put palms or any green bush out the front of their house.
Mr Bird encouraged participants to post photos of their palms on social media, using the hashtag #PalmYourPlace.