We have a beautiful space to gather for prayer and worship thanks to the inspiring design of Tony Agius and the skillful hands of all those who were responsible for the construction. I was present for the opening and dedication of the church in 1992 and when I returned from Africa in 2002 I noticed there had been a few changes. The most noticeable being the carpet in the sanctuary had been removed and replaced with tiles which really highlighted this special place.
It is proposed that a freestanding wall be erected behind the altar, clad in a light coloured tile or stone, like the sanctuary floor. This would break up the brown brick wall and even further heighten the focus on the altar and what takes place there.. By standing in front of the brick wall, cupboards and shelves could be fitted in the gap so reducing clutter in the sanctuary.
Here are some suggestions for the sanctuary and the reconciliation room: (rightclick to view images fullsize - does not work in Microsoft Edge)
A flat wall would allow us to clad it in marble or porcelin tiles.
Alternatively, a curved wall could be rendered in a light plaster.
In keeping with contemporary practices and standards, the Reconciliation Room (or confessional) needs to be renovated. We will replace a section of the wooden wall with glass. It will be double glazed for sound-proofing and partially frosted to afford a level of privacy, but at the same time respecting recommendations from the Royal Commission. Pope Francis, in "The Joy of the Gospel", says the "confessional must not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord's mercy".
There are two forms of celebration the sacrament of reconciliation. The communal celebration, aka the Second Rite of Reconciliation, is usually celebrated during the seasons of Advent and Lent. It involves a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word and individual confession and absolution in the presence of the assembly.
The First Rite of Reconciliation is usually available in our Parish on Saturday mornings between 11am and noon. There is only need for one room for the celebration of this form of the sacrament in our Parish. The other "confessional" which has really become a storage room will be fitted with proper shelving and steps to make it better serve the purpose it has been assigned.
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