A memento of home for Aussies in Rome
|Bishop Anthony Fisher OP presents Bishop Julian Porteous with Study for the Kiss of Judas, which will hang in Domus Australia in Rome. Photo: Wendie Parkinson. |
By Virginia Knight, Catholic Outlook, June 2012
On 18 May, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP welcomed Bishop Julian Porteous to the Chancery Office in Parramatta to officially present the Archdiocese of Sydney with the gift of a painting, which is destined to travel to Rome where it will hang in Domus Australia.
The watercolour Study for the Kiss of Judas. 1993 is the work of Australian artist Justin O’Brien, who is well known for his colourful and stylistic depictions of religious themes. As the winner of the inaugural Blake Prize for Religious Art in 1951, O’Brien’s work The Raising of Lazarus was purchased by the Vatican.
In its new home, Domus Australia, the Kiss of Judas will be viewed and enjoyed by the many people visiting the guest house, a cultural centre for pilgrims to Rome.
“Pilgrimages are often watersheds for people in working out what to do with the rest of their lives and in deepening their experience of God and His providence,” Bishop Anthony said.
“As the geographic heart of the Church, Rome is naturally a favourite place of pilgrimage. Domus Australia gives Aussie pilgrims a base there and this painting will be a symbol of Parramatta’s support for this project.”
Fr Peter Williams VG reflected on the significance of this artwork, linking it back to the powerful re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross during World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.
“During the Stations of the Cross, a modern dance sequence was commissioned to fit between the betrayal of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and the appearance of Jesus before Pilate. The segment was choreographed by Sean Parker. The betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot is woven into the story of the Passion of Christ and is an intense and very human encounter.
“Justin O’Brien’s painting (as others before it) attempts to bring out the highly charged environment and indeed the confusion around the arrest of Jesus. Because it is a watercolour there are subtle moods expressed in the light and shade of this work.
“For any sincere follower of Jesus Christ it calls for a moment of reflection and meditation, as any of us is capable of betraying the Lord. For the pilgrim in Rome pondering the work as it will be exhibited in Domus Australia, it will provide yet another opportunity to connect with the story of Christ and our place in that story.”
Domus Australia provides visiting Australians with general information about Rome, its sights and attractions; and the opportunity to learn more about the history of the Church and the many places of religious and historical significance in the Eternal City.
The complex comprises four "blocks" surrounding a central internal courtyard. Offering a calm refuge from the busy tourist pace of Rome, Domus Australia offers excellent facilities for its guests including:
Accommodation of 32 rooms each with its own ensuite bathroom, mini-bar, air-conditioning and heating, television, telephone and internet facilities, tea and coffee making facilities and an iron.
A lounge room and bar for guests to mingle and enjoy in Rome.
A dining room for guests opening onto the courtyard, with seating for 80 people at one time.
A rooftop bar area for relaxing after a day of discovery.
Domus Australia has its own beautifully restored chapel, the Chapel of St Peter Chanel, which is capable of seating around 150 people.
Mass in English is celebrated every day for guests and visitors to Rome. Confession is available before and after weekday Mass, Monday to Saturday, or on request.
For more information visit: www.domusaustralia.org
Telephone direct from Australia: (02) 9390 5980
Send an email inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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