Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Kellyville

Hundreds gather for St John Paul II monument unveiling in Parramatta


Credit: Giovanni Portelli, Sydney Archdiocese
Credit: Giovanni Portelli, Archdiocese of Sydney


Hundreds of people gathered in the forecourt of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta on Saturday 5 September for the unveiling of a new monument dedicated to St John Paul II.

The monument, created by renowned Sydney artist Linda Klarfeld, was commissioned by the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta as a tribute to its founder - St John Paul II.

Sydney’s Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP led the unveiling ceremony. Also in attendance were local dignitaries and hundreds of youth from Western Sydney.

“St John Paul II was truly the saint of the youth. He founded World Youth Day, which enabled millions of young people to experience the faith in a new and almost revolutionary way,” Archbishop Anthony said. 

“He also established the Diocese of Parramatta to better serve the Catholic people of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, one of the youngest and fastest-growing areas of Australia.”

Credit: Giovanni Portelli, Sydney Archdiocese
Credit: Giovanni Portelli, Archdiocese of Sydney

St John Paul II visited the Diocese of Parramatta during his pontificate shortly after its creation in 1986.

The Principal of St Thomas Aquinas’ Primary, Sergio Rosato, was a young worker at Transfield in Seven Hills when Pope John Paul II visited the factory in 1986. “This company provided employment and dignity for many men and women, including many migrants – my late father was one of those,” Sergio said.

“During his address in workshop 5 at Seven Hills, the Holy Father shared his meditation on the dignity of work as part of the Creator’s design and plan for the world.

“I recall vividly his strong voice as he proclaimed, ‘You may know that I, too, was a worker for some years in a quarry and in a factory.’

“He went on to say that Australia was a great country because working people go about their tasks day after day with both cheerfulness and seriousness, earning their bread by the sweat of their brow, producing goods and services for their fellow citizens, and thus gradually bringing to perfection a world that was created by a good and loving God.” 

Klarfeld said commissioning and creating a sculpture of someone was a real gesture of love. “Pope John Paul II is my favourite Pope because he was instrumental in helping to end communism in Eastern Europe. This meant that I was reunited with my grandparents when the Iron Curtain fell. I hadn’t seen them since I was 4 years old.”

Klarfeld describes the work as “lighthearted but reverential. Hopefully it will inspire miracles”.

The grouping of five bronze figures weighs one tonne and took Klarfeld two years to create.

The unique artwork can be viewed daily at St Patrick’s Cathedral, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta.

Credit: Giovanni Portelli, Sydney Archdiocese
Credit: Giovanni Portelli, Archdiocese of Sydney


For images of the event, with descriptions upon request, please visit:


Credit: Giovanni Portelli, Archdiocese of Sydney


Credit: Adrian Middeldorp, Diocese of Parramatta


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