Our Champagnat Day Eucharist celebration witnessed the blessing of our First Nations Cross. Below is an extract from our Indigenous Relations Officer, Peter O’Callaghan’s, at the commencement of the celebration. 

Our First Nations Cross is a representation of where we have come from, to where we are now. A mix of First Nations Spirituality, our Marian traditions and Catholicism. It represents the crucifixion of a carpenter. A wooden cross, growing organically from a tree, carved so that a man could be nailed to it. It was designed by myself with input from Nathan Ahearne to get the final design. The wood it is made from is Jarrah, an Australian hardwood and was handcrafted by Anton Buchi and his son Padric. The stump the cross sits in is from the branch of a Yellow box gum tree that was blown down on my property. The size of the stump shows you how big the tree is that was felled by Mother Nature. The main trunk of the tree is approximately 1.2m in diameter. It was handpicked by Anton, cut, carved and prepared for the cross to sit in it.

The cross was then painted by Wiradjuri artist, Duncan Smith. The white represents the purity if Jesus, with a red dot at the extremities to signify the nail holes of Jesus’ crucifixion and the crown of thorns. These dots are interconnected and meet in the heart of the cross, to represent the spear of the Roman soldier who pierced the side of Jesus. Around the body of Jesus, we have the markings of water in the College colours we have inherited from Marist Brothers High School Darlinghurst. Water is vital as every song line we follow, not only tells us about a story of the land on which we are travelling and who are the owners of this land, but also leads us to waterholes to sustain us on our journey. These marks represent the water, the giver of life but also the fluidity of our story, our history and what the future will bring.