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Springfield celebrates new church

The Springfield Catholic Community is preparing to open its new church – a meeting place for a rapidly-growing parish featuring more than 25 nationalities.

Our Lady of the Southern Cross church will be dedicated by Archbishop Mark Coleridge on Friday September 1, ending the Springfield Catholic Community’s temporary residence in a school hall.

It will be the third new church opened in the Brisbane Archdiocese in 2017 – all of those churches have been named after Mary.

Springfield parish priest Fr Mauro Conte said Our Lady of the Southern Cross would become a long-term feature of the community.

“This church will become part of the lives of generations of families in Springfield,” Fr Mauro said.

“This parish draws in thousands of people every week through our Masses and schools. It’s a vibrant, young and multicultural community full of optimism and possibilities. But we needed a new church to cater for our numbers.

“It’s been a long time coming so this is an exciting time.”

Since 2011, Springfield parishioners have worshipped in a hall at St Augustine’s College, with a packed Sunday-morning congregation of 500 people. A Saturday-night vigil Mass in the hall regularly attracts about 200 parishioners.

For its new church, the parish chose a site at Springfield Lakes, next to the Good Shepherd Catholic primary school. The church, which can seat 520 people, is designed along an east-west axis and features an easterly view to the rising sun.

The architectural design for the new church explores the theme of heaven and earth, and will feature a complete wall of glass, marble tiles and about 150 square metres of mosaics.

Fr Conte convinced noted international artist and theologian Fr Marko Rupnik to produce mosaics for the new church and to paint nine scenes of the life of Mary.

The church has been built with the help of thousands of rugby league fans who have visited a popular sausage sizzle next to Suncorp Stadium.

“It’s our main fundraising effort,” Fr Mauro said. “Every game, every concert, we are there selling sausages from St Thomas More Church (in the Jubilee parish).

“Our Lady of the Southern Cross Church – it’s not just our church, it’s a church for everyone.”

The new church will also be the home to administrative offices for the Springfield Catholic Community. It has video cameras that will enable all Masses to be live-streamed.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge will celebrate the first Mass at Our Lady of the Southern Cross church on Friday September 1 at 6pm. Fr Mauro Conte will concelebrate the Mass.

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