Proclaiming salvation in Sandy Bay

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Proclaiming salvation in Sandy Bay
Photo courtesy of Sandy Bay Parish

A recent venture of the Sandy Bay Parish is making the saving message of Christ visible to all who pass by.

Over the Lenten and Easter period, large messages were placed on the cross affixed to the front wall of the presbytery on Sandy Bay Road.

The messages, based on scriptural quotes, are accompanied by coloured cloths that are draped over the cross. 

The colour of the accompanying cloths is being changed in line with the changing liturgical seasons – purple for Lent, red for Holy week and gold representing Christ’s resurrection for Easter. 

Messages have included the following: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord,” “He was humble, accepting death on a cross,” and “Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!”

The parish priest of Sandy Bay, Father Brian Nichols, said the idea behind having an image of the crucified Christ in such a public place was to afford the parish a real chance of proclaiming the message of Holy Week and Easter.

“My reasoning was that in the business precinct of Sandy Bay there are many firms and businesses that advertise their services such as McDonalds, Shiploads, various restaurants and shops – so why not the Catholic Church in Sandy Bay?” Fr Nichols said. 

The cross was acquired for the parish from the San Carlo Church in North Hobart, which is now the location of the Archdiocese of Hobart Archives and Heritage Collection.

Fr Nichols said he has observed the various reactions of passers-by from his office window.

“Some people make the sign of the cross, some stand for a moment in silent reflection, others appear to be quite bemused,” he said. 

The high visibility of the cross on Sandy Bay Road not only highlights the location of Holy Spirit Church, Fr Nichols said, but also is a constant reminder to Christians and others that “Christ died for all people”.