Tuesday, April 26, 2011

St Aloysius’ Church : Seven Hill

 We took a drive on Tuesday through parts of the Clare Valley. We decided to look at Seven Hill winery because it was founded by a Catholic religious order(Jesuits) in an area where Catholicism was not strong.Two Jesuit priests, Father Aloysius Kranewitter and Father Maximillian Klinkowstriom, traveled to Australia as chaplains to a group of 130 Catholics led by Franz Weikert, a Silesian farmer, whose vision was to establish a community in South Australia which could enjoy religious freedom.
I wondered how much of a struggle it was to found a Catholic community for these people who fled from religeous persecution in the country of their birth . Were they ostracized when they reached Australia, what was their reception like in rural south Australia with its strong Lutheran flavor? I think we need to dig deeper into history to discover more. Our Australian history topic  for this term perhaps?
 The building of the church started in 1864 and was completed in 1875.
 A painting presented to the Jesuits by King Ludwig of Bavaria in 1848 also resides in the church.

We also loved the stained glass art work in particular the vibrant colours used in the depiction of the Madonna.
The church still operates as a parish church with a vigil Mass every Saturday at 6pm. Perhaps one day we could visit to attend Mass.
We spent several quiet moments in the church....making sure as we entered to close the side door firmly to prevent birds entering...they also like to visit apparently!
The church is the only parish church in Australia to have a crypt beneath it.

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