Chapel of the Magnificat
The aim of all Marist schools is, in the words of St Marcellin Champagnat, to make Jesus Christ known and loved. To help fulfil this aim, St Augustine’s provides all members of the College family with the time, space and experiences necessary to deepen their relationship with God. One means of doing this is to set aside a place for prayer and worship where people can find an oasis of stillness to sense and to respond to the presence of God.
Such a place is the Chapel of the Magnificat named in honour of Mary's song of hope and profound joy found in the Gospel of Luke. The chapel is used to celebrate the sacraments and for personal and communal prayer.
Prominent among the symbols and imagery in the chapel is the striking statue at its entrance. Mary of the Visitation, sculpted in sandstone by Brisbane artist Mardi Kearney, depicts a radiantly pregnant young mother-to-be. With one hand over her growing baby, and the other extended beckoning us forward, she seems to be saying, “Come with me”. This leads us into the chapel where the stained-glass windows reflect the beauty and bounty of life in images of the reef and rainforest, and God’s saving presence.
The altar was gifted to the College by Old Boy Monsignor John Lennon who coordinated the Brisbane section of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Australia in 1986. The Pope celebrated Mass on this altar at QE2 Stadium.
LAVALLA TABLE – AN EMBLEM OF INCLUSIVENESS
In 2015, to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the College, then principal Br Darren Burge commissioned a new artwork that would embody the spirit of the College. Executed in bronze, the central feature of the sculpture is a replica of the table built by the founder of the Marist Brothers, St Marcellin Champagnat, for the first Brothers’ residence at Lavalla, France in 1817. It was around this table that they gathered for prayer, study, work and meals.
The family spirit, sense of brotherhood and love of work these gatherings engendered is captured in the sculpture by the depiction of two students deep in conversation. The two empty chairs are an invitation to join in the conversation and to become part of the College family. It is this sense of inclusiveness that is central to the spirit of St Augustine’s.