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New sacred art site launched


Two bronze sculptures of Mary MacKillop by Judith Rolevink are among significant Australian artwork featured in a new website aimed at deepening people’s appreciation of sacred art.

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The website, a work of the National Liturgical Architecture and Arts Council (NLAAC), was launched last month by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan, chair of the Bishops commission for liturgy.

Work on the website began in 2019 and has led to the preparation and publication of almost 30 articles that examine items as diverse as stained-glass windows and liturgical vessels, as well as sculptures and churches.

All the content is written by Australians and each article has a clear Australian link, featuring artists, architects and works in Australia.

Adelaide is represented by the sculpture in Mary MacKillop Plaza of Mary holding hands with two children as they walk together, erected in 2009, and a devotional shrine made in 2020 to mark the 10th anniversary of her canonisation and located in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.

“The NLAAC has completed a number of key projects in recent years, including books on church buildings and on the stewardship and renewal of places of worship,” Archbishop O’Regan said.

“The Australian Catholic Liturgical Art website is another significant contribution to the Church in Australia, helping promote the work of some wonderful local artists and educate the faithful along the way.”

Archbishop O’Regan acknowledged the efforts of Liturgy Brisbane, where Fr Tom Elich has been director for many years, and the Bishops Conference’s digital technology office for developing the website.

“May their diligence and generosity be rewarded with a warm reception and strong interest,” he said.

Fr Elich, now chair of the NLAAC, said the current set of articles will be added to regularly, to produce an extensive database and reference point for Catholic art.

“We have taken a broad view of Catholic art because the Church has not adopted any particular style or form of art as its own,” he said.

“Whatever is good and true contributes a noble beauty to acts of worship. It leads to a new appreciation of the infinite beauty of the Creator God.”

The NLAAC hopes the website will be of benefit to a wide range of people, including parishes renewing liturgical spaces, for architects and artists, for students and researchers, and lovers of art.

“Engagement with sacred art is almost as old as the Catholic Church, and has been a great tool for faith education through the centuries,” Fr Elich said.

“This site seeks to continue that long tradition, using our current means of communication.”

The NLAAC welcomes additional suggested contributions for the website and can be sent to for consideration by the Council.

Access the website at:



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