A new bell tower and statue of St Michael the Archangel at the Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Innocents Kellyville was blessed and opened by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv on 7 April 2018.
Returning to the parish where he spent seven years – Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville – Bishop Vincent in his homily said, “It’s a great privilege for me to be with you on this special occasion in which we bless and dedicate the new bell tower of St Michael which is a great addition to the Shrine of the Holy Innocents.
“Let us look to Mary as a model of every pro-lifer. Here at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents, we renew our commitment to give witness to the inestimable worth of each human person. The late pope John Paul II proclaimed the good news of the dignity of personal human life with boldness and candour.
“In the encyclical The Gospel of Life, he denounced attacks against life in the name of human freedom and progress. He particularly mentioned the great multitude of weak and defenceless human beings, the unborn whose fundamental right to life has been trampled. His diagnosis endures as relevant as ever today. The Church continues to proclaim the inviolable right to life of all the unborn. She does so with conviction, fortitude and yet always with love and compassion.”
The idea for a bell tower and shrine began after the statue of St Michael the Archangel was donated by a local parishioner, who requested anonymity. To house the sizeable statue, the Friars decided to build a bell tower which would also make use of a disused bell that was supplied by Our Lady of the Rosary Primary, Kellyville.
Construction on the bell tower, which took about eight months to complete, started in early 2017 and was generously paid for by three Croatian families, who also requested anonymity and are friends of the Friars.
Modelled on St Mark’s Campanile at St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy, the bell tower at Kellyville appears in a distinct red brick at the bottom and white brick at the top. A line of mosaic tiles, similar in style to other mosaic tiles at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents, splits the contrasting brickwork.
The Conventual Franciscan Friary of Mount Saint Francis, Kellville and the Shrine of the Holy Innocents promote a culture of life and is dedicated to the unborn child and the sanctity of life. Onsite, there are several shrines including a chapel, a shrine to St Joseph and soon-to-be built Sacred Heart Shrine.
For more information, visit: https://www.franciscanfriarsaustralia.org/shrineoftheholyinnocents
About St Michael the Archangel
Saint Michael the Archangel isn’t a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title “Archangel” means, that he is above all the others in rank.
St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we know from scripture and Christian tradition.
- The first is to combat Satan.
- The second is to escort the faithful to heaven at their hour of death.
- The third is to be a champion of all Christians, and the Church itself.
- And the fourth is to call men from life on Earth to their heavenly judgment.
Very little is known about St Michael other than what we know from scriptures, which themselves are sparse.
In Daniel, St. Michael is mentioned twice. The first time as one who helped Daniel, and the second time he is mentioned with regard to the end times of the world when he will stand for the “children of thy people.”
His next mention comes in the Epistle of St. Jude, where St. Michael is said to guard the tombs of Moses and Eve and has contended with Satan over the body of Moses.
The final mention is in Revelation, where St. Michael and his angels, do battle with the dragon.
There are other scriptures where St. Michael is implied, but not mentioned by name, such as the angel; who defends the gate to Paradise, who defends against Balaam, and “who routed the army of Sennacherib.”
Today, St. Michael is invoked for protection, especially from lethal enemies. He is also the patron of soldiers, police and doctors.