Feast Day Celebrations

Each year at Our Lady of Mt Carmel we celebrate these special events

Our Lady of Mt Carmel - Our Patron

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The feast day occurs on the 16th July and our celebrations are generally held on the nearest Sunday. Celebrations include Mass followed by a procession through the school grounds.

A festa, organised by the Italian Festa Committee in honour of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, is also held in early October. Celebrations include Mass followed by a procession then outdoor festivities at the Mounties oval. For further information see the article in the History section of this site.

OLMC Festa 2009a

Crucifisso Di Terranova - The Black Crucifix

Crucifisso Di Terranova 
The Feast of the Crucifisso Di Terranova is celebrated in February. Celebrations include Mass followed by a procession through the school grounds.

Terranova is an ancient town of the Reggio Calabria province of Italy. Originally it was called Metauria and according to tradition was evangelized by the Apostle St. Peter on his way to Rome. Destroyed by Pirates in the sixth century, it was rebuilt and eventually given the name of Terranova.

Tradition of the Crucifix

The popular traditional account as to the origins of the miraculous crucifix is as follows:
In the village called "Molochiello" an important event during a happy spring evening set in motion some of the villagers. They saw an astonishing celestial vision and in the middle of a dense hedge they saw two lights. The incident occurred on three consecutive nights and alarmed the inhabitants so that they reported it to the authorities of Terranova. On investigation they could see nothing because the hedge was too dense and decided to set fire to it. But to their great surprise the flames divided and would not burn that part of the hedge where the two lights had been seen. When the fire went out they saw the Holy Crucifix lying at the place where the lights had been and it was completely untouched by fire.

That day became a day of triumph, faith and great festivity. The news travelled to the city of Terranova where a solemn procession of clergy and people went to the place where the crucifix was found and then carried it with reverence and compassion to the Mother Church. The following day the people went to worship the Holy Crucifix but found it gone.

With their faith still high they quickly ran to the hedge and to their surprise there it was. The people realized that He wished to be honoured in that place and set about erecting a temple called "Giudecca" in honour of the crucifix.

The original crucifix housed in the church of the "SS. Crocifisso" in Terranova has been an object of affection and devotion for many centuries, with records of miraculous events attributed to the crucifix dating back to 1533. The great earthquake of 1783 which destroyed most of Terranova also totally destroyed the Church containing the Crucifix but the Crucifix remained intact.
The statue was transferred to a nearby church spared the ravages of the earthquake and it is in this church that the crucifix has been kept and venerated to this present day.

The Reason Why the Holy Crucifix is Black

In the 15th century the Saraceni, enemies of God, infested the countryside and were enraged that the people devoutly worshipped the Holy Crucifix. They decided they would put an end to this by burning it. They carried the crucifix outside, covered in tar and tried to burn it. But a great flame like blood erupted from the Crucifix scaring the sacrilegious army away. The Holy Crucifix however did not burn. It is believed, that the Holy Crucifix is black because of the tar and the attempt to burn it.

The Association of SS. Crocifisso

The Association of SS. Crocifisso is a registered charity and promotes goodwill without discrimination, and of respect for all cultures.

In Australia, the "Association of the SS. Crocifisso" (Holy Crucifix) came into formal existence in January 1989 when it was registered as a charity. The real origins however, go back to 1986 when a group of Teranovese decided to form a committee with the aim of bringing together on a social basis the immigrants from Terranova and its surrounding towns who now live in Sydney. The committee also hoped to renew the ancient devotion to the Holy Crucifix of Terranova where on the second and third of May each year thousands of worshippers from the surrounding villages and from afar gather in Terranova to venerate this sacred image.

Although many Terranovese now living in Australia have returned to participate in this pilgrimage the majority have not had this opportunity.

Realizing that many of these immigrants still have a strong attachment and sense of devotion to this ancient crucifix, the Association set about making a replica to bring to Australia. The President of the Association, Phil Perri, undertook this task and of his own volition went to Italy to make all the necessary arrangements and to oversee the initial stages of its making.

The exact replica of the original Crucifix was sculpted in wood by Stefano Albano of Oppido Mamertina, Reggio Calabria and arrived in Sydney on the 18th of February, 1989.

The inaugural festa to celebrate this event was held at the Scalabrini Village, Austral on the 26th February, 1989. For the inaugural festa of the SS Crocifisso in Australia, the Committee invited Mons. Cornelio Femia, a native clergyman of Grotteria, to celebrate the religious ceremony.

The Crucifix has been looked after by the Cross of Terranova Committee and in 1989, 1990 and 1991 had been brought to Mt. Pritchard on each Good Friday for the evening Stations of the Cross.

On the occasion of the opening of the new parish Church the Crucifix of Terranova was welcomed into the Church to be permanently installed here as a reminder of reverent devotion to the crucified Christ.

Relic of The True Cross

Since unrecorded time the statue of the Most Holy Crucifix has been enriched with a relic of the "true cross" on which Christ died, mounted in a silver cincture. The statue of the Most Holy Crucifix which is being venerated in the church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in Mt Pritchard like the original statue also carries a relic of the "true cross".

The above extract is from: Association of the SS. Crocifisso – Historical Recollections of the Holy Crucifix of Terranova.

Saint Michael My  - Vietnamese martyr.

St Michael My 1  
The Feast is celebrated on or around the 12th August. Celebrations include Mass followed by a procession through the school grounds.

St Michael My Procession

The Vietnamese Martyrs, also known as the Martyrs of Tonkin, Martyrs of, Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, or Martyrs of Indochina, are saints canonized by Pope John Paul II. On June 19, 1988, thousands of Overseas Vietnamese worldwide gathered at the Vatican for the Celebration of the Canonization of 117 Vietnamese Martyrs, an event chaired by Monsignor Tran Van Hoai.

Their memorial is 24 November (although several of these saints have another memorial, as they were beatified and on the calendar prior to the canonization of the group).

The Vatican estimates the number of Vietnamese martyrs at between 130,000 and 300,000. John Paul II decided to canonize those whose names are known and unknown, giving them a single feast day.

The tortures these individuals underwent were among the worst in the history of Christian martyrdom. The means included cutting off limbs joint by joint, ripping living bodies with red hot tongs, and use of drugs to enslave the minds of the victims. Christians at the time were branded on the face with the words "tadao"(false religion) and families and villages which subscribed to Christianity were obliterated.

Saint Michael, Nguyen Huy My (MicaeNguyễnHuyMỹ) was born in 1804 at ĐạiĐăng of NinhBình City. Orphaned since his childhood, he was well raised by his close relatives. As he grew up,he was know as a man of intelligence and later became a physician. He led a life of spirituality and often went to receive sacraments at the Church.

At 20, he was married to Ms. Maria Mến, the daughter of Mr. Đích, the chairman of the Parish. After the marriage, he moved to live with the family of his wife in VĩnhTrị. They made a good couple, living in harmony, piety and hardworking. Seeing him as a man of talent and spirituality, the people chose him to be the county chief but he refused.

Later, because he wanted to help the Church in time of difficulty and persecution, he agreed to be the village chief; from then on, the people started to call him Chief Mỹ.

In 1838, under King Minh Mạng. The religious persecution was becoming even more severe. VĩnhTrị seminary was shut down. Seminarians were dispersed. Those teaching Father at the seminary had to go into hiding. One of them, Father James Năm secretly sought shelter in the house of MrĐích, the father in law of chief Mỹ. Chief Mỹ gave him protection. Unfortunately, there were two informers who went and reportedto the local authorities the location of Fr. James Năm. So, in in the morning of 11th May 1838 soldiers were sent to arrest all three of them: Fr. Năm, Mr. Đích and Chief Mỹ. They were taken to another City, Nam Định.

During forty days of imprisonment, Chief Mỹ underwent horror of more than 500 strokes. Despite the horror of torture. He was determined not to denounce his faith. In addition, he asked to be flogged on behalf of his father in law. MrĐích who was 70 years old at the time. Knowing that all efforts were in vain and that nothing could shake his strong faith, the judge asked the King to decree his executing ground. On the 12th August, the Heroic Martyr. Chief Mỹ was beheaded at BẩyMẫu, an executing ground, together with Fr. Năm and Mr. Đích.

POPE, LEO XIII Beatified Fr. James Năm, MrĐích and Chief NguyễnHuyMỹ  on the 27th May 1900

They were then all canonized by POPE, JOHN PAUL II on the 19th June 1988.

Saint Padre Pio

Padre Pio  
The Feast is celebrated in late September each year. Celebrations include Mass followed by a procession through the school grounds.

St. Padre Pio was born Francesco Forgione on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy, a small country town located in southern Italy. His parents were Grazio Mario Forgione (1860-1946) and Maria Guiseppa de NunzioForgione (1859-1929). He was baptized the next day, in the nearby Castle Church, with the name of his brother, Francesco, who died in early infancy. Other children in the family were an older brother, Michele; three younger sisters: Felicita, Pellegrina and Grazia; and two children who died as infants.

Pio of Pietrelcina  (25 May 1887 – 23 September 1968), also known as Saint Padre Pio, or simply Padre Pio, was a Capuchin priest in Italy who is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. He was  given the name Pio when he joined the Capuchins; he was popularly known as Padre Pio after his ordination to the priesthood. He became famous for his stigmata. On 16 June 2002, he was canonized by Pope John Paul II.