Archbishop Costelloe blesses the new statue at Mary MacKillop Church, Ballajura Parish, Sunday 21 May. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Every Christian needs to have the words emblazoned on their heart “Do whatever he tells you,” Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has said, in blessing a new statue of the Virgin Mary at St Mary MacKillop Church, Ballajura Parish.
The new statue, which was made in Vietnam, is titled Our Lady of Ballajura, Comforter of Migrants and stands on a plinth in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Mary MacKillop Church with the words, “Do Whatever He Tells You”.
Joining Archbishop Costelloe for the blessing liturgy, prior to the commencement of the 9am Mass, was Parish Priest Fr John Jegorow and Assistant Fr Mark Rucci.
Archbishop Costelloe with Acolyte Rudy D’Cunha, Altar Servers Athalie and William Nguyen, Assistant Priest Fr Mark Rucci, Parish Priest Fr John Jegorow and Acolyte Ross Scholz on the occasion of the blessing of the new statue of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Ballajura, Comforter of Migrants, Sunday 21 May. Photo: Jamie O’Brien
Following the proclamation of the wedding feast in Cana (John 2), Archbishop Costelloe explained that the quality that shines out most strongly in the Virgin Mary is her faith.
“She’s the great symbol of faith,” Archbishop Costellloe explained. “And that's true, not just in St John's Gospel, but in the other gospels as well.”
“And we see it in this Gospel, where you've just heard the wine runs out, that the bride and groom are embarrassed, their families are probably embarrassed, Mary's embarrassed for them, and she wants to try and help them, but she can't do anything.
“So she goes to her son, because she has faith - that not only can he do something - but he will do something.
Mary didn’t get the response - at least it looks that way - she might have expected, continued Archbishop Costelloe, with Jesus responding, ‘Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not yet come.’ (John 2: 4).
The new statue, which was made in Vietnam, is titled Our Lady of Ballajura, Comforter of Migrants and stands on a plinth in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Mary MacKillop Church with the words, “Do Whatever He Tells You”. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
“If we got that response, we might have walked away and thought, oh well I did my best.”
“She knew her son better, she had greater faith in her son,” Archbishop Costelloe reinforced.
“So even though she got that response, she immediately went to the steward and says the wonderful words - which I think every Christian really needs to have emblazoned on his or her heart – ‘Do whatever He tells you’.
“That's Mary's message to them and of course, it's Mary's message to us. She doesn't want us focusing too much on her. She wants us to allow her to help us to focus on the Lord, and listen to Him and do what He needs.”
Parish Priest Fr John Jegorow said many Catholics love statues of the Mother of God and the saints.
Archbishop Costelloe with members of the Rosary group of Ballajura Parish who helped bring the new statue to Ballajura Parish. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
“Pope Francis has been inviting us to add this title to our prayers,” Fr John explained, referring to Pope Francis’ announcement of June 2020.
“Mary is our model follower of Christ, particularly with the popularity of the Rosary,” he said.
“There are many titles for the Virgin Mary and so here in the Parish of Ballajura we ask Her to accompany us – a parish that is very much a migrant parish,” Fr John reinforced.
Continuing his speech, Archbishop Costelloe said that in blessing the statue, he hopes all those present might follow the beautiful quality of deep faith that Mary has.
Fr Mark Rucci places a wreath on the head of the new statue during the special liturgy, Sunday 21 May at Ballajura Parish. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
“As we bless this very beautiful statue, which I'm so pleased to see will stand so close to the presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament - because the two of them are so closely united - I hope we all might take away this beautiful quality of deep faith that Mary has,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“As we sang in the opening song of this liturgy, and as we say every day when we pray the Hail Mary, throughout the day, ‘Pray for us, Pray for us now, for we are sinners, and at the hour of our death’.
“Mary is not going to say no to that prayer.
“When we pray this prayer with sincerity, we know that every step we take every day of our life, we are accompanied by the prayers of Mary. She can help us to grow in our faith so that we can do whatever He tells us to do,” Archbishop Costelloe concluded.
At the conclusion of Mass, Archbishop Costelloe also blessed several Year 4 students from Mary MacKillop Primary who were preparing for their First Holy Communion the following weekend.
Archbishop Costelloe blesses Nathan Kyaw, Aston Parry, Summer Canham, Jazmin Prior, Emily Imms in preparation for their making their First Holy Communion the following weekend. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.