Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Carnival of Genealogy, 108th Edition - Places of Worship

Exterior St Vincent's College Chapel
Every day during my school years at St. Vincent's College, Potts Point I was required to 'pay a visit' to the College Chapel. Woe betide any student who did not stop and make that visit on the way into school each morning. The nuns had spies somewhere who were able to identify those students who had forgotten this most important visit and there was punishment awaiting. Being a dutiful girl who was scared of the consequences that might arise from a non-visit I always dropped by to say hello to God.

I am choosing the Chapel as my place of worship for this Carnival of Genealogy as it is the place of worship with which I am most familiar.

It was the venue for my First Holy Communion and the place where I was sent with my classmates to confess our sins on a regular basis.

Geniaus and classmtes outside the College Chapel on First Communion Day
A description on the College website states: "The beautifully proportioned Neo-Gothic St Vincent's Chapel, Potts Point was solemnly dedicated on the 10th February 1902.

Interior of The St Vincent's College Chapel

While modelled on the chapel in Dublin of the Irish Sisters of Charity, it relates beautifully to its own Australian context through the use of local red brick and its sandstone trim. Many of the exquisite stained glass windows were gifted to the Chapel by students and ex-students of St Vincent's College.

There are many examples of Carrara marble statues which still grace the chapel today.

The parquetry floor provides an interesting story that reveals the importance of this chapel in the period of the Second World War as it was paid for by American forces situated locally who needed altar breads."

Chapel Organ
I remember singing many hymns such as "Come Holy Ghost", "Hail Queen of Heaven" and "Faith of our Fathers" to the accompaniment of the Chapel Organ during the many Benediction services we attended there.

I would like to have been married in that chapel rather than my parish church but the Sisters of Charity had not woken up the the commercial possibilities of hiring it out as a wedding chapel at that time. My younger cousin, also an ex-student, was married there; it is a beautiful venue for a wedding.

A Sydney Wedding site describes the Chapel: "The Chapel at St Vincent's College in Potts Point is a lovely wedding venue. It is an old style chapel with a high ceiling and lovely interior features. There is a loft area for an aerial view and also an outdoor area large enough for mingling and group shots.".

Although I may appear a trifle cynical I loved that Chapel. It was a pretty, peaceful place that was a constant in the lives of we growing girls. It was somewhere I visited regularly from age 5 until 16.

This post was prepared for The Carnival of Genealogy, 108th Edition

1 comment:

Infolass said...

Great post. Brought back memories of my own catholic childhood.


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