Why the name “Holy Cross”?
You may be surprised to know that the Holy Cross has many personal linkages to our Parish!
The first and most significant link belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ who as part of the Most Holy Family and Most Holy Trinity used the cross as an instrument for our salvation.
In addition, to the linkages of the Holy Family and Holy Trinity, communities which have served the Granville area have also drawn on the Holy Cross at various times within their history. St Mary Mackillop, whose Sisters of St Joseph founded both our primary schools, adopted the religious name of Sr. Mary of the Cross at the age of 24 years. Upon her canonisation, the Holy Church universally now recognises her as St. Mary of the Cross Mackillop. Our parish High School, Delany College, which was originally founded by the Patrician Brothers, expressed their devotion to the Holy Cross by naming their very first school they opened in Sydney in honour of the Holy Cross. Our Missionary Sisters of Mary, Queen of the World – Australia have also looked to the Holy Cross. The order stems its origins back to 1670 when they were founded by Bishop Lambert de la Motte in Vietnam who named them the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross.
While the symbol and devotion to the Cross of Our Lord is central to the life of any Christian, we can see that the Holy Cross of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, has been paramount to many who have influenced and helped the faith to flourish in our community.
The Crest – its symbols
The circular crest which adjoins the Holy Cross name is also full of meaning and symbolism.
Its aspects pay tribute to our past and reinforces our future under a new patron.
The Cross at the centre of the crest is known as a Cross Pattée and is one of the oldest Cross symbols used by early Christians. The symbol dates to medieval times and has been used by many throughout history. The use of this cross helps recognise our rich Catholic tradition stemming over 2000 years.
The letters at each point of the Cross represent both our parish churches with ‘JMJ’ representing the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph while the letters ‘PFS’ are abbreviated from the Latin words, Pater, Filius et Spiritus Sanctus (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in honour of the Holy Trinity. The positioning of these letters within the cross also adds to the crest’s symbolism. The positioning of ‘PFS’ at the head of the cross represents the Triune God in heaven while the ‘JMJ’ below it represents the human and earthly Family of God on Earth. The ‘M’, representing Mary as part of the Holy Family, is at the base of the Cross to represent the Blessed Virgin Mary’s love and devotion to her Son from His birth through to his Death as she stood at the foot of His Cross on Good Friday.
The small cross at the centre of the Cross Pattée, symbolises our Lord, Jesus Christ as the centre of all. Without Him is nothing.
The backdrop to the Cross is derived from another ancient symbol commonly referred to as the Jerusalem Cross. It is made up of a large cross surrounded by 4 smaller crosses. The crosses – 5 in total – are symbolic of our Lord’s 5 wounds received during His crucifixion while also symbolic of the 4 evangelists with Christ at the centre. The placing of this Cross helps to symbolise the foundations of our Catholic faith which centre around the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and as the central part of our parish life in which all other things are drawn to.
In the outer ring, the symbols of the Alpha and Omega represent God throughout all time, at the beginning, in the now and at the end. Just as our parish has evolved and changed when it was needed, God was always the constant just as He is now and will always be.
The phrase at the head of the outer ring, ‘Crux mihi certa salus’ translates to ‘The Cross is my sure salvation.’ With this, we proclaim that through the Passion and Death of our Lord on the cross, He has won for us our salvation. The Latin phrasing has been selected to symbolise that whilst our community is made up of people from many different nations, we all come together as part of the Universal Church in which Latin is recognised all over the world as its universal language.
The date at the base of the outer ring practically displays the year in which our new unified parish was formed as we begin a new and exciting chapter in our parish’s story.
What is in a colour?
The colours used in the crest have been selected to draw on aspects of the former Holy Family Parish and Holy Trinity Parish crests.
In doing so we recognise the individual stories of these communities which have now formally come together as one community in faith.
Theologically both tell the Passion story from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. The red symbolises the blood shed by our Lord on the Cross for the remission of our sins while the Gold represents the Triumph of the Resurrection. The Blue ring around the Cross symbolises the Blessed Virgin Mary who unendingly protects us.
May our parish under the patronage of the Holy Cross
May our parish under the patronage of the Holy Cross, come together to continue to make Christ ever-present in our community and may we seek to place Christ at the centre of all we do in the hope that just as His arms were outstretched on the cross for our salvation, so too will His arms be outstretched to embrace us and draw us closer to Him.