Notre Dame hosts significant Icon 17-18 August: Our Lady Seat of Wisdom

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 21-7-2009

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



“Make the University an environment where knowledge is cultivated, a place where the individual finds direction for the future, knowledge, inspiration for effective service of society.”

This was the request by former pope, Pope John Paul II, to teachers and staff when he began the journey to the world’s universities of his commissioned icon of Mary and Jesus - Our Lady Seat of Wisdom as part of the Jubilee celebration in 2000.

The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus will take part in this special journey when it welcomes the icon at 11:30am on Monday 17 August. The arrival will be celebrated with a special welcoming liturgy prior to Mass at 12:35pm. Whilst on Campus, the icon will be hosted in the Holy Spirit Chapel (Cnr Mouat and Croke Streets) and will be available for veneration, meditation and prayer. Special talks will also occur at various times. A special meditation service will be held at 7:30-8:30pm on Tuesday 18 August.

The broader community is encouraged to visit and there are a number of talks scheduled to take place on understanding/praying with icons.

Notre Dame Lecturer of Philosophy and Theology, Dr Angela McCarthy, explains what an icon is:

“An icon is part of the ancient tradition of making sacred images that lead us into the presence of God and are therefore often termed ‘windows to heaven’. They are not simply religious art, but are sacred objects, ‘written’ by an iconographer who faithfully records the Church's theological understanding of the subject of the icon. Prayer and fasting are often included in the preparation and the result is an image that brings us into the reality of the Incarnation - God is in the world. “Everything about an icon is symbolic and food for meditation.”

University Chaplain, Father Gerry Conlan OMI said that the the Notre Dame Community is very grateful for the opportunity to host the Icon.

“We encourage all staff and students, especially, to avail themselves of this unique opportunity. We pray that the Icon’s visit will inspire many to remember the source of all Wisdom whenever the name Notre Dame (Our Lady) is seen, or heard, long after the icon has continued its journey around the world.”

For more information please contact: Father Gerry Conlan OMI on 9433 0551 or click here.

Media contact:

Michelle Ebbs 08 9433 0610, 0408 959 138