Apostolic Administrator Charles Scicluna consecrated the first altar during his bishopric at the new St Monica Convent chapel, Fleur-de-Lys, where he received his first education.
The event took place on December 27, the vigil of the first Sunday after Christmas, the Liturgy of the Feast of the Holy Family.
The central sculpture beneath the altar depicts the Cana wedding, the beginning of a new family, to which Jesus and his mother had been invited.
Our Lady’s posture in the sculpture indicates her gentle leading of the baffled couple towards Jesus, while the servant is just starting to pour the water that will change into wine.
The scene spells out the spirit of the foundress of these Sisters, Maria Teresa Spinelli, who constantly encouraged her followers to accompany and pray for the people who walk their way and to lead them to Christ.
One cannot miss the dominating presence of feminine figures in the new chapel, the right dose for a convent of nuns. The right front window shines out the colourful painting of the Madonna and Child, the left front window portrays the ecstatic scene of St Monica with her son, St Augustine, while beneath the ambone is a sculpture of the three women who went to seek the body of Jesus in the tomb, only to find a young man proclaiming the resurrection of Christ.
The words of this young man to the women in the empty tomb express the mission of these Sisters: “But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” (Mark 16:7).
Yet, in this little chapel, the Sisters’ favourite place in the convent, there is a constant reminder of another wedding to come.
As they raise their eyes above the altar, they see five oil lamp sculptures to the left of the holy tabernacle, reminding them of the parable of the 10 virgins: “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom.” (Matthew 25:1).
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