Melbourne News

Restored stained-glass Stations of the Cross at CTC

Thursday 8 November 2012

By Fiona Basile
Kairos Catholic Journal

CATHOLIC Theological College (CTC) in East Melbourne is the new home for a restored set of stained-glass Stations of the Cross. About 40 people gathered at CTC last Thursday for the official opening and blessing of the restored stations.
Archbishop Denis Hart blessed the restored stations while Sr Rosemary Crumlin RSM OAM, a well-known scholar and curator of religious art in Australia, officially opened the stations. Sr Rosemary was the curator of Beyond Belief: Modern Art and the Religious Imagination (NGV, 1998) and author of The Blake Book: Art, Religion and Spirituality in Australia (Macmillan, 2011).
The stations were originally created by stained-glass artist Bill Gleeson (1927-1999) for the opening of the new Corpus Christi seminary in Clayton in 1973. After the seminary and CTC moved from Clayton to their current sites in Carlton and East Melbourne in 1999 and 2000, the buildings at Clayton were demolished. Numerous chapel fittings, including the altar, were relocated to various churches, with the stations being relocated to CTC.
Very Rev. Assoc. Prof. Shane Mackinlay, Master of Catholic Theological College, said, “These stations are a very tangible reminder of the core connection CTC has both with the campus that we shared in Clayton and our ongoing connection with the seminary now that it’s in Carlton.”
Stained-glass restorer Geoffrey Wallace worked with Bill Gleeson before his passing in 1999 and was in charge of the restoration work. It took 12 months for the research and planning, then six months for the conservation and construction of frames, the mounting and final installation of the stations at CTC.
Geoff said, “We were very happy with the results. The clarity of the glass has come out brilliantly. I think Bill would be very pleased to see them like that because that’s the way he imagined them being when he designed them.”
Fr Shane said, “I am delighted with the quality of workmanship in the conservation and installation. The colours are even more vibrant than in the original space, as they have clear glass behind them instead of the frosted glass at Clayton.  It’s a very good way to mark the 40th anniversary of CTC. You can see the tremendous care and expertise that has been taken with them, which we’ve been enjoying in the weeks since they’ve been installed.”
Those who attended the opening and blessing included Professor Peter Sherlock, Vice-Chancellor, MCD University of Divinity, Dr Gerard Vaughan, former director, National Gallery of Victoria and CTC students, staff and Senate. The following bishops also attended: Bishop of Sandhurst diocese, Leslie Tomlinson; Bishop of Sale diocese, Christopher Prowse; Archbishop Adrian Doyle, Hobart and Bishop of Ballarat diocese, Paul Bird CSsR.
Photos by Fiona Basile, Kairos Catholic Journal.

Final photo: Stained-glass restorer Geoff Wallace, Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart, Very Rev. Assoc. Prof. Shane Mackinlay, Master of Catholic Theological College and Sr Rosemary Crumlin RSM OAM.