St Mary's Cathedral
St Mary's Cathedral located in the rural city of Sale has been the cathedral since the diocese was created in 1887.
A feature of St Mary's is the bronze-bas relief of Australia's first saint Blessed Mary MacKillop, founder of the Sisters of St Joseph. The work hangs on the wall on the right as you enter the main body of the cathedral. It is a work by talented Sale artist and sculptor Annemeike Mein. The bronze features a small piece of wood from Mary MacKillop's coffin, sealed beneath epoxy resin.
The stained glass windows in St Mary's Cathedral are worth inspecting. Of particular interest is the window on the left as you enter the cathedral which is of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to whom the diocese and cathedral are dedicated.
Also featured in the cathedral is the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The icon was presented to the first Bishop of Sale by Pope Leo XIII in 1890. It is highlighted by gold leaf and jewels in Our Lady's crown. The icon hangs in Our Lady's chapel which connects the main body of the cathedral to the gathering area. The icon is removed each November when it is processed around the cathedral as part of the annual pilgrimage to the diocesan shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Our 'Sistine chapel'
The Diocese of Sale's answer to the Sistine Chapel is St Mary's Church in Bairnsdale. While not quite boasting the work of Michelangelo, the richly decorated church attracts thousands of tourists each year. The ceiling and walls feature elaborate murals of various biblical scenes and saints. The detail and beauty of St Mary's leaves many visitors mesmerised. It is situated in the main street next to popular take-away food stores and is an ideal place for tourists stop some three hours after leaving Melbourne. The parish is currently undertaking a major appeal to restore the historic church and impressive domed spire.
Artwork surrounds at St Patrick's
The parish centre at St Patrick's Church in Pakenham contains some of the most significant artwork of any Gippsland building. The new parish centre and school facilities are surrounded by impressive sculptures. Towering guardian angels flank the entrance and a water feature in the shape of a cross greets visitors to the courtyard. A multi-panel sandstone orchid sculpture features a reflection on the resurrection and is encircled by a sandstone colonnade. Above the courtyard John 17:21 is quoted; "May they all be one Father, as you are in me and I am in you". Each work is engraved with a different reflection and the light conditions during the day transform the appearance from visit to visit.