The presence of religious congregations has evolved rapidly throughout the last century. Religious congregations have not only opened the doors of their homes to invite people in, but these days have gone out to the places where they have not been before. One of those places is online. Sharing stories on websites, FB, Instagram or Twitter has become the norm. This is why it’s not a surprise that each congregation wants to be recognised through some specific branding which spreads their stories even further and makes them easily recognisable. In this short story we want to share with you the meaning behind the new logo for our Holy Spirit Province in Australia.
HOLY SPIRIT: In the 1950s, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth started to settle in the Land Down Under across three states: New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. In 1991 we officially became a province (which means an independent part of the congregation) and started to be called the Holy Spirit Province. There aren’t clear documents stating why we were named after the Third Person of the Trinity, but the indication seems to come from the fact that for a long time Australia has been called the Land of the Holy Spirit. In the year 1606 Capt. Pedro Fernandez de Quiros gave this continent the name “Australia del Espiritu Santo” or literally “Southland of the Holy Spirit”. Steven Williamson writes, “In the Bible, Hebrew names not only indicate character but also happenings and even the destiny of those granted that name. What does this suggest for the destiny of Australia? No other nation on earth has been blessed with the title “South Land of the Holy Spirit”!” (see: https://www.swcs.com.au/aust2.htm)
Our logo includes two symbols of the HOLY SPIRIT:
The DOVE – One of the most common symbols of the Holy Spirit. It comes from the story of Jesus’ baptism, when Jesus saw “the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.” (Mark 1:10) The other three Gospel writers use similar wording to describe the event (see Matthew 3:16, Luke 3:22, and John 1:32). (See: loyolapress.com)
As sisters in this province, we feel privileged to be able to be chosen to live in this beautiful land and serve its people, and to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in our own life and the life of our communities. The dove is ready to fly, and we are ready to respond to God’s call
The FIRE – The fire that appeared at Pentecost (Acts of the Apostles 2:3) was reminiscent of the burning bush on Mount Sinai from which God spoke to Moses. (Exodus 3:2) During the Exodus, the people of God were led by a pillar of fire at night (Exodus 13:21). Fire calls attention to the strength and force of the Holy Spirit.
In our ministries in Australia we feel empowered in our journey following God in our daily lives and while accompanying others in following Jesus.
Both the DOVE and FIRE are open – as it is the nature of the Holy Spirit to be open to the world and to bring the breath of life and the strength to sustain life. The golden colour of the design expresses the warm, honest, and true desire to be a clear sign of God among ourselves and people, especially families.
The SOUTHERN CROSS – A constellation of stars which is commonly recognised as a symbol of Australia and which is visible as a cross in the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere.
It reminds us about the beauty of the country we live in and prompts us to be always faithful to Jesus on our faith journey.
Our WEBSITE – csfn.org.au – is woven into the symbol of the dove.
We hope that we can spread the power of the Holy Spirit through our shared stories in words and pictures.
We do hope that from now on, you will start recognising our Australian Province by our logo and continue sharing our stories and prayers with others.
And last but not least, we extend words of gratitude to Anthony Costa, the designer of our logo, who patiently worked on the design following our suggestions and requests. Thank you for the generosity of your time.
On behalf of the Sisters,
Sr Grace Roclawska csfn