The Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Innocents
Located on the grounds of the Conventual Franciscan Friary of Mount Saint Francis, Kellville, NSW, The Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Innocents and Garden of the Immaculate stand to promote a culture of life in the midst of a 'throw away' society.
The concept for the Garden of the Immaculate began in 1993. At first it was only a grotto with a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which the friars obtained from a congregation of sisters in Sydney. The Garden of the Immaculate was developed on the site, and the first Mass for the unborn child and the sanctity of life was celebrated in the garden in May 1994. Mass has been celebrated on the last Saturday of each month ever since.
The building of the new shrine dedicated to the Holy Innocents began in November 2011. It has taken two years to see the dream become a reality after more than $500,000 was raised by the residents of the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary and the wider community, including major sponsor Kenthurst businessman Walter Bachmann of BAC Systems. Donations came from people all over Australia who learnt of the project through the Franciscan order’s newsletter, 'The Little Troubadour'.
Ehrat Constructions has won architecture awards for the shrine including the 2013 Hills Building & Design Awards for both Innovative Architectural Design and Overall Excellence in Building & Design. In the interior, artist Theodore Velin, originally from Bulgaria, has painted a beautiful fresco on the chapel’s impressive domed ceiling and also created four religious mosaics for the chapel. Each mosaic took three months to complete.
His icons of St Clare and St Francis flank the entrance to the shrine. The fresco on the dome features the Virgin Mary and St Maximilian Kolbe, who established the Marian apostolate the 'Militia Immaculata' or Knights of the Immaculate; he is also a patron saint of the Pro-Life movement. The Franciscans consider the shrine a place of holy beauty and are continuing to landscape the surrounding grounds. The walk through the garden is modelled on the 14 Stations of the Cross, depicting Jesus’ path to His crucifixion with sculptural representations in almost life-size figures.
Below the Chapel is located the 'Our Lady of Guadalupe Room' which is used for retreats, meetings and the occasional function. It is equiped with kitchenette, television and audio, tables, seating, and access to the bathroom facilities. Anyone wishing to use this space may contact the friars.
The Friars hope that the gardens and chapel will be something that the whole community can enjoy. Christ came to give life in abundance and the spirituality of the shrine will reflect such in its beauty and prayerful presence under the aegis of our Blessed Mother who bore our Saviour and shares in her Son’s life-giving mission.
Weekday Mass (Monday to Friday) 6.45am with Reconciliation available after Mass.
A monthly 'Mass for Life' is held on the last Saturday of each month at 11am. In addition, all-night adoration takes place immediately after a 7.00pm Mass and Kolbe novena the night before.
Divine Mercy Adoration is held every third Sunday of the month between 2.00 and 4.00 pm.
Outdoor Stations of the Cross every first Friday and all Fridays during Lent at 10.00 am.
Eucharistic Holy Hour every first Saturday evening from 5.00 to 6.00 pm.
The shrine is open every day from 6am to 6pm. All are most welcome to visit and pray in this place of quiet beauty.
(Some text taken or adapted from an article in Catholic Outlook, CLICK HERE to read full article)
For more information about Mass times, Confession, and devotions, please contact:
Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Innocents
8 Greyfriar Place, Kellyville
New South Wales 2155
T: 0429 441 955
or click here to see previous Newsletters.