UNDERSTANDING THE PARISH LOGO

HISTORY OF THE LOGO

In early 2010 the St Francis Parish and School Community began the journey of creating a new logo which reflected the spirit of our overall Catholic Community at this time, while maintaining a link to the traditions of our past. A team from the parish and school met to discuss the important elements necessary in the new logo. This committee agreed that the following elements were needed.

  1. The religious habit of the Friars
  2. The Italian history of the parish
  3. The peace dove from the school
  4. The local environment (i.e., hills)

The committee then contacted a graphic designer who listened to the significant elements presented and produced three different logos for consideration. The draft logos prompted valuable discussion and we were all able to decide on one that best captured all the elements we wanted.

OUR NEW LOGO EXPLAINED

This explanation looks at the image from the top to its base. The Peace Dove: This is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, that has been cherished by the school for a long time. It was chosen from many other symbols that were presented by the children themselves, many years ago. It became their school badge and added a blue stripe to their school uniform. In this new Logo the Holy Spirit appears in a simple and easily recognisable form appearing over the top of the Franciscan Habit as a sign of unity. We want to be “One community” the school community, the parish community, Athelstone Community and the Italian Community, and the community of Capuchin friars working together to give witness to the Gospel as a way of life. The dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, that came down upon Jesus, when he was baptised in the Jordan river also reminds us of our own baptism. It reminds our children of the Holy Spirit that they receive at Confirmation and the special Gifts of the Holy Spirit that they receive:  
  1. Wisdom
  2. Knowledge
  3. Understanding
  4. Right Judgement
  5. Courage
  6. Reverence
  7. Wonder and Awe
We believe that in all our plans and priorities we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for us to be successful in our endeavours and for the children especially their studies.

A Capuchin Prayer for Study

Holy Spirit, fill my heart with peaceful learning and grant me the grace of careful study. Assist me to recall quickly and easily, all that I have studied.

 

The Olive Branch: The branch in the dove’s mouth for us of all reflects the Italian Community, who began our Catholic Community here at Newton. In 1953 the Italian community began constructing a combined Church/ Community Hall and Residence for the friars here at Newton.

They formed many committees to continue to foster devotion to the saints from their home towns back in Italy. It was here at Newton that they were able to strengthen their faith, socialise and support each other.

On the 10th of March 1985, the Italian Community and other parishioners completed the construction of the New Church of St Francis of Assisi.

In 2010 on the 25 Anniversary of the completion of the New Church we planted what we called our “Family Tree” outside the front of the church.

It is in fact a “Kalamata” Olive tree a variety from Peloponnesian Greece, where the city state of Sparta existed. It was chosen because in the ancient Olympic Games, an olive branch was the only prize given to those who won their event. The Olive branch made into a wreath became a symbol of “Peace and Goodwill.”

In referring to the Olympic games St Paul says, “All the runners are trying to win, but only one of them gets the prize. They do this just to win a wreath that will wither away, but we do it for a wreath that will never wither away.” (1 Timothy 9:24-27)

The symbol of the dove with an olive branch is a well known biblical symbol of peace, hope and promise when after the Great Flood, the dove sent out by Noah the second time, brought back to the Ark an olive leaf. (Genesis 8:11)

NINE LEAVES: Our Logo olive branch has nine leaves and these represent the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit which are listed in St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 5:22: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

The Friar’s Habit: This reminds us of St Francis of Assisi, patron of our Community, who founded the Franciscan Order in 1209.  With outstretched arms, the Friars continue to preach, teach, guide and model Franciscan Spirituality for us today. It reminds us of Christ’s love and their commitment to the Lord by the symbolism of the cord around their waist tying them to the Cross. The Friars Cord with its three knots is also a reminder of their commitment to the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The shape of The Tau Cross is also depicted through the religious habit of the friars. The sign of the TAU[1], the last letter in the Hebrew Alphabet, was something St Francis was very passionate about, so much so that he used it as his personal sign/seal/signature. It has become a tradition here in our School to give the TAU Cross to our Year 7 students in their last year at St Francis School.

The Three Green Brush Strokes: These green swipes symbolise the local environment depicting the Adelaide Hills. The colour changes give the effect of moving into the distance. The hills are not only visible behind the school, but are also incorporated into the flowing roof of the new school hall complex.  The hills also appear through the garments highlighting the unity of the location and school. The green is also a reflection of creation and Francis’ love of nature. He is Patron of Animals and in 1979 Blessed Pope John Paul II, made him Patron of the Environment.[2]  The significance of the three brush strokes also reminds us of the Holy Trinity (The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit). It could also remind us of the three themes of our community, Contemplation, Fraternity and Mission.

The Title, St Francis of Assisi Catholic Community, rather than ‘St Francis of Assisi Parish’ seems to better express who we are, because people come here to Newton from all over the city, especially the Italians on their feast days.  The word ‘Parish’ tends to mark out boundaries, which although important in canon law, do not express well the spirit of Community here at Newton in these times of easy travel. The stylised symbolism of the word ‘of’ flowing through the words, ‘St Francis of Assisi Catholic Community’ in the Logo, also has a unifying effect for the words of the Logo.

[1] Ezekiel 9:6: “But do not touch anyone with the sign of Tau ...!” Revelation 7:2 “the Seal of the Living God”

[2] Pope John Paul II., PEACE WITH GOD THE CREATOR; PEACE WITH ALL OF CREATION. In 1979, I proclaimed Saint Francis of Assisi as the heavenly Patron of those who promote ecology. He offers Christians an example of genuine and deep respect for the integrity of creation.  As a friend of the poor who was loved by God's creatures, Saint Francis invited all of creation ‑ animals, plants, natural forces, even Brother Sun and Sister Moon ‑ to give honour and praise to the Lord. The poor man of Assisi gives us striking witness that when we are at peace with God we are better able to devote ourselves to building up that peace with all creation which is inseparable from peace among all peoples. It is my hope that the inspiration of Saint Francis will help us to keep ever alive a sense of 'fraternity' with all those good and beautiful things which Almighty God has created. And may he remind us of our serious obligation to respect and watch over them with care, in light of that greater and higher fraternity that exists within the human family.