World Meeting of Families 2018 vestment competition winner!

Today it was announced that the World Meeting of Families has found a winner for its vestment competition! The winner is a Year 5 pupil from a school in Killaloe diocese in Ireland.

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I am very excited for her! She has obviously worked very hard and should feel extremely proud of herself for such a wonderful achievement. And I’m in no doubt that her family and her Parish are extremely proud of her too. Her design has now been sent to Italy to be made into a real Chasuble to be worn by Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August.

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This seems to be the second vestments competition the World Meeting of Families has run – this time only for children.

You may remember I entered the origional competition just before Christmas, and then received a letter in March from the Secretary General – Fr Timothy Bartlett, explaining that despite many entries, a winner could not be found.

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Many of you have been asking me to reveal the design I submitted. I decided to keep it very Irish and so decided to make a Celtic knot that incorporated the Holy Trinity triangular symbol flowing into a heart symbol. I thought this was a great way of showing how God is woven into family life. I even made it in real life just to see how it would work. I was very pleased with it. Celtic knots work so well as embroidery.

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We were allowed to enter 3 designs. This was my favorite:

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I chose a Pugin shape with a large black and gold orphrey. I was also asked to write a blurb about my design:

“I designed this vestment to show how God is entwined into our Marriages and families: the joys, sorrows, challenges and victories that every family faces. Its timeless beauty will be fitting for the Liturgy for generations to come.

The Celtic knot embroidery is made up of a heart representing marriage and family that flows into a triangular knot which represents the Holy Trinity. You can see from how the knot is created that it is impossible to separate the Holy Trinity from family life. God is present through our love for each other, prayer and reception of the sacraments – especially Baptism, Marriage and when we receive Holy Eucharist.

The knot also signifies the indissolubility of Marriage (it cannot be undone), and reminds us that the sacrament of marriage is not just made up of the Husband and Wife: God is truly present in the sacrament giving the couple a grace and strength to draw on that is bigger than just themselves.

The black orphrey represents the deceased members of our families whom we must continue to love by praying for them, safe in the knowledge that by God’s grace we will be reunited with them one day in eternal life.”     

I guess my ideas were just not the sort of thing they were looking for. Never mind – I had great fun entering. Incidentally – I also learned today that Fr. James Martin has just been announced as the keynote speaker.