Sculptor Mardi Kearney and St Joseph’s principal Kaye Beston next to the sculpture of Mary MacKillop carved from 800 million year old sandstone.
Sculptor Mardi Kearney and St Joseph’s principal Kaye Beston next to the sculpture of Mary MacKillop carved from 800 million year old sandstone. Mike Knott

Statue fascinates students

A STATUE made from million-year-old sandstone has fascinated students at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School since arriving at the school in the past two months.

“They keep feeling it all the time, especially over the faces, where the sculpture becomes quite detailed,” teacher Trish Garrad said.

“I don't think they really understand that something can be so detailed out of stone. But we've got a slide show that shows the artist's progress, which we have been showing the students.”

Bishop of Rockhampton Brian Heenan visited the school with Brisbane-based artist Mardi Kearney on Thursday to bless a new sacred place that features the sculpture.

The statue, which was given to the school by the Diocese of Rockhampton, depicts Blessed Mary MacKillop who is expected to be canonised as Australia's first saint by Pope Benedict XVI in October.

“Mary MacKillop actually started our school,” Mrs Garrad said.

“The priest in the area at the time asked if the Sisters of St Joseph could open a school in 1876. The school was actually visited by Mary MacKillop as well.”

School principal Kaye Beston said the blessing was a proud moment for the school.

“The sacred space and sculpture will be a continual reminder of our links to the past while providing a space for quiet reflection,” she said.



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