Sanctuary of the Word

The Sanctuary of the Word, also called “Yeshiva” is a novelty for seminaries  and forms an integral part of the building complex.

The Sanctuary of the Word is important because the priest is called to be a man of the Word, not his own word but that of  God. In the classroom one is prepared more for a scientific knowledge of the Word but here in this place we approach the Word more from a spiritual level. Here the Word is examined in order to help the future priests to break open the bread of the Word for the needs of a hungry generation.


Sanctuary of the Word


The main hall of the Sanctuary is interrupted by three arches which separate it from another smaller area. In architecture, arches refer to glory, and so in this case to the glory of God. The three of them as a unity make us think of the Trinity.

Marble Wall and Tabernacle

Beyond the arches we come upon a solid marble wall, from floor to ceiling of Roman Travertine. St Theresa said: “What separates us from God is a wall.” Beyond the wall there is life. Revelation tells us in fact that there is a doorway to the beyond, hence the shape of the tabernacle.

The Tabernacle

The Tabernacle, built in the form of a doorway, suggests that in this wall of separation there is an aperture. Opening the big brass doors we come across two of the “presences” of Our Lord Jesus Christ: the Eucharistic species in the tabernacle below and His Word in the form of Scripture on the shelf above. The doorway to the Father in heaven is His Son Jesus Christ.

The Bible

The Bible is covered in silver, gold and precious stones. They refer to the twelve stones of the Apocalypse upon which the New Jerusalem is based, that is the twelve Apostles. The Bible should not be left uncovered and should have a place of honour. The Talmud, for example says: “if you see the scripture fall a day of fasting is called for.”

The Thrones

The seats, made of local Western Australian Jarrah timber are in fact thrones because the throne is always the place used by a king. The scripture in fact makes us kings. The throne is also used by a judge, to judge, because the study of the scripture also makes us judges, in a scriptural sense. In fact scripture says that you will judge the earth and we will judge the angels and the nations. The thrones remind us that the study of the scripture makes us kings and judges. One also notices that the throne isolates us a little from the other. You do not sit in the same bench as your neighbour but you are alone.