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Portrait of Saint Pope John Paul II unites Perth parishes


The inspiration for the portrait, which was two years in the making, stemmed from a promise made from one priest to another. Photo: Supplied.

A painting of Saint John Paull II, painted by one of Perth’s own priests, will hang in the new Banksia Grove Parish once construction of the church is completed in 2021.

The inspiration for the painting stemmed from a promise Manning Parish Priest, Fr Patrick Lim, made to Banksia Grove Parish Priest Fr Vinh Dong, after the former heard the announcement the new Parish in Banksia Grove would be named after the Saint.

Fr Patrick remarked that he began sketching the portrait some two years ago, completing his creative piece in April this year.

“It was keeping a promise to Fr Vinh Dong that I pushed myself to do,” Fr Patrick said in an interview with The Record.

“It was just sitting on the easel for about 18 months until one day in October I got up in the morning and decided that I had to find time to paint it.”


Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB pictured with Fr Vinh Dong and the portrait of Saint John Paul II. Photo: Supplied

He explained that his roles as Parish Priest of Manning and being Chaplain to the Chinese Community occupies much of his time, but in the end became motivated by the promise he made to Fr Vinh.

Banksia Grove Parish is some 27km north of Perth city and is one of the newest and fastest growing parishes of the Archdiocese.

In November 2018, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB blessed the foundation stone for the proposed new church at Banksia Grove Parish.

Fr Vinh expressed his delight upon seeing the portrait, commenting that the image was “simply beautiful”.

“I’m so happy that Father Patrick just did it for us out of goodness,” Fr Vinh Dong said.

Fr Patrick explained that his good friend Emeritus Bishop of Ballarat, Bishop Peter Connors recommended the halo for the piece.

“He saw a photo I sent him and said: ‘He is a Saint, he needs a halo!’.”