Domus Australia Chapel, Rome, Italy

Domus Australia is a new pilgrim centre in the heart of Rome, just five minutes walk from Termini railway station. It provides accommodation and other facilities for visitors to Rome. On 19th Oct, 2011 Domus Australia was officially opened by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

In 2010 Paul Newton was commissioned to paint 32 works for the chapel.  In the photo below The First Catholics of Sydney, a painting depicting a prayer gathering of the early Catholic community in Sydney circa 1818, can be seen just above the Pope's chair, and another work, a portrait of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia's first canonised saint, is visible beneath the archway on the right hand side of this photo.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (seated) at Domus Australia for the official opening.

Along with The First Catholics of Sydney, the other work which hangs behind the main altar is 
Our Lady of the Southern Cross - Help of Christians #2. This is a full length version of Our Lady of the Southern Cross - Help of Christians which Newton painted for World Youth Day 2008, which which hangs in St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney. 

Peter Comerford, one of the models for The First Catholics of Sydney, is seen here in front of the finished work. He is recognisable as the foreground figure in the bottom right hand corner of the painting.


Left: His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI kneeling in prayer before the main altar at the opening of Domus Australia, the painting of Our Lady of the Southern Cross - Help of Christian #2 is visible in the background.  Right: Paul Newton standing in front of The First Catholics of Sydney.


The Paintings:

Click any thumbnail below to see enlargement

Archbishop Polding - 2011


St Mary of the Cross, MacKillop - 2010


Cardinal Thuan - 2011