AD2000 - a journal of religious opinionAD Books
Ask a Question
View Cart
Search AD2000: author: full text:  
AD2000 - a journal of religious opinion
Find a Book:

AD2000 Home
Article Index
About AD2000
Contact Us
Email Updates


Add Me
Remove Me

Subscriber Access:

Enter the Internet Access Key from your mailing label here for full access!


Marian Valley: Queensland's centre of pilgrimage

Bookmark and Share

 Contents - Dec 2006AD2000 December 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The first Christmas - Peter Westmore
Benedict XVI challenges 'de-Christianisation' of society - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Sydney RCIA conference for 2007 on authentic formation of new Catholics - Paula Flynn
'Lost!' controversy: Archbishop Bathersby's reply - AD2000 Report
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: the Montessori method for RE - Anne Delsorte
A 'best practice' guide to priestly vocations
Modest dress: Suitable attire for Mass: the moral dimension - Bishop John W. Yanta
Religious Life: Tyburn Sisters' communities spread around the world - Tess Livingstone
2006 National Church Life Survey: important questions overlooked - Michael Gilchrist
Shrines: Marian Valley: Queensland's centre of pilgrimage - Peter Westmore
Letters: Vatican guidelines on Holy Communion for politicians - Vincent Bemowski
Letters: A must read for faithful Catholics - Frank Bellet
Letters: Liberal Catholicism - Paula Gartland
Letters: News from India - Fr Francis Pinto CSsR
Letters: Church teaching - Mark Moriarty
Letters: Infant Baptism
Letters: Community? - Peter Gilet
Letters: Christian differences - Alan Barron
Letters: True Church - E. Makaus
Letters: Linguistics - Matt Bruekers
Letters: Liturgical language - Ted Hayhoe
Letters: Why apologise? - Concerned Catholic
Books: The Shroud Story, by Brendan Whiting - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: COME, LORD JESUS:Reflections on the Advent and Christmas Seasons, James Tolhurst - Michael Gilchrist
Events: Advent and Christmas Ceremonies - Priestly Fraternity of St Peter
Books: SACRED PLACES, PILGRIM WAYS: Catholic Pilgrimages in France and Belgium - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: New Titles from AD Books
Reflection: Jesus' law of love and the Ten Commandments - Fr Dennis Byrnes

Nestled in the Glasshouse Mountains, inland from the Gold Coast south of Brisbane, lies the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians at Marian Valley, a beautiful centre of retreat and pilgrimage which lifts the soul to God through his Son and his blessed Mother, Mary.

Marian Valley was established by an order of Polish monks, the Pauline Fathers, just 11 years ago, to give effect to what was then just a dream, a retreat centre in rural Queensland under the patronage of Australia's patroness, Our Lady Help of Christians.

The Pauline Fathers also have parishes and shrines in Victoria and New South Wales.

The current head of the Marian Valley community is an Australian, Fr Columba Macbeth-Green, who is assisted by Fr Gabriel Taylor and Brother Luke.

Through the extraordinary energy of the Pauline Fathers and the Shrine's devoted band of volunteers, it has been transformed from a single house into a magnificent religious complex, consisting of the original homestead (now a residential block), Black Madonna Chapel, a large roofed area for open air Masses and Benedictions, a dozen Madonna Shrines, life-size Stations of the Cross, a retreat centre with Adoration Chapel, education centre, gift shop, and associated buildings.

Feast Days

Despite its size, it retains its character as a centre of prayer.

Every year, tens of thousands of pilgrims visit Marian Valley, particularly on Feast Days devoted to the large number of Marian shrines at the centre, to participate in Masses, Eucharistic Processions, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Stations of the Cross, the Rosary, devotions, days of reflection, spiritual retreats, and reception of the sacraments.

Marian Valley comes into its own on Feast Days, when crowds ranging from 100 to as many as 2,000 come to the Shrine to celebrate Mass and participate in processions in honour to Our Lady.

Many of the processions are linked with particular nationalities which have erected Shrines at Marian Valley.

The Polish community has a close historic link with Marian Valley, and regularly, large crowds of Polish- Australians visit to celebrate Mass and pray before the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa in the Black Madonna Chapel.

Italian Australians have recently constructed a shrine to St Gerard Majella, after erecting another in honour of the recently-canonised St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. On feast days, they come in their hundreds.

Spanish and Latin American Catholics have erected a beautiful shrine in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Mexican Indian peasant, St Diego, to whom the Mother of God appeared in about 1532.

The Dutch community comes to Marian Valley to pray at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, and the sick and the elderly have a day of special devotion at the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, commemorating the appearance of Mary, to a French teenager, Bernadette Soubirous, in 1858.

Sri Lankan Catholics visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, patroness of Sri Lanka, who has protected the Catholic population in times of persecution.

Indian Catholics pray at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Health, Vailankanni, to celebrate the apparitions of Our Lady to poor boys in Tamil Nadu, southern India, in the 17th century.

Many other communities visit the shrine, including Ukrainian, Lebanese, Timorese and Filipino people, as well as Catholic and Muslim members of the Eritrean community, who also have devotion to Our Lady.

Shrines to Our Lady of Mt Carmel and Our Lady of Fatima are particular centres of devotion.

Marian Valley thus serves an important function in holding together communities which would possibly be isolated from the mainstream of Australian life, and provides a spiritual home which would not otherwise be available to them. It is clear that this is deeply appreciated by many migrant communities.

Many smaller groups also visit Marian Valley for retreats and days of recollection, including Anglican and Catholic church groups.

During Holy Week, large crowds attend the Stations of the Cross and the Holy Week liturgies commemorating the Last Supper, Crucifixion and Resurrection.

Additionally, the simple but beautiful Divine Mercy Eucharistic Adoration Chapel is open every day for private devotion before the Blessed Sacrament.


In order to cater for groups and individual pilgrims, the Pauline Fathers have also constructed the St Joseph's Retreat Centre in the grounds where people can stay in self-contained accommodation (for up to 14), enjoying the spiritual richness of Marian Valley in a beautifully landscaped natural environment where one feels always close to the Australian bush.

At the shrine, retreats are offered for small groups, based around daily Mass, reception of Holy Communion, Adoration, confession, counselling and spiritual direction, offered by the Pauline Fathers. People attending group retreats are also able to bring in their own retreat masters.

Priests from the Brisbane Archdiocese and other parts of Australia regularly visit Marian Valley to recharge the batteries and share in the spiritual riches available at the shrine.

At a time when people are increasingly busy and surrounded by an overwhelmingly secular culture where religious belief is too often dismissed or ignored, the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians at Marian Valley is a beacon of light and hope for many thousands of Australians.

Web site: Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians at Marian Valley -

Bookmark and Share

Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 11 (December 2006 - January 2007), p. 13

Page design and automation by
Umbria Associates Pty Ltd © 2001-2004