Grotto art reflects life in the bush

A memorial grotto which reflects the losses of modern-day life as well as those of the past sits at the foot of the local ranges at the Bolo Farm Shrine, following its installation and blessing.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse blessed the pro-life grotto in a visit to the north west of the Archdiocese as part of the official opening with West Wyalong Parish Priest Fr Emil Milat.

Painted by local Condobolin Wiradjuri members Max and Gloria Rees, as well as Eugene and Emily Goologong, the mural-style grotto is full of colour and reflects the red earth.

Temora and West Wyalong assistant priest Fr Trenton van Reesch, Canberra resident Joshua Goldsbrough and Catholic Voice editor John McLaurin visited the shrine at the time the grotto was being painted.

A large statue of Our Lady keeps watch over the grotto and Brother Dominic Levak, of the Order of Franciscan Minor Conventual, the resident hermit at Bolo, is encouraging pilgrims to make the journey.

“Our Blessed Mother Mary stands with open arms embracing and welcoming everyone who comes for whatever personal reason they might have,” he said.

Br Levak, who lives a contemplative life under the Christ the King chapel, acknowledged the work of the artists.

“It’s a real credit to our indigenous brethren here who have encapsulated life in the bush with their art,” he said.

“We wanted to celebrate the indigenous link with the bush at the back of the property.”

He was recently interviewed by a NSW rural lifestyle magazine, which focused on his lifestyle.

Standing within a stone’s throw of the shrine’s chapel, the grotto is accessible to visitors depending on the conditions of the unsealed road.

Located between Tullibigeal, in the north west of the Archdiocese, and Condobolin, Bolo Farm is owned by Sydney businessman Walter Bachmann and managed by Tom and Karen Turner and their children.

Before visiting Bolo, pilgrims are encouraged to first make contact with Br Levak on 0457 692 735 to ensure that the roads are open.