Anzac Day Remembered at Domus Australia in Rome

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
22 Apr 2016

The 4m high World War I Digger statue on the Anzac Bridge
in Sydney

As Australians gather across the country along with those in ANZAC Cove to commemorate ANZAC Day 2016 a small group of expatriate Australians and New Zealanders will continue the tradition at a special Mass at Domus Australia in Rome.

Officials and guests will gather for the special Mass of Remembrance, followed by a reception to mark ANZAC Day and honour our war veterans past and present.

Australian and New Zealand Embassy representatives, other close friends and Domus Australia guests will be in attendance for a special Mass in the Chapel of St Peter Chanel to be celebrated by Bishop Peter Comensoli and concelebrated by others including the Rector of Domus Australia, Fr Terence Bell.

General Manager of Domus Australia Gianluca Rafanelli is looking forward to welcoming the group for the commemoration. "Once again I and my team at Domus Australia enjoy learning a little more about Australia and New Zealand's history whilst welcoming our close friends for this special occasion" he said.

Present on a plinth between the Australian and New Zealand flags to the side of the altar in the Chapel stands the small bronze replica of the World War I Digger; the 4 metre high original stands on the western side of the Anzac Bridge in Sydney. The digger is bowed in reflection with his rifle in reverse position to remember the fallen.

This is the original maquette of the impressive statue sculptured by Sydney artist Alan Somerville, a powerful symbol of remembrance, mateship and nationhood.

Bishop Peter Comensoli will celebrate the ANZAC Day Mass at Domus Australia in Rome

The maquette was bronzed and presented to Cardinal Pell by the Director and seminarians of the Good Shepherd Seminary at Homebush before he moved to Rome in 2014 to become the Vatican's Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

Cardinal Pell arranged for the statue to be permanently housed at Domus where it can be appreciated by all visiting or staying at the pilgrim house.
During the Mass a wreath of red poppies will be set at the foot of the statue.

Following the Mass the statue and flags will be moved to the reception area where guests and expats gather to pay tribute to the many men and women who have fought in all theatres of war.

In Sydney, ANZAC Day will be commemorated in parishes across the Archdiocese, as well as at St Mary's Cathedral with an ANZAC Eve Solemn Vigil Mass of Remembrance on Sunday evening at 6pm, celebrated by Bishop Terry Brady, Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney. This Mass will also be streamed live at

Background information: Established by the Archdiocese of Sydney with the support of other Australian dioceses, Domus Australia is an authentic Italian 32 room guest house located centrally in Rome and within walking distance to the Spanish Steps, key shopping areas and Rome's major cultural attractions.  The light filled spacious rooms, large ensuite bathrooms, friendly staff, cleanliness and the full hot Aussie breakfast are major drawcards for guests.  The superbly restored historic building and chapel are home to a number of 19th and 20th century artworks which have been beautifully and faithfully restored by a team of specialist Roman art restorers. Mass in English is celebrated every day for guests and visitors to Rome.

To make a booking contact Domus Australia on Sydney telephone number 02 9390 5980 or or visit

The original maquette of the Anzac Bridge statue on display in the Chapel of Domus Australia