My holiday: Part 1
During my trip to South Australia my brothers and I visited Sevenhills in the Clare Valley, a wine growing district 130kms north of the city of Adelaide. Sevenhill was established in 1851 when the Jesuits, who settled in the area, planted vines to produce sacramental wine. From these modest beginnings, the Jesuits' focus on wine has remained, with Sevenhill adding to its sacramental wine production with an extensive range of table wines. The last of the Jesuit winemakers had died and after much hunting, for the first time in 150 years a woman is now making the sacramental wine.
The Jesuits no longer live at the estate, now it is used only as a retreat (building below) and to produce the wine. The old buildings had so much character and I just loved the stonework.
On the estate is the St Aloysius' Church, quite an impressive church considering its location in a farming community. It was completed in 1875 and has been used ever since. The church was very cold inside so many layers of clothing would be needed to keep warm.
Underneath the church there is a crypt (below), unique for a parish church in Australia. The crypt is the final resting place for 41 Jesuits and, since 1901, only those who died at Sevenhill have been buried there.
Two Jesuit priests, Father Aloysius Kranewitter and Father Maximillian Klinkowstriom, traveled to Australia as chaplains to a group of 130 Catholics led by Franz Weikert, a Silesian farmer, whose vision was to establish a community in South Australia which could enjoy religious freedom. They came to Australia for the same reason the German Lutherans came, to escape religious oppression.
The immigrants settled near the township of Clare and the Jesuits purchased 100 acres of land in 1851, naming it Sevenhill after the Seven Hill district of Rome.
They built the church and opened a college (1854), which became the first Catholic boys’ school in the colony and also served as a seminary for the training of priests.
This is one of the original slate water tanks.
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