Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday
In preparation for this special Sunday, Bishop Tim Norton SVD has written:
“Today we celebrate the fact that God has always been present with, and loved, our First Peoples in Australia, a love that God extends to all First Peoples across the world ………
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to pray to ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. If we truly want more labourers for the vineyard that produces the Good News of life in abundance for all, the same vineyard that also tells the Jesus story through the eyes and hearts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, then praying is only one way to do this. We also need to make a deeper commitment to our sisters and brothers through being labourers in the vineyard.
NAIDOC has a theme this year of ‘Get up! Stand Up! Show Up!’ Labourers for the harvest of the Lord do exactly that – they labour or work for the Lord, and that can take the form of getting up and being active. There is much we can do as Christian people to address issues that affect our First Nations sisters and brothers.”
Archbishop Mark Coleridge outlined an important thing that we can do when he publicly endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart on behalf of the Archdiocese of Brisbane at an event at Ormiston on Friday 24 September last year.
Archbishop Mark: “I call on all people of goodwill and good intention to support the journey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by endorsing the Uluru Statement From the Heart and putting it into action in every way possible.”
Archbishop Mark conducted a public Q&A session with Dean Parkin, Director of “From the Heart” during which Dean explained that the Uluru Statement calls for the establishment of a “First Nations Voice” in the Australian Constitution and a “Makarrata Commission” to supervise a process of “agreement making” and “truth-telling” between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. He explained: “A Voice in Parliament would not be a third chamber, but rather an advisory body to Parliament that would give indigenous people a say on the policies and laws that impacted on them.” It is to provide First Nation Peoples with the opportunity to advise Parliament on issues related to them.
Last November all Australian Bishops at their annual Conference endorsed the Uluru Statement calling for support for a “First Nations Voice” – an historic commitment by the Catholic Church to back indigenous leaders from across Australia demanding a constitutional voice.
A copy of the “Uluru Statement From the Heart” and reports are in our spotlight post.
This Saturday 9th July, as part of NAIDOC WEEK, the Q&A interview of Archbishop Mark and Dean Parkin will be screened after a “tea and damper” morning tea at 10.15 am in the Parish Centre. (Coffee will also be available.) In the Church at 10.45 am – 12 noon. This is a good opportunity to hear the details explained by these two leaders so that we are better informed and can help others to understand what the call for “The Voice” is all about. ALL are most welcome to this friendly, relaxed and informative event!