30TH ANNIVERSARY OF SAINT JOHN PAUL II’S ADDRESS TO ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLES

30TH ANNIVERSARY OF SAINT JOHN PAUL II’S ADDRESS TO ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLES

This anniversary will be celebrated on 27 November. This week our parish will remember the importance of this visit to the Australian Catholic Community when Saint Pope John Paul II reminded us of the importance of Unity and Reconciliation. Quote from Saint John Paul 2nd in Alice Springs in November in 1986 ….

“You are part of Australia and Australia is part of you. And the Church herself in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others.”

These words were spoken to the Aboriginal Catholics in Alice Springs 30 years ago, but could equally apply to us all right now in 2016.
One way our parish took heed of his words was that following the Jubilee Year, a small group commenced a discussion in the Parish on the importance of installing a Plaque acknowledging the aboriginal people who lived in this part of the country where we now worship.
By popular vote among our Parishioners, the decision was made to install a plaque and on the wording to be used.
We shared an amazing celebration at the blessing and unveiling of the Plaque on the 28th July 2002.
Please take the time today to pass by the Rock….our garden around the Rock is looking sad, notwithstanding our best efforts…..perhaps someone has a suggestion on how it can be replanted and child proofed!
You may also like to view our Message Stick on display in the glass cabinet behind the font.
It was purchased from the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (founded following the Papal Visit) and symbolises the sharing of cultural knowledge.
The paintings displayed on the back wall of the Church were prepared and painted by the teachers and students of our Confirmation class of 2001. These children met with Vickie Clark who was the Co-ordinator of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Vic. to discuss Aboriginal Spirituality and gain an understanding of the links between Confirmation, ( Christian Initiation) and Aboriginal Initiation .

……Kevin McIntosh

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