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CFE and Aboriginal Catholic Ministry walking together towards reconciliation

A smoking ceremony takes place at St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth, before a special Mass celebrating the 30th anniversary of St John Paul II’s visit to Australia. Photo: Jamie O’Brien

The Archdiocese of Perth’s Centre for Faith Enrichment (CFE) and Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (ACM) will be joining forces on Saturday, 25 March to host the first of five events focusing on Aboriginal Catholic awareness within our Archdiocese.

Entitled Our Relationship Together, the workshop is designed to help the Catholic faith community to engage in meaningful ways with Aboriginal people in order to enrich the faith and cultural life of our communities and parishes.

It will be co-facilitated by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Catholics and has been described by ACM Director, Vicky Burrows, as the foundation on which we will begin our journey of reconciliation together.

“Today, the Church has many agencies, schools, programs and individuals which are following Jesus’ message of ‘loving our neighbours as He has loved us’,” Ms Burrows recently said.

“The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry and the Aboriginal Catholic Council are excited about working with the Catholic Community to build up the faith life of Aboriginal people and to go on a journey of reconciliation with the wider Catholic Community,” she added.

The workshop comes only four months after a special Mass celebrating the 30th anniversary of St John Paul II’s visit to Australia was celebrated at St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth.

Presided by Perth Emeritus Archbishop Barry James Hickey, the Mass breathed new life into the words uttered by St John Paul II during visit to Alice Springs on 29 November 1986.

“The Church in Australia herself 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,” the Pope had said.

Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Bishop Eugene Hurley, last year emphasised the importance of the words of Pope St John Paul II.

“This is the right time and place when we, the Church, are invited and encouraged to listen to our Indigenous sisters and brothers and look at specific actions we need to take to ensure the meaningful roles and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our Church and society,” Bishop Hurley said.

He also highlighted that this commemoration was both a call to inspire faith communities to promote a greater contribution for First Nations peoples within our Church and “a call to actively face the massive assault and injustices on the very lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Those assaults include the high rate of suicide and incarceration among our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Details of the workshop are as follows:

ON: Saturday 25th March
FROM: 10.00am – 4.00pm
WITH: Centre for Faith Enrichment, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry and the Centre for Liturgy
AT: Newman Siena Centre (33 Williamstown rd, Doubleview, 6018)
COST: Donation.
Morning and Afternoon Tea provided. BYO lunch.

For more information and to register, please visit http://cfe.org.au/courses-and-events/. Alternatively you can contact us at cfe@perthcatholic.org.au or on 9241 5221.

Information courtesy of the Archdiocese of Perth Communications Office Communications Office