Monday, September 19, 2016

Assisi Peace Prayer 2016

Pope Francis will pray in Assisi for peace with representatives of nine religions  From September 17-20 the spirit of Assisi will return to the city where it was born. Thirty years after the historic meeting that brought together more than 120 leaders from different religions, including John Paul II. This time around the initiative will be repeated with presence of Pope Francis. Then, as it is now, peace is more necessary than ever.(Full Text)

Religions for Peae Australia 

Australian Catholic Bishops Media Blog

Catholic Religious Australia: Resources for International Day of Peace.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Migrant and Refugee Sunday 2016

My introduction to the cultural diversity of Catholicism began in my childhood parish of Ss Peter and Paul's Geelong West. The chapel at St Patrick's Primary School in the parish was the base for the Italian Community.  As a young boy i can remember the intrigue and wonder when we  were given a Chinese priest,Fr Leo Tien  as an assistant. He had come from studies in Rome and led our introduction to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

My young adult years with the Capuchin Friars  enriched my understanding of community and nurtured my passion for work among peoples of non-English speaking backgrounds.Since those days I have had opportunities to immerse myself in cross cultural settings that include the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

Each year in Brisbane I celebrate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees with friends and fellow pilgrims at the annual Migrant and Refugee Mass at the Cathedral of St Stephen. 

Australian Catholic Bishops Statement on Refugees 2015
The images I have captured from recent  annual Masses tell the story of a Church Without Ethnic Frontiers.


Monday, August 15, 2016

The Brand New testament

God is real and is a mean bastard who never gets off his computer. You already know about his son, now let’s hear about his daughter. This new film from Belgian director Jaco van Dormael (Toto the Hero, Mr Nobody) won’t exactly win favour with the ultra-faithful, but for those who like their Bible stories with a thick coat of satire, The Brand New Testament is a peppy, original and (importantly) very sweet story
Read Guardian review here

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Catholic Response to The Nauru Files

The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) has today called on the Federal government to establish a Royal Commission following allegations of countless cases of abuse, sexual assault and self-harm of people seeking asylum on Nauru.

The leaked ‘Nauru Files’ by the Guardian Australia, details more than 2000 incidents involving people placed on Nauru by the Australian government from May 2013 to October 2015. More than half of these cases involved children.
CAPSA firmly believes that mandatory, arbitrary and indefinite detention of people seeking asylum is unjustifiable, unnecessary, and a breach of Australia’s responsibility to respect the human dignity and lives of those in its care.
Read full statement here
Jesuit Social Services has joined the calls to immediately bring people seeking on Nauru to Australia in light of the leaked ‘Nauru files’ which allege countless cases of abuse, sexual assault and self-harm of people in Australia’s care.
“Jesuit Social Services believes that the mandatory and indefinite detention of people seeking asylum in Australia, and who are often fleeing trauma and persecution in their home countries, is inhumane and directly in breach of our responsibility to respect the human dignity of those in our care,” says Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards.
Read full statement here
The current policy has about it a cruelty that does no honour to our nation. How can this be when Australians are so generous in so many situations where human beings are in strife? Think of the way the Vietnamese boat people were welcomed in the 1970s and 80s. The question becomes more pointed when we think of the politicians who are making and implementing the decisions. They are not cruel people. Yet they have made decisions and are implementing policies which are cruel. How can this be so?
Island dwellers like Australians often have an acute sense of the “other” or the “outsider” – and that is how asylum seekers are being portrayed. They are the dangerous “other” or “outsider” to be feared and resisted because they are supposedly violating our borders.
Read full statement here
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) has published a kit to mark Migrant and Refugee Week and help us ponder how we can help and advocate for the rights of migrants and refugees.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

A Church Apology to LGBTIQ People

‘I believe that the Church ... should apologise to the person who is gay.’ — Pope Francis, 2016. 

Perhaps for the first time in Australia, we have a Catholic Church respond to these words, where we invite you to community prayer in recognition of our failure to keep LGBTIQ people safe from discrimination and hurt. And to pledge that we do better from here on. 

Please join us — gay and straight together.

Friday 12 August at 8PM

(Corner of Bedford and Station Streets)

We acknowledge the Cadigal people of the Eora nation as the traditional custodians of the land on which St Joseph’s stands. St Joseph’s aims to Provide a safe place for all people to pray regardless of age, race, creed, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Music to Open Your Ears

This is music to open your ears.This is music that speaks to the heart. This is music that comes from a heart that knows the mystery of love. This is music that crosses borders of division and breaks through fear of difference.This is sacred music. #gurrumul