Sunday, October 16, 2016

Anti Poverty Week Ecumenical Service in Brisbane

An ecumenical prayer service for Anti Poverty Week  will be held on Thusrday 20 October 6.00pm at the Cathedral of St Stephen in Brisbane. 

The service has been organised by: Wesley Mission Queensland to recognize the hardship within our community.
The main aims of Anti-Poverty Week are to:
- Strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship around the world and in Australia; and
- Encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems, including action by individuals, communities, organisations and governments.

Catholic Social Teachings

Commonwealth for the Common Good Australian Catholic Bishops 1992

Economic Justice

    ‘Within an unjust economic system marked by significant structural inequities, the situation of the marginalised is daily becoming worse. Today, in many parts of the world, people are starving, while in other places there is opulence.’
    Pope John Paul II, World Food Day, 16 October 2003
    In preparation for the service you might like to use the following resources:

    Monday, October 03, 2016

    Interfaith Welcome to Refugees

    The Welcome Fest 2016 in Brisbane brought togther community organisations, cultural groups, Governemnt services, food stalls and a presence from the Queensland Forum of Christians, Jews and Muslims.

    The Forum is a collaboration between the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, Queensland Churches Together and The Islamic Council of Queensland.

    Meeting a few the official representatives of the forum and supporters was one of the highlights of my day The work of the Forum was also acknowledged by Senator Claire Moore who stopped by the stall for a photo with the team.

    However the image of the stall that I will treasure happened  while I was setting up for another picture with supporters. As I aimed my lens a group of young boys "photobombed" my shoot with energy, pazzaz and that cheeky initaive that only younge people can bring to community.

    I love this image. The people who staffed and visited the stall were like me part of the "Ageing Society" identified by the Australian Cathoic Bishps in this year's Social Justie Statement  These young men who stand in front of the banner prmooting dialogue and understanding may not have realised or even cared what the stall stood for. However, a couple have aready tagged themselves and  we have planted a seed  for the future as we welcome the diversity of religious faith and commitment. 

    A Picture is worth  a thousand words and this image will nuture hope for the future.

    More About The Forum

    In the Queensland Forum for Jews, Christians and Muslims ("The Forum") representatives of QCT meet with representatives of the Jewish Board of Deputies and the Islamic Council of Queensland. This forum was set up approximately six years ago, while a Jewish-Christian dialogue had been taking place for longer.

    Taking inspiration from the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, the Forum has given itself a set of purposes and objectives which clearly position it as a bridge-building and peace-making body of the Abrahamic Faiths in Queensland.

    One project of the Forum was to compile three short brochures, "On Entering a Church" ,"On Entering a Synagogue" , "On Entering a Mosque" . These contain explanations of religious practices in places of prayer/worship in the three traditions. They describe in a simple manner what a visitor should do in order to feel comfortable and not to offend.
    Each month members of the Forum - there are up to five from each faith - meet to discuss topics of interest and joint activities. During the meal that follows, to which all contribute, conversation is often light-hearted.
    A first Abrahamic Faiths Concert was held on 15 November, 2007.  It was such a success that it has now become an annual event - held in 200820092011201220132014and 2015.
    Click here to download the Forum for Jews, Christians and Muslims 2016 AGM report.
    Click here to download the Forum's brochure.
    Click here to download the Forum for Jews, Christians and Muslims 2015 Report to the QCT Assembly.

    Sunday, September 25, 2016

    Announcing L'Arche at St John's Cathedral Brisbane

    Wednesday 5th October 9.30am

    St John's Anglican Cathedral
    Ann Steet Brisbane  Show Map

    Tony Robertson is a member of the L'Arche Community in Brisbane. L'Arche is an International Federation dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs, and support networks with people who have intellectual disabilities. It was founded in 1964 when Jean Vanier welcomed two men with disabilities into his home in the town of Trosly-Breuil, France. Today, it is an international organisation operating 147 communities in 35 countries, and on all five continents. Tony describes his journey to L'Arche as "crossing the last frontier of fear and prejudice." He will share the story of his journey and commitment to the community. All welcome.

    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.