A message from the Bishop for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday 2019

“Peace to this house and all who dwell within” is the theme for this year’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday, taken from St Luke’s Gospel of the day.

I encourage every parish to make good use of the materials prepared by the NATSI Catholic Council: and celebrate the day with hope that the Holy Spirit will show us practical ways to contribute to reconciliation with and participation of our Indigenous brothers and sisters in the life of the local church.

Although Catholic leaders, from the early days of Father Therry and Archbishop Polding, were strong advocates of the rights and respect due to Aboriginal peoples, this was not always followed in every parish. Today, that is changing, but we have to continue on the right path.

Without the participation and gifts of Indigenous Catholics, we cannot become, as St John Paul II told us, the church that Christ is calling us to be. I invite each parish in the Diocese of Bathurst to think and pray carefully about what can be done at a local and practical level to work towards this goal.

‘Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you”. (Luke 10) 

+Michael McKenna
Bishop of Bathurst