National Reconciliation Week 27th May - 3rd June
It's National Reconciliation week from 27th May - 3rd June. The theme for 2017 is “Let’s take the next steps”.
We acknowledge the unique place of Aboriginal culture from a world perspective and within the diverse community that calls Australia “home”. We also recognise the conflict and injustices that marked first contact and continue to affect relationships today. In 1986, St John Paul II urged Catholics to “joyfully receive” the contribution of Aboriginal people to the life of the Church. Our Bishop encourages us to build bridges of friendship and reconciliation too. One way is to celebrate important events in Australian Aboriginal history.
Friday 26th May is Sorry Day, a tradition which started in 1998 following the publication of Bring Them Home report on Stolen Generations in the previous year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. Stolen generations refer to Indigenous Australians who were forcibly removed from their families and communities.
Saturday 27th May marks the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum recognising Aboriginal people as Australian citizens. It is also the beginning of Reconciliation Week. Saturday 3rd June commemorates Mabo and the High Court decision that recognises Australia was not “terra nullius” – nobody’s land - but was occupied by Aboriginal people for millennia before white settlement.
Parishes are invited to take these opportunities to pray for Aboriginal people and connect where possible.
Diocesan Pastoral Council subcommittee for Indigenous Catholics