NATSICC receive a Papal Letter on the 30th Anniversary of St John Paul II's visit to Alice Springs

On Sunday 27 November 2016, church leaders, parishes and Indigenous communities gathered  together to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Saint John Paul II’s (JPII) visit to Alice Springs in the heart of Australia on 29 November 1986.

The theme of the commemorations was, ‘Walk Tall and Command Respect. The time for this rebirth is now’.

Bishop Eugene Hurley, Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (BCRATSIP) said, "It is appropriate that we celebrate and observe the thirtieth anniversary of the visit of John Paul II as we prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in Advent. As with both, the theme is one of hope and rebirth. This timely theme is an invitation and call to us to create and ensure a change in societal attitude and promote not only rebirth and hope but justice and equal rights of indigenous peoples".

It is an opportune time to remind us of the important words of Pope St John Paul II, the Bishop of Darwin said. "You are part of Australia and Australia is part of you".

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) were thrilled to receive a Papal Letter from Pope Francis, saying, "As we prepare to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of St John Paul II’s iconic words to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Alice Springs on 29 November 1986, we are strengthened and emboldened by a message of hope and a blessing received directly from the Holy Father, Pope Francis".

The Papel Letter is attached below and can be read HERE