A message from Bishop McKenna on NATSI Sunday 2018

Dear Friends in Christ, 

Let’s be united in prayer with Catholics around Australia on July 1st, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday.

From John Bede Polding, the first bishop in Australia, Catholics have spoken up about the dispossession and destruction of life and culture inflicted on the first peoples of our land. We have tried, through the years, to back up these words with practical help and the sharing of faith. Let us continue, because the lasting effects of this cruel history remain with us today.

There are many issues of injustice and suffering in our country today which cry out for correction. However, the issue of reconciliation with our indigenous sisters and brothers is unique. It addresses the original sin of our nation: the theft on which our wealth was built. Like most sins, it was based on ignorance and unconcern for the rights and needs of others. Until we recognise it and deal with it, we remain a morally stunted society.

Joining in our prayer is Pope St John Paul II, who met with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Alice Springs thirty two years ago. He said to all Australians on that day “Certainly, what has been done cannot be undone. But what can now be done to remedy the deeds of yesterday must not be put off till tomorrow.”

 

Mary, Mother of us all, pray for us.

 

Yours in Christ,

+Michael McKenna

Bishop of Bathurst