July 6 is where Catholics from all over Australia come together to celebrate and acknowledge the gifts that Indigenous people bring to the Catholic Church in Australia. It is also a time to reflect on our own relationship with Australia’s first peoples.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) produced a Resource Kit for Parishes and Schools to use for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday. This kit contains prayers, songs and intentions that can be used to celebrate the gifts that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to the Catholic Church in Australia: www.natsicc.org.au
Lord, we are companions on a journey. Only you dear Lord know the identity and depth of me. You know my hurts and pains; Those frustrations I feel in this land. So please I ask you, take my hand and comfort me. Reconcile and guide me in justice and faith; For we’re on our way to Alice (Springs) where you expressed your love for me. Lord, set me free and let me be the servant I want to be. Lord, I thank you for hearing and understanding me. For Lord, you are always on my mind and on my lips and in my heart and there’s simply no other way that it could be. Amen.
NAIDOC Week: 6th – 13th July 2014
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of ATSI peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities but by Australians from all walks of life. NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for ongoing national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name for the week itself.
The national NAIDOC theme for 2014 is “Serving Country: Centenary and Beyond”
For more information on NAIDOC Week: www.naidoc.org.au
Pope John Paul II said during his historic visit to Alice Springs in 1986:
“…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”
Reconciliation Australia: www.reconciliation.org.au