07 Jul 2020

Walking together in the Spirit

The Southern Cross  |  July 7 2020

Walking together in the Spirit

The gifts that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholics bring to the Australian Church were celebrated in Adelaide and around the country through the live streaming of Mass from St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on July 5.

The annual National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) Mass is an initiative of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference that recognises the spirituality, identity and culture of the First Peoples.
The theme of ‘Together in the Spirit’ was explored through a short video featuring representatives of Aboriginal Catholic ministry in different parts of Australia.  The Mass commenced with a traditional smoking ceremony led by NATSICC chair John Lochowiak and featuring young didgeridoo player James Saunder.

“On behalf of my grandmother Linda Walker and all the Kaurna elders – past, present and emerging – I welcome you to the traditional grounds of the Kaurna people,” he said.

“I say emerging because it’s important that we prepare our younger people because they will be our leaders one day.”

Mr Lochowiak sang a song that his grandfather taught him that “builds our spirit up and bring us all together as one”.

Archbishop Patrick O’Regan said that as we express our “deep solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are the first inhabitants of this land, it is with that great disruptional and surprise element of the Spirit at work in our lives that we seek pathways forward to heal the past and to work for a better future”.

He referred to Pope John Paul II’s Uluru statement in which he said the Church in Australia would not fully be the Church that Jesus wants her to be until Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made their contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others.

Click here to read more.

Click here to view video of the Mass.

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