ARDIOCESE OF CG REPORT: Churches need to work together and really get involved in reconciliation, Mr Graeme Mundine told those gathered at St Benedict’s Narrabundah for the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry’s Sorry Day dinner.
Visiting from the Sydney ACM, Mr Mundie said events such as Sorry Day were a step in the right direction, but concrete action was also needed. In particular he called for changes to the Constitution to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Mr Mundine went on to discuss the Northern Territory Intervention, and urged the Church to voice its condemnation at what he described as a violation of the rights of Aboriginal people and their culture.
He also expressed his hope to see Aboriginal clerical leadership within the Australian Catholic Church.
National Museum of Australia senior curator Dr Margo Neale was the evening’s second guest speaker, offering an insight into the indigenous artefacts on display at the Vatican.
The items are part of an exhibition first opened in 1925. Pope Pius X called for the world’s indigenous people to send items that represented their culture and identity. Of the 100,000 plus objects sent, 300 were from Australia’s Aboriginal people.
The aim of the collection was to assist missionaries to learn about the spirituality of the cultures they were going to serve.
The exhibition was closed in 1972, but through the efforts of Dr Neale and her team, it was reopened last year for the canonisation of Mary MacKillop.
The Sorry Day dinner was attended by an enthusiastic crowd, including the ACM executive, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, ACM elder in residence Aunty Ruth Bell, acting ACM chaplain Fr Steve Fletcher MGL and ACM non-Aboriginal elder in residence Sr Joy Edwards.
The meal was catered by Ms Cathy Newton.
Photogrpah shows: Fr Steve Fletcher, Sr Joy Edwards, Graeme and Gabi Mundine, John Paul Janke, Dr Margo Neale, Aunty Ruth Bell and Archbishop Mark Coleridge.