Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday Resources

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday logo - Healing Country

“Today our world is in need of healing – environmentally, spiritually and socially. We must all come together as a global community to fight the injustices of inequality, racism and environmental damage.”

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) has created dynamic and engaging resources for parishes and schools to use during Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday, the 4th of July, 2021. 

We Bow in Your Name – Dolly McGaughey

Celebrated on the first Sunday of July each year, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday is a time when the whole church comes together to celebrate and acknowledge the gifts of Australia’s First Peoples.  

In the homily notes resource, NATSICC writes “2021 marks the 250th Anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in Australia. Yet the Spirit of God was poured out onto the original inhabitants of this great Southern Land many, many thousands of years prior. God’s Spirit could be heard through the singing of the birds, the cascade of the waterfall, the rustle of the wind and, most importantly, in silence.”

Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Ngangiwumirr Elder, Senior Australian of the Year for 2021 and Catholic says, “My people today recognise and experience in this quietness, the great Life-Giving Spirit, the Father of us all. It is easy for me to experience God’s presence. When I am out hunting, when I am in the bush, among the trees, on a hill or by a billabong; these are the times when I can simply be in God’s presence. My people have been so aware of Nature. It is natural that we will feel close to the Creator.”

The theme of this year’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday is “Healing Country” which mirrors the theme for NAIDOC week. 

“On this special Sunday, a day where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-indigenous Catholics come together and sit side by side (adhering to COVID restrictions of course!), we should acknowledge that we are united in a fight to save God’s creation. It is one we cannot fight alone. We must combine the knowledge of First Australians with the technology borne of Western culture to ensure that future generations shall have the opportunity to experience the gifts of God’s creation as intended.” 

All resources are found online and include:  

  • Guidance for Welcome and Acknowledgements of Country
  • Music which can be played throughout Mass
  • Liturgical notes 
  • Homily Notes
  • Prayers of Intercessions
  • Posters 
  • Fact sheets
  • Activity to knit / crochet blankets for NATSICC’s palliative care program
  • Video messages

There are over 130,000 First Nations Catholics, they are the youngest and fastest growing demographic in the Australian Church and make up over 50% of the Broome Diocese and a quarter of the Diocese of Darwin. 

For more information and resources available: http://www.natsicc.org.au/2021-atsi-sunday.html