The Diocese of Parramatta and the Archdiocese of Sydney have both had a busy month in August and September as they launched the Australian Bishops Social Justice Statement 2021-22, Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, ran several events for the Season of Creation and celebrate Migrant and Refugee Sunday.
Despite being in a three-month lockdown, the Diocese of Parramatta has run several events starting with a Peace, Justice and Ecology Sharing focused on the Social Justice Statement on 13 August.
When reflecting on the statement, participants from parishes in the diocese shared that “Our indigenous brothers and sisters know how to live on the land and how to respond to it,” and “It’s encouraging that we are listening to First Nations people, as they have such a rich and sustainable culture.”
They also discussed the Laudato Si Action Platform and how the Diocese and parishes could engage in the future.
Parramatta also has a dedicated Season of Creation website with links to excellent resources and events such as their Be MET online series to connect people during lockdown.
The Archdiocese of Sydney also launched the Bishops Statement with an online launch. Ruth Moraes, Research and Project Officer for the Archdiocese’ Justice and Peace Office said, “For those already on the path to caring for creation, the statement is a encouragement to keep doing so with increased vigour. For those not on the path to caring for creation, the statement is a rousing exhortation to start doing so immediately.”
Walking with Refugees
Walking with Refugees and People Seeking Protection – Sunday, 26 Sept, 3pm AEST
The Diocese of Parramatta is running a Virtual Diocesan Conversation with Refugees on Migrant and Refugee Sunday, the 26 of September, 3pm-4.15pm AEST. Participants will hear the stories of people with lived refugee experience and find out more about the situation in Afghanistan.
If you would like to attend, RSVP here
This is part of the Diocesan Journey: Walking with Refugees and People Seeking Protection program that has been running in the Diocese for several years. On the 8 September, members of the Diocese met with their local member and Ministry for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke with Christians United for Afghanistan.
In an article on the meeting, the Catholic Outlook said “Mr Hawke indicated there would be more announcements regarding Australia’s continued efforts to support the people of Afghanistan in the coming weeks, as the government turns from the evacuation phase to the resettlement phase.
“He reiterated the Prime Minister’s words that the intake of 3,000 Afghan refugees was a ‘starting point and not a ceiling’.”
A call to Lamentation and Commitment – Sunday, 26 September, 7pm AEST
The Sydney Archdiocese also part of this advocacy work with Archbishop Fischer personally calling the Minister for Immigration asking for the government to be generous in its support of those fleeing from Afghanistan.
They have also launched an appeal which will enable the Archdiocese to provide support for the Afghan refugees when they arrive.
To become part of the Christians United for Afghanistan campaign with the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking For Asylum, go here: https://www.unitedforafghanistan.com/
The Archdiocese of Sydney will also be holding a Candlelit vigil on Migrant and Refugee Sunday for all those who have died while in Australian Detention centres.