2019: Death of Deacon Boniface Perdjert
18 March All day
Deacn Boniface, a respected Elder and the first Aboriginal permanent deacon, passed away in 2019. As the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council’s tribute page for Deacon Boniface says:
His words and actions spoke loudly to the members of the Wadeye Community – of which he was a deeply loved and respected Elder – but also to the Catholic Hierarchy with whom he shared his wisdom on many official occasions.http://www.natsicc.org.au/a-tribute-to-deacon-boniface.html
On the first anniversary of Deacon Boniface’s death we share for your reflection these words that he wrote in the later 1970s:
God did not begin to take an interest in people with the incarnation of his Son, nor with Abraham.
My people existed here in Australia thousands of years before Abraham. In all that time God was with my people. He worked through their culture. He was saving us despite human weakness. He was preparing us for the day when he would see the features of Aboriginals in the image of his Son.
So i must recognize, I must use the things of God that are in my culture. I mus use them in his service. If I do not do this, my faith and my service are shallow. They are pretending. They belong to someone else, not me.
God has asked us t love him with wjhole mind, heart and soul. So i must give myself to God as an Aboriginal. This is what God wants or he would not have made me what I am.http://www.natsicc.org.au/a-tribute-to-deacon-boniface.html