National Close the Gap Day
This Thursday 17 March is Close the Gap Day. It is a time to focus on closing the gap in the living standards between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and other Australians, especially in health. A coalition of community groups sponsor the day. Find out more here.
Peace in Our World
The suffering of the people of Ukraine worsens as the Russian invasion continues. Many thanks to you all for your solidarity with the people of Ukraine in this time of great hardship. Your prayers and practical support are a sign of your commitment to peace and justice. Fr. Stefan and the Ukrainian Catholic Community continue to welcome you to join them in prayers for peace at daily divine service at the Ukrainian Catholic Church, 36 Broadway Street, Woolloongabba. Divine service commences at 9:00 Am each weekday and at 9:30 AM on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s service is in English.
There are a variety of appeals providing practical support to Ukrainians affected by the invasion, including the many who have fled to other countries. One appeal which you can support here.
You can keep in touch with further action and appeals by the Ukrainian Community of Queensland here.
We invite you to also pray for those in other parts of the world who continue to live with violence and oppression including Myanmar and West Papua.
An update on the situation in Myanmar is available here.
A number of UN experts recently expressed their concerns about the on-going violence, human rights violations and displacement of Indigenous Papuans in West Papua. Their letter to the Indonesian Government is available here.
Chris Gibbings is at the helm of an initiative to provide an opportunity for everyone to vigil with the people of Ukraine and those affected by violence in other parts of the world. The Commission will be one of those individuals and groups who will hold a space of vigil and prayer every week as part of the World Peace Prayer initiative. If you would like to get involved by joining the vigil at a particular time or you, your group, parish, school or office would like to hold the vigil space at a particular time , go here.
In collaboration with the ACBC Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace, the Commission has immersed itself in an initiative to develop resources to assist Catholics who want to ground their social and environmental action in a culture of encounter. It is called Signs of Our Times. The initiative’s web site is continuing to develop and we hope it will be fully launched in a couple of months. Pastoral themes to underpin Catholic social and environmental action and resources for reflecting with scripture and the Church’s tradition are already available. We intend to upload some video material soon.
As part of our commitment to provide support to Catholics wanting to take action, we will continue our accompaniment of the Aboriginal community of Cherbourg this year. This is being done in collaboration with the Archdiocesan Murri Ministry Team. We thank Coordinator, Ravina Waldren, for her support, guidance and participation. Our journey with the people of Cherbourg will be documented on the initiative’s web site over the course of 2022. In due course, we hope to invite Catholics in the Archdiocese to participate with us. Take a look at the Signs of Our Times web site
Respect @ Work
Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, delivered a report on sexual harassment in the workplace last week. It contained 55 recommendations. Ms. Jenkins provided an update on the implementation of these recommendations during the Jessie Street Lecture on 7 March.
During the lecture, Ms. Jenkins referred to a survey on the implementation of a number of the report’s recommendations. The survey is being conducted by the Attorney-General’s Department. It is simple and easy to complete. The deadline for completing the survey is this Friday 18 March. Please consider completing the survey at https://consultations.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protections/respect-at-work/
Solidarity with Refugees
The Commission is working with a number of organisations to plan election advocacy for fair and just refugee policies. This includes the Time for a Home Coalition. When plans are completed, we will update you.
Death Penalty Vigil
The pandemic prevented the Commission from holding our annual death penalty prayer vigil on Good Friday last year. With the easing of restrictions this year, we plan to hold a Good Friday vigil in solidarity with all those on death row around the world. We are in the process of confirming the venue for the usual time of 12:00 PM and will advise you soon. So, please put it in your diary as a date claimer -15 April at 12:00PM.
There are so many opportunities for us to pray, reflect, learn and act in the spirit of Laudato Si’ this Lent and beyond. Here are just a few from which you can choose:
- The World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network offers biblical reflections in its Seven Weeks for Water Lenten series
- The Path of Contemplation is a weekly on-line meditation focused on ecological conversion. It is facilitated by Judith Keller and Gerard Sullivan who are highly experienced spiritual directors. This time of contemplation happens every Monday, 4:00 – 4:35 PM Brisbane time. For more details, please contact Judith and Gerrard at email@example.com
- The Climate Council recently ran a webinar to tell you what you need to know about the latest Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change report on the science of climate change impacts.
- Our friends in the Pacific have been campaigning for a moratorium on deep sea mining over the last year and the Deep Sea Mining Campaign’s web site is coming soon – https://dsm-campaign.org/
- Enrolments for the first year of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform will close on 22 April. Individuals, families, schools, parishes and businesses can all enrol and begin developing a plan to journey towards ecological conversion. The Commission is one of the global partners who continue to develop the Platform and its resources and we are available to accompany you if you choose to enrol. Simply connect with us on the contact details below.s
- An exciting opportunity for us to deepen our commitment to ecological conversion is the International Ignatian Eco-Spirituality Conference (virtual) from April 25 to April 30. Click here for all the details,
- Our friends in the Anglican Church have produced a Lenten resource with scripture reflections for each week at bit.ly/lentcalendar22
- Earth Overshoot Day in Australia this year is Wednesday 23 March. It’s the day when it is estimated we use more of Earth’s resources than it can renew annually. See more at http://www.facebook.com.OvershootDayAuss
Recordings of two webinars run by the Commission last year
Cultivating a Sense of Place: Contemplative Ecology in a Time of Loss with Prof. Douglas Christie and Dr. Sandie Cornish
Engaging with Laudato Si’: Caring for Our Common Home, a workshop with Dave Copeman, Dr. Ian Elmer, Dr Sandie Cornish and Dr. Paul Chandler
This newsletter is authorised by Commission Chair, Ms. Maree Rose.
Executive Officer, Catholic Justice & Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane
194 Charlotte St., Brisbane QLD 4000
GPO Box 282, Brisbane QLD 4001
P: +61 7 3324 3441
M: +61 409 265 476