Author Archives: cjpcbrisbane

About cjpcbrisbane

Peter Arndt is the Executive Officer of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in the Archdiocese of Brisbane

Death Penalty Prayer Vigil Returns on Good Friday

Media Release

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Image of Pope Francis and quote stating: the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.

The Good Friday Death Penalty Prayer Vigil returns this Friday after a 2 year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions. The vigil, which has been hosted by the Archdiocesan Justice & Peace Commission in collaboration with Corinda-Graceville Parish, started in 2008.

It will be held on Good Friday, 15 April, at 12 noon at Christ the King Church, Churchill Street, Graceville, in the home parish of Scott Rush who was sentenced to death in Indonesia in 2005. His sentence was subsequently commuted to life imprisonment.

Two other Australians in the Bali 9 group of drug offenders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were also sentenced to death and subsequently executed.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that the Rush Family plans to attend the vigil.

“Along with the community group, Australians against Capital Punishment, they have always attended the vigil,” he said.

“Sadly for them, it will be 17 years  on Easter Sunday since Scott Rush was imprisoned,” he said.

“Even worse, Scott’s family is not permitted to visit him in jail in Indonesia,” he said.

“Since we last gathered for the vigil, things have changed for the better for a Nigerian Catholic for whom we have been praying every year,” he said.

“We have been in touch with the Brisbane legal team supporting Titus Ani and we will share the news about his death sentence being commuted to a term of imprisonment,” he said.

“We cannot think of a better time to pray for those facing execution than the day on which Jesus was executed,” he added.

Mr. Arndt said that prayers will also be offered for the families of those on death row and for the victims of crime.

All are welcome to attend.

For more information, please contact Peter Arndt on 0409 265 476.

Good Friday Death Penalty Prayer Vigil

Photo of Pope Francis with quote about the death penalty.
Image Source

Since 2008, the Commission has hosted a prayer vigil on Good Friday to pray for those on death row around the world, for their families and for the victims of crime. COVID-19 has prevented us from gathering for this prayer vigil, but we are pleased to announce that the vigil will go ahead this year. We thank Corinda-Graceville Parish for collaborating with us in hosting this vigil once again.

All are invited to join us for prayer on Good Friday, April 15, at 12 noon at Christ the King Church, Churchill Street, Graceville. We have invited Scott Rush’s family and Australians against Capital Punishment to join us for this vigil. Scott was sentenced to death in Indonesia, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Graceville is his family’s home parish and this is a special time for them and all those with family members on death row. Please share this with your networks.

News from the Catholic Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane 16 March 2022

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

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
  • 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 –
  •  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
  • 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

  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.

Peter Arndt

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

The Cries of the Earth and the Cries of the Poor

February 2022

Do You Remember the Apology to Members of the Stolen Generations?

February 13 is the anniversary of the Australian Parliament’s 2008 apology to members of the Stolen Generations. Do you know much about the Stolen Generations  and the work that is being done to promote healing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders affected by the policy of forcible removal of children? Link-Up Queensland does this work in our State. Why not check out their web site, learn more and find out how you can support their work:

Learning about Aboriginal History

Frontier War Stories image featuring map of Australia in Indigenous colors with male and female figures in front.

Boe Spearim is a Brisbane broadcaster who has produced a series of podcasts telling stories about the Aboriginal engagement with colonisers. Check out his Frontier War Stories

Signs of Our Times

The Commission and the ACBC Office for Justice Ecology and Peace gave you a sneak peek at our new resource to help Catholics to embrace a culture of encounter in their social and environmental action. The resource is grounded in the Bible and the social teaching of the Church. Take a look at the resources that are already available on our special web site and stay tuned for the hard launch of Signs of Our Times in a few months time:

Five coloured circles with text naming

Get Involved in Reducing Waste on Clean Up Australia Day

Last Sunday, Pope Francis lamented the amount of plastic waste which ends up in the sea. He said: “It kills biodiversity, it kills the earth, it kills everything!”

On average, each Australian produces 130kg of plastic waste. Less than 12% is recycled. 130,000 tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the sea every year and things are getting worse. Plastic waste can be fatal to sea birds, turtles and whales. WWF has lots of information on Australia’s waste problem and actions you can take to minimise waste and its harmful impacts. Take a look at WWF’s Don’t Let Nature Go to Waste campaign.

One small action you can take to protect birds in our waterways is to cut the elastic loops on face masks before you dispose of them. More and more birds are being found with masks tangled around their beaks. We can stop this with a moment of care each time we throw away our masks.

Please consider registering for one of the many Clean Up events all around SE Queensland.

Getting Involved with the Laudato Si’ Action Platform

Laudato Si Action Platform logo featuring a tree with a rainbow coloured top

If you haven’t already looked at the information and resources which have been developed for the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, please do so soon. Around 200 Catholic organisations from around the world have collaborated with the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development to develop this resource which offers discernment tools, resources for action and planning guides to help families and households, schools, parishes, hospitals, aged care homes, religious orders, universities and businesses to develop a plan of action to respond to the challenges of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’. Have a look and please consider enrolling:

Tapping into Our Spiritual Heritage to Learn How to Care for Our Common Home

A bee hovers over flowers in front of a crucifix at a cemetery in Santiago, Chile, Feb. 18, 2021. (CNS/Reuters/Ivan Alvarado)

In the last chapter of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis encourages us to tap into our rich heritage to help us cultivate a spirituality to support us on our journey of ecological conversion. Barbara Fraser wrote about eco-spirituality in a recent article for NCR. It’s well worth a read and would be a useful resource for private reflection or for a group conversation. Read the article here.

Taking Time to Pray and Reflect on the Place of Animals in God’s Creation


For something different this Lent, you might like to take a look at the app produced by British group, Sarx, to help you to reflect on our relationship with animals. Find out more about 40 Days with God’s Creatures

It’s Time to Set the Refugees Free

St Paul's Anglican Cathedral, Melbourne featuring a banner with the text: Let's Fully Welcome Refugees

Religious leaders came together in Melbourne recently to launch a campaign calling on PM Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese to work together to release all those refugees still in detention in Australia. Why not take this story to your local Federal mP or Senator and urge them to advocate for the release of all those refugees still in detention? A report on the #SetThemFree campaign is at: