Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.
Jesus loved with a human heart: with him we proclaim his love to the world.
We work to discover through advocacy, healing and reconciliation, God's presence in our world.
We are to be on earth the heart of God. God has no other heart but ours.
- Published: Monday, 12 August 2019 22:24
ABORIGINAL PASTORAL COUNCIL – ANNUAL MEETING 2019. DURING THE DRY!
With thanks for this report to Pat Mara MSC, parish priest of Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island
Every year during the dry season the Darwin Diocese holds an Aboriginal Pastoral Council meeting which is comprised of church leaders from the Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory where there is a Catholic Church. It is held at Nungalinya College and begins on a Monday evening with a welcome to country by the Larrakia people dinner and concludes on Friday morning when people travel back home to be with their families again. Roughly three to five members from each community attend over these days where they meet, talk, and share about many things.
Tuesday morning begins with morning prayer which is led by the church leaders from one of the communities and then there is a time of reflection “sharing our story of the last 12 months.” This takes some time and usually sees out the rest of the day which concludes with mass. Again, one of the communities will lead the mass, sharing language, song, and dance with one another, bringing a
Wednesday is a time where we listen to various people working in the diocese. Nungalinya College inform us of their work, subjects on offer, and the ratio of Catholic students in relation to the other Christian denominations who also study bible courses there. We also heard from our Safeguarding Officer about the important nature of protecting our children and making our churches and schools child safe environments. The diocesan coordinators of the 2020 Plenary council updated us on the latest happenings with the steering committee before we concluded the days meetings with mass.
Thursday was an opportunity to hear about NATSICC (National Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Catholic Council) and the work they have been involved with along with re-electing the Darwin Diocese representative. Prison chaplains described the ministry which takes place in Darwin and Alice Springs, and finally we heard about the youth ministry taking place in the diocese.
It is a wonderful opportunity for church leaders to come together and share their joys and struggles, often discovering that they the communities have many things in common. It is through that commonality that we can support and nurture one another in the image of Christ.