Church set for celebration of indigenous people and culture
The Catholic Church in Australia is preparing special prayers and observances for the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday this weekend.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) has produced a kit for use in all parishes throughout the country to help them celebrate Indigenous input and culture within the Catholic Church in Australia.
In the introduction to the Liturgy Kit, Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll said this Sunday "provides a perfect opportunity for all Catholics, and indeed all Australians, to pray, reflect and respond to the unfinished business of achieving justice and the righting or relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples".
He quoted Pope John Paul II's expression of the Church's "deep regret" for past wrongs in its dealings with indigenous Australians. Archbishop Carroll also alluded to this Sunday's theme - "the time for rebirth is now" - which had its origins in the Holy Father's landmark speech delivered when he visited Alice Springs in 1986.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday is also intended to focus attention on the forthcoming NATSICC National Assembly.
NATSICC was formed in Cairns in 1989 at the first National Conference of the Aboriginal and Islander Catholic Councils. In 1992 the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference officially recognised and welcomed it as the national representative and consultative body to the Church on Issues concerning Indigenous Catholics. NATSICC advises the Bishops Committee for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Archdiocese of Brisbane
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council
Liturgy Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday (PDF)
Bishops' Committee For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
4 Jul 2003