Josephite call for nuns to unite on Indigenous action

"The level of Indigenous health is still appalling", Josephite Sr Katrina Brill said in a Social Justice Sunday call to Australian nuns to join forces on Indigenous issues.

Welcoming this year's Australian Bishops' Social Justice Statement, The Heart of Our Country, released for Social Justice Sunday yesterday, Sr Katrina Brill said the plight of Indigenous Australians is still the most pressing justice issue in Australia today and "considerable challenge still faces us, as a Church - and as a nation".

Speaking on behalf of Josephite Leaders and over 1200 Josephite Sisters nationally, Sr Brill said that all people of good will must work together to face these problems and their deep underlying causes.

She says nuns, in particular, have been in close contact with people in Indigenous communities for many years and have been advocating "for a better life for Indigenous Australians".

What is needed now, she added, is "for all Catholic nuns to unite on this issue."

"I can see the beginnings of such a union, with networking already happening and I'd like to think we could now make a conscious effort to really work together with a common vision and specific areas of responsibility," Sr Katrina said.

She said two significant anniversaries will help focus public attention on Indigenous issues in the months ahead: the 20th Anniversary of John Paul II's address in Alice Springs in November this year, and the 40th anniversary in May next year, of the 1967 referendum which saw more than 90 per cent of eligible Australians acknowledge Indigenous Australians as citizens.

Josephite Leaders have distributed over 2,000 copies of their community awareness kit "The Hour has Come: Working towards a Justly Reconciled Australia," which urges local non-Indigenous communities to become more aware of the issues facing many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

The Sisters of St Joseph live and work in Aboriginal communities in the Kimberly, Coober Pedy, central western New South Wales, and among communities in most capital cities.

In this year's Social Justice Statement, the Australian bishops call for a justly reconciled Australia and urge all Australians to find new inspiration in the words of Pope John Paul II in his address in 1986.

A copy of the Josephite community awareness kit kit is available for download on their website (www.sosj.org.au).

Social Justice Sunday - Catholic nuns unite their effort (Sisters of St Joseph, Media Release, 24/9/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Sisters of St Joseph
The Heart of our Country, Social Justice Sunday statement

Filipino bishops seek solidarity from Australian Church (CathNews, 22/9/06)
Aboriginal elder tells Catholics to challenge Indigenous injustices (CathNews, 15/9/06)
Bishops' social justice statement focuses on Indigenous disadvantage (CathNews, 14/9/06)

25 Sep 2006