It has been a week of looking back and looking forward for our Church.
Hot on the heels of our celebrations for the 175th anniversary of our Diocese, we have, very fittingly, celebrated a special Mass for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday at St Patrick’s Cathedral, where Sherry Balcombe, Coordinator of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria (ACMV), was presented with the 2022 NATSICC Service to the Community Award. It was a time to give thanks for the rich gifts we receive as a Church from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters, the inheritors of a culture and spirituality stretching back more than 60,000 years, and to commit ourselves to walking more closely with them into the future.
ACMV has played an integral role in bringing people on this journey of accompaniment, and as part of our ‘Moments of Grace’ series, we hear about the early days of ACMV, and the remarkable people whose faith and vision planted the seeds of this important ministry.
As well as marking the beginning of NAIDOC Week, last Sunday also marked the beginning of the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council in Sydney, where Members from around Australia are gathering with our bishops to pray, discern and vote on a number of topics of significance to the future of the Church in Australia. In this issue, we explore the Council’s endorsement of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and also reflect on the role of rituals of lament in our response to the tragedy of sexual abuse within the Church. We also hear from Dr Nigel Zimmerman, one of the periti, or theological advisors to the Plenary Council, about the important role each of us plays in making disciples.
As the Plenary Council continues the important and sometimes difficult work of discerning and voting on the motions before it, let’s continue to pray for the proceedings and for all participants, that the Spirit might lead the Church in Australia on the path to God’s promised future.