ON the eve of a 20th anniversary gathering of indigenous and Catholic leaders in Alice Springs this week to remember Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1986, the Sisters of St Joseph have called on all Australians to find new inspiration through his landmark address to indigenous people.
The Josephites have also called on all Catholic nuns to unite behind the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s 2006 Social Justice Sunday Statement, issued on September 24.
Josephite leaders welcomed the statement, which called for a justly reconciled Australia and urged all Australians to find new inspiration through the words of Pope John Paul II in Alice Springs in 1986.
Speaking on behalf of Josephite leaders and more than 1200 Josephite Sisters nationally, congregational leader of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Sr Katrina Brill said the plight of indigenous Australians was still the most pressing justice issue in Australia today, and all people of good will must work together to face these problems and their deep underlying causes.
Meanwhile, at the launch of the bishops’ Social Justice Sunday Statement in Sydney on September 13, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma said he did not know whether to be “dismayed or heartened” that the pope’s messages “require the same commitment in 2006 as they did in 1986”.