Christmas 2016

May the ancient story of a child born in occupied territory open our hearts to the work of defending human rights.

May the birth of every child call us to our communal responsibility to protect children, to take them on wild adventures and to let them grow into the unique person they are called to be.

May the image of a family forced to seek refuge and asylum far from their home inform our political choices as citizens of a global village.

May our messages of good wishes and happy holidays not blind us to the work of justice making and non-violence.

May the lights and decorations of the season remind us of our mission to bring light to the darkness and celebration to life.

May our gifting be generous as we remember those who live in situations of poverty and exploitation.

May we hear angelic voices singing our dream of peace on earth

Image is the work of Mark Knight cartoonist at The Herald Sun in Melbourne

Lament My Country

basp logo

Department of Immigration ends ‘inappropriate’ outings for children in detention run by nuns

 

Lament my country for you are no longer the land of the young and the free.
Lament my country for your silence will not drown out the cries of those in detention for no crime other than seeking asylum.
Lament my country for this Christmas the songs of angels have been deemed not appropriate by the powers of the empire.
Lament my country for you are no longer governed by integrity or justice
Lament my country for your heart is bleeding with grief and fear of what you have become
Lament my country.
‪#‎refugees‬ ‪#‎childrenindetention‬ ‪#‎asylumseekers‬

For Those Who Come Across the Seas

Our anthem is sung from small school assemblies to footy finals. Most know the first verse and are even surprised to discover the second verse with its lines that challenge Government refugee policy of recent times:

For those who come across the seas
We’ve boundless plans to share

These lines will now be given life and fire as the title of this year’s Social Justice statement from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council The statement  summary in video format may not have the  the grandeur of a full choir and orchestral setting.of the anthem, however it  presents lyrics that touch our hearts.

It is a subtle presentation of the facts about refugees and asylum seekers in our world and local community.It is also a challenge and an invitation to action.

We all have a role to play
What can we do as individuals and a community to help our brothers and sisters and work for a conversion in our nation? The task is not easy, but there are many things that we can do.

First, we can make sure that Australians understand the issues better. Quiet conversation and
example are powerful tools for conversion.

We can also support the organisations that work to help asylum seekers: organisations like the Society of St Vincent de Paul, Catholic Social Services, Jesuit Refugee Services, Asylum Seekercentres and many others.

We can work within our parishes to ensure that they are welcoming places. Creating social events, organising or joining support networks, introducing refugees and hearing their stories: all these are ways in which we can recognise the humanity of those who have come in need of protection.

Politicians need to know that we feel passionately about this issue, and not just at the ballot box, when we cast our vote. Writing to local members and ministers does have an effect, and can give encouragement to those in Parliament who also seek a better way.

The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office is a valuable source of advocacy and information. The Office provides education resources for schools and materials for the annual World Day of Migrants and Refugees – the last Sunday in August.

The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council distributes a Ten Steps leaflet that will include ways in which we can work to promote understanding and help such people in practical ways.

Many dioceses have very active Justice and Peace offices that can make suggestions about practical steps you can take or organisations you can support.

At the Brisbane launch we sang All are Welcome, a song that gains new meaning in the light of this statement.

 

Silent Conversation Exhibition Brisbane 2015

Silent Conversation a multimedia exhibition by Sha Sarwari.

A reflection by one who came to our shores seeking Asylum. Sha is a member of the minority Hazara in Afghanistan.

 Jugglers Art Space.

"Silent Conversation a multimedia  exhibition  by Sha Sarwari. A reflection by one who came to our shores seeking Asylum. Sha is a member of the minority  Hazara  in Afghanistan."

"Silent Conversation a multimedia  exhibition  by Sha Sarwari. A reflection by one who came to our shores seeking Asylum. Sha is a member of the minority  Hazara  in Afghanistan."

"Silent Conversation a multimedia  exhibition  by Sha Sarwari. A reflection by one who came to our shores seeking Asylum. Sha is a member of the minority  Hazara  in Afghanistan."

"Silent Conversation a multimedia  exhibition  by Sha Sarwari. A reflection by one who came to our shores seeking Asylum. Sha is a member of the minority  Hazara  in Afghanistan."

"Silent Conversation a multimedia  exhibition  by Sha Sarwari. A reflection by one who came to our shores seeking Asylum. Sha is a member of the minority  Hazara  in Afghanistan."

Palm Sunday 2015

Our cries of “Hosanna” must echo the cries for freedom and liberation of those detained because they seek refuge and asylum in our land.

This week will not be Holy unless we refuse to crucify the innocent.
This week will not be Holy unless we break bread and drink wine with the poor and abandoned of our community.
This week will not be Holy unless we walk the passion of the earth.
This week will be Holy if we commit to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with all that is sacred.

Easter Invocation

Welcome Refugees

 

May the blessings of the Easter Season surround us with courage and confidence. May we stand against the religion of Empire and proclaim the liberating anarchy of the teachings of Christ. 

May we roll away the stones of fear and prejudice in our lives.May we open our tombs and walk in the light of justice,compassion and solidarity with the poor of the earth.

May we sing “Alleluia” with voices that cry out against economic and political exploitation of vulnerable people.

May we walk gently on our mother earth in lives of nonviolence and find the harmony of life that is written in the stardust of our being.

May the love of the Easter story invade our hearts to welcome those who come to our shores as Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

May the mystery of the Easter story call us to live “Dadirri” in solidarity with the First Nations people of our land.

May we proclaim the Risen One by our public commitment to housing the homeless, feeding the hungry and thirsty, liberating prisoners,welcoming the stranger in our midst and standing against the powers of economic and political newspeak.