The Catholic Church in Australia will celebrate the nation’s first peoples on July 6 with special prayers and observances for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday.
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.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday will also help focus attention on the upcoming NATSICC National Assembly, to be held in Adelaide from October 5-10.
The theme for the event is “The Time for Rebirth is Now”. It was drawn from the Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Oceania.
NATSICC national administrator Craig Arthur said keynote speakers would be Lowitja O’Donoghue, Pr George Rosendale and Agnes Palmer.
“The event brings together Indigenous Catholics from all over Australia to discuss spirituality and Catholic faith and is truly unique in the Church spectrum,” Mr Arthur said.
“Youth is also a major focus of the assembly and a youth committee has been formed to create a separate Youth Program focusing on living the Catholic faith and featuring inspiring role models.
“We hope that Indigenous youth from every state and territory will come and take part.”
Mr Arthur said information on both the National Assembly and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday liturgy kit are available on NATSICC’s new website at www.natsicc.org.au.
The website contains state by state indigenous Catholic statistics, councillor information, general information on NATSICC and links to other Catholic organisations in liaison with NATSICC.
NATSICC is officially recognised by the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference as the national representative and consultative body to the Church on issues concerning Indigenous Catholics. It aims to actively support and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the Catholic Church in Australia.