One of the organisers, Mary McMahon, said today that the Redfern Catholic community, including the Aboriginal community wished to express deep sorrow for the refugees who drowned while attempting to reach Australia from Indonesia.
"We were so horrified by the apparent callousness, the lack of simple human kindness and disregard for the suffering of those who have lost so much, exhibited by various politicians, that we felt that we had to make an effort to contact the Muslim community and offer our support and sympathy. For us, the most fulfilling way of doing this is to offer a mass in which the congregation, Catholics and Muslims, can join in mutual support and understanding. We hope that our action will be seen as uniting the community rather than dividing it," she added.
Muhammad Al Musawy spoke on behalf of the families of the victims of the tragedy: "I know that my wife’s spirit and the spirits of her three beautiful nieces, who all drowned in the tragedy, will find more peace knowing that their tragic fate has brought our communities closer together."
The Mass was attended by the Mufti of Australia, Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilaly and members of Sydney’s Moslem communities who read from the Koran. "I appreciate your message of support and solidarity, may God bless you all," said the Mufti.
Father Ted Kennedy, parish priest and Father John Ford were the main Catholic celebrants.
Ted’s homily for the occasion may be found here.