have been a member of St
Catholic Church since January 1988. I was drawn by a
desire to be part of the healing between Aboriginal
and non-Aboriginal and participate in the struggle for
Aboriginal rights within the context of my faith. I
was not disappointed. I was embraced for who I was,
encouraged to develop and contribute freely as other
members also are.
I have been living outside Redfern for three years I
still feel part of the parish and am still treated as
such. I would like to describe some of the special features
of the church, which make it so valuable.
of being with the poor:
Literally we stand united, poor and middle-class in
the church. We chat as we go in and out; we hear each
other's stories and see our lives unfold. We are equals.
“Standing with” and “feeling with” require more of us
than “giving to”. It requires true listening and relationship.
It does require action, but of a sort that enhances
the dignity of the oppressed and aims to empower.
with the poor across the world:
While the church has a focus on the struggle for Aboriginal
rights, we are also aware of injustice suffered by other
groups and in other lands. Amongst the congregation
are people active in other struggles and as a body we
for the spirit:
Through allowing people to express themselves in and
around the liturgy, the Spirit has space to create the
unexpected and the marvellous. We who are members of
regularly experience the presence of the Spirit and
visitors often remark on it
of the Spirit:
Apart from the extraordinary relationships fostered
by the Church between black and white, poor and middle-class,
St Vincent's has been instrumental in the initiation
of and ongoing support of self-determining groups such
as the Aboriginal Legal Service, the Aboriginal Medical
Service and Dental Service and Aboriginal Hostels. These
were pioneering efforts that have grown into national
by Annolies Truman