Nazareth Catholic Parish

Grovedale, Torquay and Anglesea

 
You too can be part of this wonderful story!
Just make a payment, no matter how small, by EFT to:
 
Account Name:    Nazareth Parish OUTREACH
BSB:                   083 347
Account:             947066440
REF:                   REACH Vietnam (+ surname)
 
Some of our girls obviously having fun on an excursion arranged by the visiting teachers and parents group in July. 
 
 
 
 
 

Nazareth Social Justice Group

As a Christian community our Parish understands that through our baptism we become the hands of God in our world. With the intention to live an active baptism, we are committed to creating justice and supporting the vulnerable, the marginalised and the oppressed whoever they are and wherever they may be.
 
If you would like to know the underlying principles of our Social Justice Group, you can read the SOCIAL JUSTICE STATEMENT.

Reach Vietnam

In late 2011, Fr Linh told his story of leaving Vietnam to the Year 6 children at st Therese School. Consequently, the Year 6 Outreach Group approached Fr Linh about the possibility of making some connections in Vietnam, as part of their participation in their Studies of Asia.
 
In 2013, Fr Linh and the then Principal Pauline Audley, visited Vietnam to explore some options and the decision was made to support the Sisters of the Divine Providence Order in Kon Tum, who care for and encourage approximately 400 children in the pursuit of education, so that they may be better able to make a link with Catholic values as they grow.
 
Read more of the original story.
 
REACH Vietnam 2017 .
During the July school holidays a group of parents and past students from St Therese School, together with a couple of teachers and a member of Catholic Education Melbournem(CEM) visited Kon Tum and were delighted to see how well ourprogram is developing and have come back with lots of new ideas. A report of the visit with some photos appeared in the St Therese School Newsletter.
 
Our REACH Vietnam project will soon enter its fifth year. Reports from some of our folk who recently visited the girls in Kon Tum indicate that the program is going very well. Sr Simone who replaced Sr Phuong last year is totally committed to the program and the girls. Our contribution feeds fifty girls, plus now also funds extra curricular tutoring in English and Maths which has markedly improved the girls’ school results. As well, the girls are all growing emotionally. One indicator of the success is that this year five girls will move on to tertiary education and next year potentially seven will do so. However, we have become aware that some girls are precluded from either finishing high school as their families are unable to meet the financial requirements that grow towards the end of high school and likewise, some girls cannot move on to tertiary education. Some of these costs have been covered, but the decision has been made that we, as a parish, shall try to increase our contribution to cover these additional costs. Putting this into perspective, the amounts are quite small by Australian standards, totalling perhaps a couple of thousand dollars per year, on top of our current contribution of around $16,000. Given our plan to continue this project foreseeably, we are enabling, via education, parts of an ethnic minority community to move out of the cycle of poverty over a generation or so. We are using our gifts for the good of others, and at the same time gaining an understanding of their culture, thus enriching our own lives – isn’t this the gospel message in action?

Achieving this is, of course, totally based on your ongoing generosity and support.

Treaty for Aboriginal Victorians

Last week Fr Linh went to the priests’ annual gathering that was held in Torquay. He noted that he was very taken by a presentation by Eugene Hurley the Catholic Bishop of Darwin. Linh recounted Eugene’s story about how he came, when he first arrived in Darwin, to go down to the river and speak to the old Aboriginal men there. He did this without letting them know who he was, he just wanted to engage face to face to learn more about them, and their lives. They eventually found out who he was, but he further recounted how, much later, when he was walking towards the river some white guys said to him ‘It’ll cost you $10 if you go down there’ ; he replied with 'it’ll only cost me a blessing’.

You may already be aware of the moves towards a Treaty process in Victoria, but if not, then a visit to "TREATY" is definitely interesting and very informative.

Another website "DEADLY QUESTIONS" gives the views of a number of Aboriginal Victorians about this process as well as a section where questions from other Victorians are answered.  (to the right of the middle is a small cross to click on)
 
So, like Bishop Eugene, spending some time at these two websites,  gives us an opportunity to find out more about Victorian Aboriginals, their lives and their thinking.  It behoves us all to ensure we are well briefed about the stories of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.

Social Justice - what's that??

Our Social Justice Group want to help us gain a better understanding of what Social Justice means and looks like. Here is their first offering:
 
 
 

Pastoral Letter for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker

This important document begins:

"On this Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, let us consider the importance of the just wage. This is particularly important in today’s Australia, where wage growth has been very slow and low-paid workers often experience real hardship."

A Fair Day's Pay - for the dignity of workers and the good of all." Bishop Vincent Long

“Richard Flanagan 'Our politics is a dreadful black comedy’

This article is a must read for all us Christians. Reflect on it and ask yourself how we as a Christian community need to act?”

Read the article by Richard Flanagan

ABORIGINAL ISSUES

'The Government's assessment of Indigenous disadvantage ignores how far behind remote commuities are when compared with cities, and how top-down policy making reinforces economic disparities.'
 
Many will remember Fred Chaney as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs under the Fraser Government.  He continues to fight for justice for our Aboriginal people, but as this article by Mike Seccombe notes, he is "despairing." 
 

AN EVENT OF INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE

On 17 November the bones of Mungo Man will be returned to their original resting place at Lake Mungo, part of the Willandra Lakes about 100km north of Mildura. This is internationally significant because the discovery of Mungo Man and Lady in 1974 established that our settlement in Australia dates back 45,000 years. The three Aboriginal groups associated with the area will welcome back the remains which have been stored at ANU and the Australian Museum, and they are inviting all Australians to join with them as they celebrate Return to Country Festival. For full details see the attached brochure.
 
It is both very human and very Australian to have a treasure before us and not know what to do with it,
or not even know it’s a treasure 
...Mungo Man's return...gives our entire community, balck and non-black, a new bond and a national glory 
 
Tom Keneally, The Age, 26 April 2016 

IS OUR GENEROSITY UP TO SCRATCH?

Several weeks ago we had the gospel about the ‘generous landlord’. To add to Fr Linh’s interesting homily on this text, you are urged to read Michael Bowden’s reflection on the same text, and his link to the treatment of a small group of Aboriginal people in Alice Springs. It says a lot about our society’s relationship to Aboriginal people, as well as how we should/must be a voice for “generosity” in the gospel sense. By the way for all you Tiger fans Michael Bowden, an Alice Springs resident, is the father of Joel Bowden.
 
 
WHAT IS OUR ROLE  
This article, Aftermath, by Melinda Hinkson, gives a very good summation of the negative impact that ten years of the Intervention has had on Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory; hinting at how it is driving these rich cultures towards extinction. Should we be standing by and doing nothing about this?”
 
ANOTHER OF MICHAEL BOWDEN'S REFLECTIONS  which highlights the power of the Aboriginal concept of 'belonging to' the land, rather than 'owning' the land. What could happen if we were to learn from Aboriginal culture by opening ourselves to proper reconciliation??

Keating's Challenge: view Australia through Aboriginal Eyes.

On 10 December 1992 Keating gave a speech on Aboriginal reconciliation addressing issues faced by indigenous Australians such as their land and children being taken away. This speech became known as The Redfern Address. It was given in Redfern Park to a crowd of predominantly indigenous people. Although it was not given a lot of media attention at the time it is now regarded by many to be one of the greatest Australian speeches. Keating was the first Australian prime minister to publicly acknowledge to Indigenous Australians that European settlers were responsible for the difficulties Australian Aboriginal communities continued to face: 'We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practiced discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice'.

In 2007, ABC Radio National listeners voted the speech as their third most "unforgettable speech" behind Martin Luther King's I have a dream speech (number one) and Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (number two)This article is one of several similar articles that the former PM has issued recently. It provides a way of thinking on Aboriginal issues that we might all embrace as it could not only lead to improvement in the way we relate to our Aboriginal brothers and sisters but also, as Keating notes, lead to us embracing more closely the many attributes of Aboriginal culture that would add to enrichment of the broader Australian culture."

Watch this speech here
 
On Dec 9, 2017 Paul Keating made a reprise speech at the Australian Museum, and it provides a way of thinking on Aboriginal issues that we might all embrace as it could not only lead to improvement in the way we relate to our Aboriginal brothers and sisters but also, as Keating notes, lead to us embracing more closely the many attributes of Aboriginal culture that would add to enrichment of the broader Australian culture."