Sunday, June 02, 2013

Growing Up Catholic Exhibition

Google "Growing up Catholic" and you will find everything you need including  advice, a quiz and even a Facebook page The aim of this post is to move one of the links up the listings so that it attracts more visitors and introduces readers to a fascinating bit of Australian History.

170 years ago  four Passionist priests began Australia's first Catholic Mission to Aboriginal People on North Stradbroke Island. In a homily at a Mass to mark the occasion, Archbishop Mark Coleridge reflected on an experiment  that only lasted four years with the clergy abandoning the mission due to physical hardships and lack of a common language. This experiment was also to have a significant impact on  Australia's first Catholic Bishop,  John Bede Polding's support for Indigenous People.

In 1845, Archbishop Polding appeared before a Parliamentary Select Committee on the Aborigines. His words reveal the depth of his compassion for what he believed was a “burning injustice” in regard to Indigenous people:

I am making myself black, putting myself in that position and taking away all that I know except that this is my country, that my father lived by pursuing the emu, and the kangaroo, and I am driven away from my hunting grounds, that my children and tribe are subjected to the grossest barbarities…

Today a vibrant Catholic Community  continues to gather in Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island  in a Church dedicated to the founder of the Passionist Order, St Paul of the Cross. 

Growing up Catholic is a new exhibition curated by Michael Aird which documents the remarkable history of the Catholic Church on North Stradbroke Island. The exhibition in images, text and video is worth a pilgrim trip across the bay to celebrate the stories of the encounter of Catholic Faith with Indigenous Spirituality, ritual and story.

The exhibition was launched by Aunty Rosie Borey & Aunty Ethel McKaskill with Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane.and  Dr Stefano Girola 
The exhibition continues until 7th July at North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum.
The Museum is open from 10am – 2pm Tuesday to Saturday and 11am – 3pm on Sunday.
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