Thursday, August 23, 2018

We Say No To Cruelty Photo Campaign

Over the last two years, many of us Catholics who accompany and support people seeking asylum in South-East Queensland have noted how a series of Federal Government decisions have seriously affected them.

These Government decisions have withdrawn income and accommodation support and left many destitute. While most still have the right to work, it is often very difficult to get work and enough work for individuals and families to live with any dignity. 

At present, there are about 300 people seeking asylum in South-East Queensland who have become destitute because of these Government decisions and this number could further increase.

We are appalled that fellow human beings, our sisters and brothers, can be treated like this. It is cruel and we reject this treatment of mothers, fathers and children.

As Catholics, we are called to be the presence of Jesus Christ in the world today. We are called to be good news to all those who are vulnerable and treated with indignity. It is clear to us that many people currently seeking asylum face significant hardship and indignity. We cannot stay silent and do nothing in the face of this immense suffering.

We say to the Federal Government and all Members of Parliament that we will replace the cruelty we see with welcome, hospitality, mercy and compassion. There is no excuse for treating our fellow human beings in this cruel and inhuman way and we will continue to demand an end to this cruelty.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we demand justice for our sisters and brothers. There are many Catholics who are already working in the community, along with other people of goodwill, to replace this cruelty with welcome and kindness. 

We encourage Catholics in every parish, school and agency in South-East Queensland to join us in reaching out in mercy and love to our sisters and brothers to ease the suffering caused by this cruelty. 

We encourage them to pray earnestly that the Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull, the Home Affairs Minister, Mr Dutton and all Parliamentarians will find compassion in their hearts for all people seeking asylum, but especially for those who are now being made destitute by Government policy decisions. 

And we urge all Catholics to join us in demanding that the Government and all Parliamentarians take action to end the policies which cause this hardship and indignity.

My contribution to the photo campaign promoted byCatholic Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane
#wesaynotocruelty A Movement of the HeartArchdiocese of Brisbane
 — at Cathedral of St Stephen, Brisbane.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

#WeSayNoToCruelty Photo Campaign

Wednesday 1 August to Sunday 26 August

The Catholic Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane invites parishes, schools, agencies and groups to send a clear message to our Federal Government and Members of Parliament on the issue of people seeking asylum: we say no to cruelty.

 Catholic individuals and groups in south-east Queensland and around Australia are encouraged to take part in our month-long campaign by following these simple steps: 

• Gather a group of parishioners, students, staff or group members together and ask them to cross and raise their arms above their heads 
• Take a photo of of the group in this powerful pose, symbolising solidarity with those seeking asylum and a rejection of our Government’s cruel treatment 
• Share the photo on social media using the hashtag #WeSayNoToCruelty 
• Email the photo to with your parish, school, agency or group name and we will post it on our A Movement of the Heart Facebook Page as a public witness to the Gospel; 
OR • Share you photo and the name of your group directly on our A Movement of the Heart Facebook Page; 
OR • Post the photo and the declaration on your own Facebook profile 

Other ways to get involved: 
• E-mail your photo and a copy of the declaration to the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Peter Dutton, and tell him that you are opposed to the cruelty with which his Government’s policies are treating people seeking asylum; 
• E-mail your photo and a copy of the declaration to your local Federal MP and any of your State or Territory Senators and tell them you oppose the Government’s cruel measures; 
• Print your photo and a copy of the declaration and deliver them personally to your local Federal MPs office and ask for an appointment to share your concerns; 
• Send the photo and the declaration to your local newspaper or radio station and tell them you are joining many other Catholics in sending this message to the Federal Government. 

Make sure you also try to replace the cruelty of Federal Government policies by donating money or goods to agencies and groups providing direct support to the approximately three hundred people seeking asylum in south-east Queensland who are facing destitution because of Government policies and actions. 

We also encourage you to include prayers for people seeking asylum facing destitution at Masses, assemblies and meetings during the month of August. This campaign will run from 1 August to Migrant & Refugee Sunday, 26 August. 

At the conclusion of the campaign, the Catholic Justice & Peace Commission will print all photos received and deliver them to The Home Affairs Minister’s office

Celebrating Mary MacKillop

Today we celebrate Mary MacKillop, Australia's global saint. This day falls during Queensland Multicultural Month and her community continue to honour her legacy to diversity:

We here at MMI take this opportunity, on Harmony Day, to reiterate our commitment to, the realisation of dignity for all, to help people help themselves and to do so regardless of ethnicity, political beliefs, gender or religion. We celebrate and respect, the traditional owners and custodians of the land, the diversity of our workplace and the positive contributions that multiculturalism has made in all our lives. 

The image is a favourite  of mine by Luke Roberts​ In 1995 his painting of Mother Mary MacKillop was a prizewinner in the exhibition Mother Mary: A Tribute at the Powerhouse Museum Sydney. This exhibition was visited by John Paul II as part of the celebrations around the beatification of Mother Mary MacKillop.

Mary's Canonisation

Meet the "Joeys"