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Confirmed in Love with Sydney’s Aboriginal Catholic Ministry

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Fr Darryl Mackie, Uncle John Allen and Bishop Terry Brady with recently confirmed children at the Reconciliation Church in La Perouse. PHOTOS: ALPHONSUS FOK

Unique Aboriginal Catholic heritage

As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders across the country celebrated their heritage during NAIDOC week, children at the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in Sydney received the Sacrament of Confirmation to the delight of friends, family and community elders at the Reconciliation Church in La Perouse – Bidjigial country- on Sunday 14 November

Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady, a close friend of elders in the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, conferred the sacrament to 15 children in two separate Mass ceremonies due to capacity limits on the church as per COVID-19 social distancing.

Pope Francis tells us to treat each other as brothers and sisters

Coinciding with World Day of the Poor, Bishop Brady encouraged the children in his homily to see the face of Jesus in not only their friends and family but also in the vulnerable and marginalised – all to be treated as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Parishioners pray at the La Perouse Reconciliation Church – a hub for Aboriginal Catholics in Sydney to celebrate their faith PHOTO: ALPHONSUS FOK

“God loves us all; there is no pecking order.  Pope Francis tells us to treat each other as brothers and sisters,” said Bishop Brady.

“I am praying that you all grow to have an intimate friendship with Jesus because we see the face of Jesus in those around us – in the brothers in sisters around us- but also those in need of help.”

Uncle John Allen with Fr Darryl Mackie and Bishop Brady PHOTO: ALPHONSUS FOK

The Catholic Weekly spoke to the children – all of whom relished in the celebration as a rite-of-passage within their unique Aboriginal Catholic heritage.
Axel Howes, aged 12, chose the confirmation patron St Sebastian and spoke of his confirmation as an inspiration to also become a saint.

“I would like to be a saint one day too”

“I would like to be a saint one day too. I am very happy about today,” he said.
Meanwhile, Joely Menzel, aged 11, chose St Cecilia – patron saint of music-  due to her own love of music and dancing. “It’s an exciting day,” she said.

Children of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry on the day of their confirmation PHOTO: ALPHONSUS FOK

Great to see so many of our young people at the Reconciliation Church

ACM community elder Aunty Diat said the future of the community was in good hands.
“It’s been great to see so many of our young people at the Reconciliation Church and in the community standing strong in their faith,” said Aunty Diat.

“There’s a future in terms of our babies being anything they want to achieve. We want them to still walk with us and believe in who we are and never put themselves down. And it’s also good to see our Aboriginal children in our Catholic schools.”

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