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Mission Matters

Pentecost, the birthday of the Church

In the story Luke tells, the coming of the Spirit introduces a season of reconciliation.
The breach between people was symbolised in the story of the Tower of Babel and the division of people by language.
That division is healed at Pentecost when people who had travelled from many different parts
to celebrate the feast each hear the disciples’ words in their own language.
It follows that Jesus’ followers are to overcome divisions by forming a church united by the Spirit of Christ in discovering God’s love. 
After the story of Pentecost,  Luke describes in idealised terms what the church is like when it lives in the Spirit.   
It becomes a place of reconciliation where people gather to pray,  and share their goods together.       
The divisions caused by inequality are overcome in the life of the community,  and people of different cultures
and rank are reconciled with one another.

Reconciliation is another name for community – community grows when people are reconciled.

Andrew Hamilton SJ

Preparing for National Reconciliation Week

Siena has a long standing commitment to the national reconciliation process. Saturday, 26 May is National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is then bookended by two important dates: the anniversary of the 1967 referendum on 27 May and the anniversary of the historic High Court Mabo judgement on 3 June.

27 May 1967:  On this day, Australia’s most successful referendum saw more than ninty per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise them in the Census.

3 June 1992:   On this day, the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision, the culmination of Eddie Koiki Mabo’s challenge to the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no one) and leading to the legal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Lands. This decision paved the way for Native Title.

This year’s NRW theme is 'Don’t Keep History a Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow'. To explore this, all students participated in a Pastoral program on Thursday that highlighted some of the lesser known aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and achievements. These provocations are designed to prompt Australians to ask themselves: What are some of the things I don’t know about our shared history?

Our Solomonese Sisters

We recently welcomed Sisters Loretta and Teresa from the Solomon Islands to our College. Along with Sisters Jenny Gerathy and Elizabeth Hellwig OP, they educated staff and students about the significant impact of climate change in the Solomons and the effect this is having on their community. Read more about this here. The presentation and discussion provided a context for funds raised from our St Catherine’s Day Fiesta and the ways in which they will be used to support programs facilitated by the sisters.

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