Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday 21 July
Feast of St James – 25 July
What do we know about St James, the Apostle?
St James the Greater was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. He worked as a fisherman with his brother John, his father Zebedee and his partner Simon. John and James were followers of John the Baptist and later, Jesus.
James, along with his brother John, left his life as a fisherman when Jesus called him to be a “fisher of people”. He followed Jesus as one of his disciples until Jesus was crucified by the Romans.
Following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, he made a pilgrimage to the Iberian Peninsula to spread the word of Jesus and when he returned to Judea, he was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I in the year 44AD.
The remains, or relics, of St James the Greater were then transported by his followers to the Iberian Peninsula (today’s Galicia in Spain) and are said to be buried in Santiago de Compostela, which is why St James is the patron saint of Spain.
The scallop shell is the recognised symbol of all pilgrims on the Camino, as it’s found on the shores of Galicia. When returning to their own countries, pilgrims displayed the scallop shell in their hats to show that they had carried out their pious intentions.
St James is also believed to have helped the Christians defeat the Moors in Spain – yet another reason he’s their patron saint.
Let us ask St James (Patron saint of pilgrims) to be with us on our daily journey to closer union with God.
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday 14 July 2019
Today is Sea Sunday, when the church prays for all those who live and work at sea. The Apostleship of the Sea, is the official maritime welfare agency of the Catholic Church, which provides practical and spiritual support to seafarers visiting our ports.
The following prayers have been offered for this Sunday. Let us pray for all who work on the Sea, or help in ports to minister to people throughout the world.
Let us pray for the Holy Father Pope Francis, for all Bishops, Priests and Deacons, and for those who serve as Chaplains, Ship Visitors and volunteers of Stella Maris, Apostleship of the Sea. May they lead and serve according to the teachings of Jesus, our Lord.
Let us pray for all our newly elected leaders. May they have the courage and conviction to promote the welfare of seafarers and those whose rights and dignity are too often overlooked.
Let us pray for those who have died, especially members of our own family and community, and for all those lost at sea. May they find that peace and hope that Christ prepared for us.
Heavenly Father, accept the prayers of your people, especially for those who work at sea and those who work far away from their families. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord and harbour of peace. Amen.
For more information about its work, to volunteer or to donate to their ministry,
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday 7 July 2019 - NAIDOC Week
The theme of NAIDOC Week this year is ‘Voice, Treaty, Truth. Let’s work together.’
Voice, Treaty and Truth lie at the heart of the Uluru Statement that represents an Indigenous position reached after long discussion.
It begins with the importance of voice. Indigenous culture, as with all cultures, is built around language; in this case many languages. When languages die out cultures are put under great strain. Because Indigenous Australians are the first Australians with some 60,000 years of care for country, the preservation of their voice and languages in education and communities matters to all Australians.
Voice is also important in the sense that Indigenous Australians seek an institutional say in the matters that affect their lives. This is captured by the second word of the 2019 Theme: Treaty.
To appreciate its urgency, we need think only of the catastrophic effects of interventions by Australian governments, such as stealing and routinely jailing children, have had on people and communities.
There will be many legitimate differences of opinion about what shape that voice may have, but its need is not in doubt.
To understand the present condition of Indigenous Australians and to respond to their call we must understand the past.
That truth embraces the relationship between the Indigenous peoples, the first people, and the later people who dispossessed them by force, excluded them from their hunting grounds, stole their children and continue to jail them out of all proportion to the rest of the Australian population.
The relationships also include, of course, the later people who befriended and defended Indigenous Australians, studied their languages and culture, and sought to build a more just Australia.
These peaceful and enquiring relationships underlie the hope embodied in the NAIDOC theme: Let’s work together.
Simple and attractive words, and a challenge to us all.
For more information: www.australiancatholics.com.au
Andrew Hamilton SJ
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday 30 June 2019
Getting ready for NAIDOC Week
Next Sunday is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday and the beginning of NAIDOC week.
This week it could be good to explore some of the information on the www.naidoc.org.au website in preparation.
The theme is Voice, Treaty, Truth (Let’s work together for a shared future).
Voice. Treaty. Truth. were three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The 2019 theme acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have always wanted an enhanced role in decision making in Australia’s democracy. The theme also highlights our various First Nations’ desires for lasting and effective agreements such as Treaties which cannot be achieved unless we have a shared, truthful understanding of the nature of the dispute, of the history, of how we got to where we stand.
“The history of our First Peoples is the history of all of us, of all of Australia, and we need to own it - hearing this history is necessary before we can come to some true reconciliation, some genuine healing for both sides.” “Then we can move forward together.” “So, Let’s work together for a shared future,” the CoChairs concluded.
Sunshine Coast Council will host and support a number of NAIDOC Week events this year. Stay tuned for Council’s Regional Guide to NAIDOC Week 2019 events.
Be sure to be alert to these activities.