Refugees and Asylum Seekers

On that most eventful day, 11th of September, the Dalai Lama issued a call to reflect on.

"There are two possible responses to what has occurred today. The first comes from love, the second from fear. If we come from fear we may panic and do things – as individuals and as nations – that could only cause further damage. If we come from love we will find refuge and strength, even as we provide it to others.

We will set the course for tomorrow, today. At this hour. In this moment. Let us seek not … Continue reading

Funeral of Veronica Green

I‘ve been casting my mind about, during the last few days, asking myself what it is that could possibly express the uniqueness of Veronica Green. I think it is all to do with liberation. She was a woman liberated. Her freedom was entire and irrevocable. And what is most important, it was a freedom which she herself won by dint of personal pain and personal inner struggle – personal experience. And that gave her a possession of an interiorness in the spiritual life which included an uncommon insight into the inner meaning of ordinary people’s lives. It gave her a … Continue reading

On the Occasion of the Funeral of Shirley Smith

St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney

“Mum Shirl" was born Colleen Shirley Perry on 22nd November 1924 at Cowra. She was born into what many whites accepted as pre-ordained penury. It is significant that even the two surnames she ever bore were borrowed from an alien culture – Perry from Perry’s Circus, and her husband Darcy Smith was assigned his name as a boxing pseudonym. That branch of her grandfather’s proud traditional name, Boney, was destined to be consigned to oblivion. Like the shabby ill-fitting 2nd-hand clothing that aboriginal people are required to settle for, her family was supposed to accept a … Continue reading

Funeral of John Dixon (Dicko)

One of my memories, and it haunts me still, even after as long as thirty years, is the death of an old Hungarian man who died in a nursing home without family or friends. He died a destitute and there was no-one to claim his body. I expressed the wish to bury him and I had to wait several weeks for the Government Contractor to accumulate enough bodies of derelicts from Sydney streets at night, to dump in a common grave. In white society, to be destitute is to be derelict. And to be derelict is a social shame.

Aboriginal Reconciliation

Trinity Sunday

St Vincent’s Church, Redfern

St Patricks, Church Hill, Sydney

The one subtle bequest of the colonizer to posterity is the myth. The myth, the enslaving myth that is a very special sort of downright lie. It is like a pernicious virus that pervades the human psyche. In the Aboriginal world it is invasive, the instrument which allows the original Invasion to occur afresh every day.

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Common wealth for the common good

The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference Statement on the Distribution of Wealth in Australia has been nearly five years in the making. When it was begun, Rupert Murdoch was embracing Catholicism. Alan Bond was walking tall within its fold. The really poor Australian Catholics felt uncomfortable in the church. Pat Dodson, the one and only Aboriginal Catholic priest, had not long withdrawn from the priesthood, finding church authorities too abrasive on Aboriginal culture.

It is not insignificant that this statement is now being published by Collins-Dove, a company recently acquired by Rupert Murdoch.

The “Universal Church” was and still is seething … Continue reading