subject greetings from Spain
Dear friends from Church Mouse, greetings from Spain.
I follow your website from time to time, and your struggles with the Neocats.
I send you the url to a bulletin of a spanish diocese (Orihuela-Alicante), near the mediterranean coast. I found it accidentally.
It contains news of a Neocat family from one of their parrish churches (Andres, Ester and their children), sent as missionary team to St Vincent’s Redfern, and some photos with parrish priest Fr. Clesio Mendes and Fr. Pelle, and all the necoatechumenal group.
I have found the text a bit outrageous, even offensive to Aboriginal people as a whole, and it seems there were no catholics at Redfern before they arrived there.
The text even states that "the priests are constantly calumniated and prosecuted for being catholics" (I don’t know if I have translated correctly..)!!
I thought you could be interested in this misinformation.
I hope Christmas has been a warm and cheerful time for you all, in spite of everything.
You also have our best wishes for the new year.
An English version of the article, from page 10 of http://www.diocesisoa.org/
Andres and Esther and their 4 children, members of the 2nd Neocatechumenal Community, were sent by the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, as a Missionary Family to the city of Sydney on January 11, 2006. At that meeting with the Pope more than 200 Missionary Families were sent to destinations spread over the five continents.
In a celebration in the family’s parish of Corpus Christi, our Bishop, D. Raphael Palmero, confirmed their mission and fully endorsed the Pope’s decision.
On August 23, 2006, Andres and Esther set off with their four children for the antipodean city of Sydney to “give freely what they have received freely” – the Love of Christ in their lives.
The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, entrusted them with a mission in the centre of the city – in the parish of St Vincent de Paul in the suburb of Redfern.
Their mission is to establish the presence of the Body of Christ, which is the Church, given the reality of the parish. For that they rely on the Brazilian Parish Priest, Clesio Mendes, the Australian Assistant Priest, Joe Pelle, two unmarried girls and an Italian family with twelve children.
The Sydney Community
In order to focus on the reality of this parish it is necessary to know the environment in which the mission must operate. The suburb of Redfern is one of the most troubled of the city, given that Australian Aborigines live there. The social reality of the Australian Aborigines is really disappointing; in spite of the great sums of money that they receive from the government for abuses suffered during the country’s history, these people live immersed in the world of drugs and alcohol. Families are broken, the rate of unemployment amongst them is 95%, and Aboriginals make up 60% of the inmates in Australian gaols. Also, as a consequence of alcohol and heroin use, there is a high incidence of domestic violence and child abuse.
The basic mission of this family is to help and support the parish priests, who are constantly slandered and persecuted for being Catholics, and to visit people’s homes in pairs several days each week in order to, according to the Gospel, bring the love of God and His Word to the people of this tremendously dechristianised suburb.
They also help a little Neocatechumenal community in the parish and realise Christian initiation with them. The community includes only four people who are originally from the parish, but together with the two girls, the two families and the two priests, it numbers 12 adults and 16 children.
Through this missionary family the diocese of Orihuela-Alicante is proclaiming the Gospel in the Australian continent.
Year XII, Nº 244 10/17 February 2008
Thanks to Joe C for his help in translating the article.