We acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin nation as the traditional custodians of this land on which OLMC was built and pay our respects to their elders, both past, present and future for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of the living Wurundjeri people today. We recognise that sovereignty has never been ceded. It always was and always will be Aboriginal land. Ours is the age of the refugee, the displaced person and mass immigration. For decades, Australia has been a place of refuge and welcome for many people who have fled from the unbearable realities of wars and deprivations around the world. They have had to leave a familiar world behind and move to a new world populated with languages, traditions, skills and new ways of living that are foreign to their own. We recognise that Aboriginal people, and refugees, share the experience of displacement and dispossession of their lands. The reconciliation process is incomplete, and we as a nation are not doing enough to progress it. As well, policies regarding the treatment of refugees have often been cruel, with ongoing uncertainty for too many. Too many lives are left in limbo. Too many are living in poverty and deprivation. So let us remain committed to justice and reconciliation in this land, to meet the tasks to realise and actualise a fair and just Australia. As a nation, we extend – and are able to receive – the gifts of generosity, understanding, compassion, hospitality and respect.
As we prepare to commemorate Refugee Week, the Mercy family is asked - “Who am I called to be a neighbour for?” Pope Francis says “... history teaches us that the contribution of migrants and refugees has been fundamental to the social and economic growth of our societies. This continues to be true in our day. Their work, their youth, their enthusiasm and their willingness to sacrifice enrich the communities that receive them.”
Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2022.
As people of ‘The Way’, we pray…
Lord, make us bearers of hope,
so that where there is darkness,
your light may shine,
and where there is discouragement,
confidence in the future may be reborn.
Lord, make us instruments of your justice,
so that where there is exclusion, fraternity may flourish,
and where there is greed, a spirit of sharing may grow.
Lord, make us builders of your Kingdom,
together with migrants and refugees
and with all who dwell on the peripheries.
Lord, let us learn how beautiful it is
to live together as brothers and sisters.