Image credit:  MIO ITO via Unsplash

Image credit: MIO ITO via Unsplash

Yesterday we celebrated Territory Day. The Northern Territory where I live is an amazing place.

It is a vast area of one and a half million sq kilometres. It has a small population half of whom live in Darwin.

It ranges from Monsoonal forests in the Top End to Arid and Desert lands in the south.

One-Third of the population is Aboriginal.

The rest are composed of people from backgrounds from many nations on earth.

Geographically the closest Bishops to me are in Timor Leste.

There are many pristine lands and waterways including rivers and seas here in the NT.

Living in South Australia as I did for so many years, happy in Ministry and surrounded by family and friends I had no plans to go anywhere else.

Pope Francis and God had other plans and I was appointed as Bishop here in this amazing place.

On my Episcopal Ordination here in Darwin on the 26th of September 2018, I told the people that I am now a Territorian.

I have not regretted this . We are a Missionary Diocese with some great Missionaries. I find a real openness among people. We have many challenges.

Our First Nations peoples face great challenges. We need to walk alongside them.

Many of our people are refugees who have endured amazing hardships. Then we have so many migrants, old and new.

Jesus calls us all to live together in harmony, in pursuit of the common good.

This challenging and vast land with its wild beauty gives us all a wake-up call.

It can be a very challenging land. It is a spiritual place inviting us all to let go of our excess baggage. It invites us to travel lightly on this planet.

Do we celebrate Territory Day! But let us celebrate Territory day with hope!

 

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