Left to right: Fr. Leo & William (from Wadeye Parish) during an interview at the Diocesan Leaders Gathering on Friday the 16th of July 2021

Left to right: Fr. Leo & William (from Wadeye Parish) during an interview at the Diocesan Leaders Gathering on Friday the 16th of July 2021

Last week Fr Leo, Parish Priest of Wadeye interviewed William, an Aboriginal man from that part of the country.

This interview took part during our diocesan leaders gathering.

Fr Leo has Ministered in Aboriginal communities for many years and is a much-loved pastor.

William is an artist and a musician; he is a very talented man as is his family.

William spoke about the deep connection that our First Nations people have with their land. Their identity is intimately connected with the land.

Disconnection from the land makes us sick.

William said that he was thankful for the gift of faith. He was thankful for the first priests who ministered in his country.

He said that white people do everything in a hurry.

We need to listen inside. We need to let nature teach us.

We need to work together, we all belong, we are all Australian.

William has met Popes, Prime Ministers, as well as several other Government and other Community Leaders.

He has been to the Holy Land. He showed us a small stone that he had picked up in that part of the world.

William is a Church leader in the Parish at Wadeye.

He looks after his wife who has serious eyesight challenges.

There is so much that I keep learning from our First Nations people. I also find that I get energy from the land and other aspects of nature. I am learning to be more patient and to listen more.

One-quarter of the Catholics in our Diocese are Aboriginal. They are a spiritual people who build on their traditions and dreaming and really value Jesus.

They are not cluttered with lots of things and live simply.

They appreciate others walking respectfully alongside them.

Indeed, they face many challenges. With the Grace of God, we keep walking together under the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we support them facing these challenges.

 

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