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National Sorry Day, 26 May 2018

25th May 2018

On this National Sorry Day we remember the words of Pope John Paul II on his visit to Alice Springs in 1986.  

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags
Image: © 123RF/trots1905

But for thousands of years you have lived in this land and fashioned a culture that endures to this day. And during all this time, the Spirit of God has been with you … Your culture, which shows the lasting genius and dignity of your race, must not be allowed to disappear. Do not think that your gifts are worth so little that you should no longer bother to maintain them. Share them with each other and teach them to your children. Your songs, your stories, your paintings, your dances, your languages, must never be lost … For thousands of years this culture of yours was free to grow without interference by people from other places. You lived your lives in spiritual closeness to the land, with its animals, birds, fishes, waterholes, rivers, hills and mountains. Through your closeness to the land you touched the sacredness of man’s relationship with God, for the land was the proof of a power in life greater than yourselves. You did not spoil the land, use it up, exhaust it. and then walk away from it. You realised that your land was related to the source of life.

Prayer for National Sorry Day

We stand alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on this day which recognises those Indigenous Australians who were forcibly removed from their families and communities – the Stolen Generations.

We pray for ongoing healing of fractured families and communities.
We acknowledge the deep hurt and trauma caused by successive government policies.
We encourage reconciliation at all levels of Australian society.
We walk in hope of a more just, compassionate and inclusive nation.
Amen.