NATSICC Message after Referendum Results

NATSICC Message after Referendum Results

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) has a message of hope as we move forward from the referendum:

When we started this journey, we knew it would not be easy. We knew that there were many hurdles to overcome. This has been the case for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples for over 200 years. Our strong culture and spirituality have helped us to survive through challenges, and an unsuccessful outcome to the Voice to Parliament referendum is just another challenge that we will face with dignity, respect and without losing hope.

Throughout this journey we, the members of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) have placed an emphasis on fostering respectful dialogue and providing Catholics with information to help them make their decision. We are proud to have maintained the stance that all people are created equal in the image of God and thus deserve to be respectfully treated, regardless of their stance on the referendum question.

Guided by the Catholic social teaching principle of Subsidiarity, we (along with most First Australians) saw the value in a mechanism for our voice, and the voices of our children and grandchildren to be heard in Parliament and the potential for tangible outcomes to improve the day to day lives of our people. We also acknowledged that this was not the only way forward, but a step on the journey of Reconciliation.

We accept that, for a variety of reasons, the Australian people have decided that an enshrined Voice is not the way to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Constitution, or see it as useful to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples gain an equal footing on metrics such as life expectancy, health and socio economics. What we must not accept is that this signals the end of the journey. Statistics from the Closing the Gap strategy show that we cannot maintain the status quo. We now call on those that espoused alternatives to champion Indigenous-led ideas and initiatives that will address these practical issues, and for all people in this country to work for reconciliation.

Fear, confusion, and misinformation has impacted relationships between communities, families and friendships. The biggest tragedy we face as a nation is to hold onto resentment and disagreements, allowing them to fester and divide us further. As Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Embracing this spirit of forgiveness can pave the way for shared healing and unity.

As we look towards the future, we are heartened by the impact and response to the One Journey, Together website. 30 Catholic organisations, including the peak bodies for Catholic Health, Education and Social Services, congregations and groups articulated their support of the Voice and will be valuable allies as we move forward in our shared work of reconciliation.

The path of reconciliation and unity is a long one, but it is one that we must tread with unwavering faith and determination. The challenges we face are not insurmountable, and with the collective strength of our communities and the guidance of our faith, we can envision a brighter future for all.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

With this hope in our hearts, we, the members of NATSICC, will continue to advocate for the rights and dignity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We are certain that our family, the Catholic Church continues to walk alongside us. As Chaplain to NATSICC, Bishop Charles Gauci joins with us in these thoughts and prayers and hopes that “we be open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance so that we can grow together in the way Jesus teaches us.”

We believe that together, with love, understanding, and the grace of God, we can build a future where every individual is recognized, respected, and cherished.

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Father’s Day Prayer and Message

We give our thanks, Creator God, for the fathers in our lives. Fatherhood does not come with a manual, and reality teaches us that some fathers excel while others find it challenging. We ask for Your blessings for them all and forgiveness where it is needed.

This Father’s Day we remember the many sacrifices fathers make for their children and families, and the ways—both big and small—they lift children to achieve dreams thought beyond reach.

So too, we remember all those who have helped fill the void when fathers pass early or are absent; step fathers and foster fathers, grandfathers and uncles, brothers and cousins, teachers, priests and coaches and the women of our families. For those who are fathers, we ask for wisdom and humility in the face of the task of parenting. Give them the strength to do well by their children and by You. In union with St Joseph, whom you entrusted with Your Son, we ask your generous blessing today and every day. Amen

The Parish Pastoral Council, Frs Jude, John and Brendan wish all our fathers a happy and blessed Father’s Day.


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A happy Saint James Feast Day to all in our parish community, and to all those who journey with us.

Our Feast Day provides us with an opportunity to look back and give thanks for the vision and loving service of our pioneers and welcome those who have recently joined our parish community. It is also a time for us to pause and give thanks, for the struggles and joys of the past and to look forward in hope to our future.

We remember those who for some time were part of the journey with us and have now either died or now form part of other parishes.

Our patron St James had to learn the importance of servant leadership; Jesus reminded him that he ought not get caught in the trappings of the earthly understanding of rankings, but that serving others is how we are called to love our neighbours. As missionary disciples may we find strength in the zeal James showed in following Christ, and imitate his courage as we continue to spread the faith in these present times.

On behalf of Fr John, Fr Brendan and the Parish Pastoral Council, may I take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing love, care and support.

I wish you all a very happy and blessed Feast of St James,

Frs Jude Pirotta mssp
Parish Priest


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On this special day when we celebrate our Patron St James, we say a special thanks to ex-Parishioner Dom Daniel Meers OSB who sends his thoughts and prayers to us from Holy Trinity Abbey, Western Australia.

We also thank Parishioners Andrew and Antoinette Fava who sends their well wishes to us from the Camino Trail, the 100km + walk that many pilgrims to St James undertake in Spain.


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Next weekend we gather at all our Masses to celebrate the Feast of our Patron James.

To James and to his other disciples, Jesus simply said, “Follow me.”  This Gospel truth is strikingly simple but sometimes hard to live on this pilgrim journey. In our Parish, with the grace of God and through the generosity of our Parishioners, all are invited to be sustained on the journey.  Together, as a community we step forward and risk the journey of faith.  Let us reach out in welcome to all new Parishioners and visitors to our Parish.  May God bless us all on this day of St James as we continue to build bridges that unite us all to Christ.

Happy Feast Day to all Parishioners and friends,

Frs Jude, Brendan and the Parish Pastoral Council.


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Farewell Fr Silvio

Dear Friends and parishioners,

I would like to extend to you my heartfelt appreciation for your friendship, support and well-wishing as I come to the end of my ministry at St. James.  Since the day I came to this parish, in September 2019, I have been amazed by the hospitality, vibrancy and good feeling that exists within this community.  It makes it what it is… a place of encounter.

Many thanks go to Fr Jude, Ms Geralyn McCarthy and the Parish Pastoral Council, the parish staff: Red, Tita, Angel and Maria, and all ministry leaders, members and participants.  Last Sunday I was overcome by the love and gratitude shown to me during the farewell mass and party.  Thank you all parishioners and friends for your hospitality, love and friendship.

I will be commencing my pastoral activity at St. Bernadette (North Sunshine) in August. Please keep me in your prayers that the Good Shepherd may, through the power of the Spirit, guide me as I serve his community.  I will be keeping you in thoughts and prayers as well, and please do hop in when you have some time, or are in the vicinity.

God bless you all.

Fr Silvio.


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Happy Mother’s Day

Dear Lord, today I turn to you to give you thanks for my mother. With your own gift of life, she bore me in her womb and gave me life. She tenderly, patiently cared for me and taught me to walk and talk. She read to me and made me laugh. No one delighted in my successes more; no one could comfort me better in my failures. I am so grateful for how she mothered me and mentored me, and even disciplined me.

Please bless her, Lord, and comfort her. Help her loving heart to continue to love and give of herself to others. Strengthen her when she is down and give her hope when she is discouraged.

To all the mothers in our Parish Community we say thanks for the many ways you model the love of Christ in our lives.  We wish you a very peace-filled and special day.

Fr Jude, Fr Silvio, Fr Brendan,
and the Parish Pastoral Council


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Welcome Back Message by Fr Jude

Dear Parish Family and friends of St James,

In this first publication of the Parish Bulletin, may I welcome all Parishioners and in particular new Parishioners who have begun the journey of faith with us. We also welcome back our Parish School Communities and all ministries within the life of our Parish, enhancing and deepening our encounter with Jesus!

Throughout the year there will be a number of opportunities for us to meet to look at our vision and dream as we look ahead to the future of the Parish.

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp
Parish Priest


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Message of Thanks

I thank all of you who have shouldered the responsibility of living out the Gospel with a spirit of outstanding generosity – those of you who have joined the Parish community for Sunday Eucharist, those of you supporting the Parish and our MSSP missions and other charitable works financially, those volunteering to give of your time and talent to the various ministries and assisting in the works of Word, Worship and Service.  You truly witness to us of Emmanuel, which means God-with-us.

I wish to express a particular word of thanks to Fr Silvio, Fr Brendan, Dcn Royden, the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Office Staff.  Your support and servant leadership ensures that our Parish continues to offer opportunities to encounter our God as missionary disciples. May I also thank Tess Mijares for lovingly caring for us at the Parish House.

Congratulations to all in the Parish who celebrated marriages and baptisms during the year.  They are happy occasions that we all rejoice in.

As we come to Christmas let us spare a thought for those who have lost a loved one during the year as Christmas can be a difficult time for all who were bereaved during 2022.  Let us keep them and indeed all who are sick or facing any challenge in our prayers at this time.

I thank all who do such great work in our Parish schools, our Principals, Staff, Parents and Students. Our community is in a much better place as a result of your efforts.

Finally, thank you to all those in the Parish for your prayers, Christmas cards, gifts and messages of encouragement and care to Fr Silvio and myself. You minister to us as families minister to each other.

On behalf of the Parish team, I wish you and your families a joyous Christmas and a safe and blessed New Year.

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp


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Fr Jude’s Christmas Message

Dear Parish Family and friends of St James,

I think of all of you and your loved ones as we celebrate Christmas. Our hearts are filled with awe as we contemplate the birth of this fragile baby. God chose to come among us sharing our human flesh. In the poverty of the manger of Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph present their child to the Shepherds and hold him out to us to cradle. So come let us adore him!

As we reflect upon this year we remember those many thousands of people whose lives have been so affected by the devastating floods. Many will not be in their homes this year and have lost so much. But we were inspired by the witnesses of so many generous people who went to rescue those in need, to provide shelter for the cold and homeless, to feed the hungry and who continue to care for people at this time.

Seeing communities supporting one another reminds us of the goodness which truly exists and surrounds us. We see people at their very best at times of crisis.

Sadly there are many others across the world whose lives are currently affected by turmoil, poverty and the violence of war they did not choose. The loss of so many innocent people is tragic and the horrors which have been inflicted upon them are shocking.

We pray for the work of nations to seek the way of peace and the many agencies that offer solace and comfort.

For some of you, there will be an empty chair as you gather this season, as is the case of my own family with the death of my sister and brother in law.

May you share your memories of your loved ones with the hopes and promise of the child of Bethlehem.

Wherever we are this Christmas, God meets us in Emmanuel. He holds us and carries us. He is born for us.  All we need to do is to open the wrapping of our hearts to see the greatest gift of all: Jesus born for us that we might live!

On behalf of Fr Silvio, Fr Brendan, Dcn Royden, the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Office Staff, I wish you all a very peaceful, joyful and every blessing for Christmas and for 2023.

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp
Parish Priest


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