September 05, 2012
This prayer, reflection and action have given hope to many people who have been devastated by the actions of the Australian Government in recent months. Your participation in the vigil, and the action taken by so many of you to speak a word of support for Indigenous people and asylum seekers in family and community, is truly a cause for both thanks and hope. We are deeply grateful.
The South African Dominican, Albert Nolan, speaks of the urgency of retaining hope in an age of despair. And as someone who witnessed the oppression and despair of the worst years in South Africa, he is indeed qualified to call us to hope at this time in our own story. He has reminded us, that as Christians, we are called to continue to hope, even when there are few visible signs of hope.
And it is true that we have indeed seen these signs of hope among us. The indigenous people, who have shown us what it means to be patient and forbearing, the asylum seekers who have shown willingness to risk all, including life itself, in the hope of a new life, and the faithfulness of the Josephite women and men who have continued over many years to stand and walk with Indigenous people and asylum seekers, all give us enormous cause for hope at this time of deapair. You help us to remain hope-filled with you. Thank you.
In response to a number of requests from people who have asked about other possible actions, we are including 2 possibilities. The attached form can be used as a petition, which you can invite others to sign and return to Jan Barnett. Or you can adapt the introduction at the top of the petition and write your own letter to the relevant politicians. Personal letters are taken more seriously than petitions. Whatever your action, be assured that each step moves us, even in tiny ways, towards the world of hope and justice, described by Jesus in the gospel.