Solidarity for those living Christ’s mission
Saturday 2 June 2018
Media and Communications Office
People of many different faiths gathered together on Saturday for an ecumenical service in support of Christ’s Mission to the poor and marginalised. Supported by the Filipino chaplaincy, Australians for Philippine Human Rights and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne’s Office for Justice and Peace, a group of dedicated people joined together at the Cardinal Knox Centre to support Sr Patricia Fox.
Monsignor Joselito Asis leading the service.
Sr Fox is an Australian nun who has been campaigning tirelessly in the Philippines for basic human rights for the last 27 years. Sr Fox was taken for questioning at the Bureau of Immigration and subsequently released by authorities after a day in detention. She was deemed an ‘undesirable alien’ for joining ‘political activities and anti-government demonstrations’. Sr Fox continues to persevere under the circumstances. She once said ‘it is the people who struggle for a better life that challenge me to take seriously the Gospel message of Jesus.’
Members of the Filipino Catholic Community choir leading hymns.
The service was lead by Monsignor Joselito Asis, chaplain to the Filipino community from the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. He was joined by Bishop Philip Huggins, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, Rev Tim Costello from the Baptist Union of Australia and Rev Andrew Tiver from the Uniting Church of Australia. The theme of the service was solidary with Sr Patricia and her work in the Philipines. Rev Costello spoke of Sr Pat's inspiring commitment to faith and works from Matthew 25 and 28. Rev Tiver discussed prohpets in the bible and their ability to be in the 'right place at the right time' or 'the wrong place at the wrong time'.
The four scripture reflectors.
Bishop Huggins spoke to all Australians and reminded them of their blessed lives where there is less pressure for daily survival. He encouraged those in attendance to offer their committment to prayer for Sr Patricia and others living a life of dedication those in need. He also spoke of the need to pray for leaders of countries such as the Philipines, that they may become servants for their people. The speakers lead those in attendence through scripture reflections and prayers to follow Sr Patricia's lead in serving those that God calls us to serve.
In the gospel of Matthew Jesus said ‘For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’ and the faithful who gathered at this event felt his presence as they joined together in support of an inspiring woman and her work with the poor and marginalised.