The Divine Word Missionaries are embarking on a fundraising campaign to help secure a small campervan that would allow missionaries in Central Australia to stay with outlying Aboriginal communities for longer periods. Source: In the Word.
At the moment, the missionaries drive hundreds of kilometres to be with the people in those communities, but often, after celebrating Mass or other sacraments, they have to turn around and make the long drive back to Alice Springs.
“We have about 12 Aboriginal communities outside of Alice Springs and they don’t have a place for us to stay, so having the campervan means we could go and really spend time with the people, instead of just coming and going,” says Fr Olivier Noclam SVD, of the Aboriginal Catholic Chaplaincy in Central Australia.
“For us, it is really important to be with the people and spend time with them, getting to know them and their culture and their way of life.
“Even for things like the sacramental program, we need to spend time and prepare them for the sacraments.
“We also find that the main time the people pray together in the community is when the priest is there and so we want to provide those opportunities for them to come together and pray.”
The campervan proposal will also assist a new initiative for Central Australia, a collaboration with Catholic Mission, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council, the Divine Word Missionaries and Darwin Diocese, to have a lay prayer leader or catechist in these outlying communities, as authorised recently by Pope Francis.
Donations can be made on the Divine Word Missionaries website or via this link.