NAIDOC Week 2017

An interfaith NAIDOC Week celebration was held at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Sunday July 2.

This year’s theme − ‘Our Languages Matter’ – highlighted the essential role that Indigenous languages play in our cultural identity.

The event began with a smoking ceremony in which an Awabakal elder invited people to walk through the smoke as they entered the cathedral while listening to the didgeridoo sounds. After a small procession, an ecumenical liturgy unfolded where we listened to different Aboriginal stories. We were blessed with water as clapping sticks resonated in the background.

Fr Chris Jackson said, “Your languages matter. The stories we have heard matter. The blessing we have received matters. We who have heard the stories and received the blessing, ask the Creator Spirit to help us respond with integrity. We do this first by sharing our stories which form the ground and integrity of our response. These stories find a home in many of you. While our languages are different, they echo in tune with each other.”

Christian, Baha’i, Muslim and Jewish stories were shared before continuing the celebration with supper.

Photos and article thanks to the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.