Working with and Alongside Indigenous Peoples

sisters indigenous 300Indigenous people have always been in the hearts of the MGL Sisters.

Patti Jo began working with Indigenous people in Melbourne in 1991 and since then we have engaged with Indigenous peoples in many different ways and locations, including Adelaide, Darwin and Melbourne.

From 1995-2003 the MGL Sisters lived in Darwin working alongside the Indigenous peoples from around Northern Territory. The Sisters treasured those years and the relationships they formed and are still in contact, especially with the people from St Martin De Porres and Bathurst Island.

In 2007, the MGL Sisters felt the Lord call us to put formation on hold and have a mission year—to go out into the remote areas of Australia, especially to the Aboriginal Communities to promote and share the vision of WYD08. The Sisters have since travelled to Townsville, Palm Island, Macksville, Alice Springs, Darwin, Wadeye, Santa Teresa, Daly River, Bathurst Island, Perth and Lake Cargellligo.

The 2007 Asia Pacific School of Evangelisation (APSE) hosted its first Indigenous Leadership School in Darwin where 32 students attended the two-week school. They represented 10 different communities from around Australia. The Sisters played a major role in the co-ordination and implementation of all aspects of this school.

Since then, the Lord has opened doors for the Sisters to continue their ministry and relationships through their travels and the APSE. The Sisters were invited back to Townsville, Palm Island and Port Macquarie to help further prepare the pilgrims attending WYD08.  During such visits, the Sisters also have the opportunity to share the Gospel message and experience the cultures’ and spirituality of Indigenous people.

WYD08 provided the MGLs Sisters with a wonderful opportunity to contribute our charism in many different ways. The MGL Sisters and the Indigenous people of Australia working together to organise one of the core elements of WYD, which is ‘catechesis’.  The MGL Sisters animated a catechesis site at the Sydney Entertainment Centre during WYD08 where thousands of people experienced something of Indigenous culture and spirituality shared through song, dance and personal testimonies. Music was provided by an MGL worship group while Bishop Christopher Saunders from Broome, Bishop Eugene Hurley from Darwin and Bishop Ignatius from Nigeria gave inspired teaching.