Maintaining Hope in Times of Despair

The 4th Vow group met on August 23rd 2014 in Parramatta.

The theme was Maintaining Hope in Times of Despair - a timely topic given the conflicts and suffering confronting us every day in the news.

Sr Margaret Sheppard shared some of her experiences during her recent placement at Christmas Island. The trauma and despair endured by the asylum seekers due to the Government’s cruel policies was brought home to us by Marg’s moving presentation.

We shared material for action including a short video from ChilOut and a sample letter to the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop opposing her proposal to send asylum seekers to Cambodia. We were helped by a recent message from Denise Goghlan rsm outlining the problems associated with this outrageous policy.

We used the following quote and others to reflect on how we might maintain our hope in the midst of these issues:

Patient endurance was and is a uniquely Christian virtue. It is centred on Christian hope, which takes our present distress and puts it in the context of final triumph and joy. It enables us to accept without tiredness or apathy the long interval that separates our present here-and-now from God’s fulfilment.
It enables us to work thoroughly at what must be done, without anxiety over success or failure. It gives a vigilance, watchfulness, constancy and buoyant perseverance, but above all it is open to the Spirit, confident that the future is full of God’s promise. Thomas Cullinan - If the Eye Be Sound

Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.
A submission to the Joint Committee on the proposed referendum was discussed and agreed to by our group. This will be signed by our Congregation Leader and sent to the Joint Committee. To read a copy of this submission, please click here.

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