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NAIDOC Week begins on Sunday, 7 July. This week provides an opportunity for all Australians to join in celebrating the culture, aspirations and hopes of the country's First Nations peoples. As Pope Francis reminds us, we are called to be a Church that goes forth, embracing all cultures and peoples. He emphasises, in his Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, that a culture of encounter, rather than a culture clash, is crucial for fostering unity and understanding. The Australian Catholic Bishops, in their 2023-2024 Social Justice Statement: Listen Learn Love, encourage Australians to embrace this culture of encounter through a renewed engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The bishops advocate for a love that seeks out Indigenous peoples, listens to their wisdom, and walks with them to a place where all are freed from injustice and oppression. NAIDOC Week is a call to all Australians to listen, learn, and engage in meaningful dialogue, fostering a society where the contributions of Indigenous peoples are fully valued and respected. Let us open our hearts to the wisdom and spirituality of our First Nations Peoples, and recognise the presence of Christ in the stories and traditions. May this celebration be a moment of grace, healing, and transformation for all of us.


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