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Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle www.mn.catholic.org.au
and the cost of these rescues exceeds 13
million euros. Imagine our national panic if we
were in Italy's shoes!
Policies change regarding our island nation
when its people decide they need changing.
Likewise, our personal policies change
regarding our own self-made islands when
we decide they need changing. Sometimes
we feel we need to tighten our border s.
Sometimes we surprise ourselves by
responding to those in need and we taste
a cer tain joy and a fr eedom from fear. Even
though our own r esources may be limited,
we can find it in our hearts to share what we
have and share it gladly.
If a countr y as politically and economically
struggling as Italy can open its doors to
people in need, how much good could mor e
prosperous and stable nations accomplish --
should they choose?
As for us, we could begin with our own
per sonal islands and look carefully at our own
"immigration policies". In the light of Jesus'
teaching with which we are so familiar, we
can check whether our own policies could
use a little tweaking.
Who knows what might be possible more
broadly, should enough of us broaden
our personal island worlds and create a
climate of tr ust and joy r ather than one
of suspicion and fear?
Could God's Kingdom look something
WE CALL HOME
Parish priest at Hunters Hill, Marist Father
Kevin Bates, reflects on some of the
consequences of being an island nation.
As an island nation, we have developed
our own peculiar ways of relating to
the world beyond our shores. Some of
our attitudes and values, which reveal
themselves in practices and policies, are
reflective of the way we see ourselves
as an island nation. We've always been
somewhat suspicious of new ar rivals ,
especially when they come in waves
following global conflicts . They speak,
smell, eat, pr ay and think differently from
the way we thought Australians ought to
We had a "White Australia Policy" which
for many decades determined who came
here and who was not permitted to
come. Now, our methods of selection are
couched in policies that according to our
Catholic Bishops, are cr uel and inhumane,
especially when the new arrivals don't
ar rive in the manner we have deemed
acceptable. We can be thankful that our
Indigenous people didn't have either a
"Black Austr alia" policy or the capacity or
wit to introduce off-shore processing for
our ancestr al boat people.
We have spent millions making sure
that our policies are effective. We have
stopped the boats and we imagine our
island is safe again! We have less adequate
policies for people arriving by air and they
are more organised, better resourced and
mor e likely to be the ones bringing trouble
In our per sonal lives we build our own
little islands. For some, our island extends
to the coffee shop, the gym, the beach,
the shopping centre, the friends we make
through our children's school. For some
there is the golf club, the yacht club, the
office, the airpor t, the group of friends
we made when we were at school.
Sometimes we include the Church on our
Many in our parish, and beyond, have
rather large islands with more open
borders and seem not to be diminished
by their generous hospitality and outreach
to those crying out for a welcome. They
seem to have "boundless plains to share".
Our nation officially now welcomes 13,700
refugees to our shores each year. This
number has been cut from the previous
20,000 to help us pay for the people we
have placed in detention.
This year alone, the Italian Navy has
rescued 410,000 asylum seekers from
leaky boats in the Mediterr anean. These
people are escaping the turmoil of their
home countries in Nor th Africa. The
Italians have had no help from other EU
countries . Italy is an economic basket case
Share your thoughts@auroracatholic
Director of Future Matter s, Andrea Dean,
offer s some very practical suggestions to live
a simpler life. 'Buy Nothing Day' occur s on
28 Nove mber.
These days a chorus of thousands has
taken up Henr y David Thoreau's advice to
"Simplify, simplify" -- and for good reason.
Few among us would deny our lives are
too complicated and filled with too
Simplicity is about eliminating clutter
-- from your mind, your home, your
relationships and your lifestyle.
Here are ten ways to begin.
1. Get a clear idea of what you want your
life to look like. This picture will help
you discover what you must eliminate.
2. Let go of projects, roles or self-
imposed obligations that take up time
and keep you away from what you
r eally want.
3. Say 'No' to what you don't want in
your life. Say 'Yes' to what you
4. Schedule "break " days for your self
where you don't do anything but
what you really want. Don't
5. Make a "to do" day and get all those
chores and er rands done in a
6. Create space. File away or toss out;
give away, sell or trade.
7. Make and retur n phone calls only
during cer tain hour s.
8. Shop only when you have to.
Question your purchases. Consuming
less is good for the planet, too.
9. Ask for and accept help. Delegate
chores. Outsource ta sks
10. Remember to breathe, to ground
your self and to be physically pr esent.
A gr atitude list will help you discover what
really matter s to you. Simplifying means
making choices that will improve the
quality of your life.
Andrea Dean partners with individuals
and groups from the not-for-profit
sector in their struggles to be authentic,
productive and effective, and to create a
worthwhile future, a future that matters.
Some content in the above list comes
from Claire Communications where
Andrea holds a licence.
TEN WAYS TO
Share your thoughts@auroracatholic
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