OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA Aboriginal Catholics at Other Way Centre celebrate 25th anniversary

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Adelaide (Fides Service) - For 25 years Other Way Centre in Adelaide has been a reference point of Aboriginal Catholics in and around the city. Its name derives from a desire of the Aboriginal community to find another way to reach full reconciliation, integration, dialogue and acceptance in Australian society.
In these years it has become an important centre for Sunday Mass, daily prayer, celebration of the Sacraments as well as social services, cultural initiatives and activity of solidarity.
To mark the 25th anniversary a special Mass was celebrated. Other initiatives include an exhibition, open 23-30 October, of photographs on its 25 years of service.
Twenty five years ago a group of Aboriginal Catholics used to meet in a chapel in Adelaide for Sunday Mass. In 1982 the Bishop of Adelaide suggested to the Hungarian community, which owned the building, that it might one day like to donate the chapel to the Aboriginal Catholic community. The very next day the generous Hungarian chaplain said his community was ready to leave the chapel. Otherway Centre has evolved into an outreach service for prisoners, the homeless and refugees and asylum seekers. It represents the ideal equality for all, welcoming people of every race, religion or circumstance.
At a 25th anniversary dinner for the Otherway Centre, keynote speaker and Aboriginal leader Lowitja O’Donoghue that there is still work to do to make Australia truly a land open to all peoples of all religions and cultures .
Otherway has its Sunday Mass, liturgy and spirituality courses.. Each Sunday about 30-50 people gather from around the suburban area to celebrate the Eucharist. The chaplain Fr. Tony Pearson says the indigenous culture and ritual are a significant part of the Eucharist, and that the Aboriginal Catholic community has a warm and welcoming spirit and a strong sense of community. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 26/10/2005 righe 28 parole 269)