Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - "Catholic Mission", National Direction of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia, invited the community of the faithful across the country to approach Christmas by reflecting on the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking. This is what Francis Leong, Diocesan director of "Catholic Mission" in Perth, says in a note sent to Agenzia Fides: "The more light we can shine on this problem, the greater is the potential for change for the better. The themes we choose each year are designed to not only inspire, but to provoke. They draw on the darker yet hope-giving side of the Christmas narrative, focusing on the experience of those who are marginalised, oppressed and vulnerable in our world today".
To the theme of modern slavery, "Catholic Mission" dedicated the annual event "Christmas Reflection", held in streaming in recent days, in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame and Oblates of Mary Immaculate: "The event, entitled 'The slave is my sister, the slave is my brother' was organized in response to an appeal from the Australian Bishops' Conference to raise awareness of these issues. Pope Francis says "effective evangelisation is done not by winning arguments but by showing something beautiful, and that was the premise of Catholic Mission’s Christmas Reflection to not only inspire the heart but also a call to action: this liturgical event of sacred music interspersed with scripture and narrative, drew both local and national attention to the scourge of modern slavery and human trafficking afflicting our world today". The Australian PMS supports the projects of a number of Women's Congregations, aimed at women and children who have survived trafficking, providing them with educational and vocational training opportunities.
Founded in Sydney in 1847, "Catholic Mission" helps finance and support projects and initiatives run by local churches in Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America in areas such as spiritual formation, pastoral care, education, health, sanitation and agriculture. (LF-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 22/12/2020)