PALLOTTINE CENTENARY MASS BROOME 2001
Welcome Address given by Joe (Nipper) Roe
As a senior Yawuru man, I welcome you all in
Yawuru the traditional language, to country.
Special welcome to the Australian Pallottine Provincial, Father Michael McMahon, the Superior General of the Pallottine Fathers and Brothers, Father Seamus Freeman, Father Eugene San, the Pallottine Pilgrimage from Melbourne, and others to this Centenary Mass.
The Pallottine Fathers ministered in our parish for 86 years. Our celebrant for the Missa Kimberley tonight is Father Kevin McKelson who was instrumental in initiating the Missa Kimberley.
This Ywuru land of ours is very ancient, marks of dinosaurs, the remnants of rainforests are all signs of this. But not only is the land ancient, my people have been here for over 40,000 years. Thousands of years before Moses, his eyes dimmed with age, looked over the river of Jordan, my ancestors lived on these very sandhill's and looked across Roebuck Bay to the other side of Yawuru country.
From the Dreamtime (or Buggaregara Yudany as we say) Creator Ancestors came to the Yawuru people and entrusted in us sacred law and culture. My ancestors have continuously maintained and practiced that law and culture, and it continues to the present day.
The colonists came permanently to our country about 130 years ago. Ever since that time our fate as people, as nation, as church is bound together. We are glad to work in partnership. The church has offered many wonderful things to our people. We now hope we are at a stage where we can offer the most precious things we have to help enrich our church.
The Holy Father Pope Paul II said in Alice
We would like our language taken seriously in schools and in our churches. We would like our customs taken seriously and see in them a way that the Spirit has spoken to us long before the coming of Jesus. We would like you all to take our land seriously, it has been given to us a sacred trust. Our ancestors cared for it. We do not want to neglect that trust.
We want you all to take our relations seriously; our people are related each to another with mutual obligations. Please respect these customs for they are precious to us and give us a sense of worth and belonging. Please respect our history. Parts of our history have been very hurtful to us. We don't wish to dwell on the past. But we do wish to hear people admit their faults and learn from their mistakes of the past.
We as a church should together admit our faults, mistakes and failings and in a simple-way ask forgiveness from one other.
We want to be true brothers and sisters to one another.
We are not the same in outlook and value system.
But we are equally precious in the eyes of Jesus and the church will be enriched when all our opinions and insights come together to make a richer and more diverse church.
We know that Jesus was a Jew and that his frame of reference is very different from the mind of people today. But the non-aboriginal people were able to take the essential parts of the teaching of Jesus and express it in a way which was their own and created liturgy which you could own.
"Warany-jarri lian yargarrgi" in Yawuru means, to agree with one spirit one feeling and one mind.
Let us work together towards the church that Jesus would like with "Warany-jarri lian".