Around the world Redemptorists have been involved with indigenous communities for hundreds of years. In Australia, by contrast, such involvement does not go that far back. Other orders and congregations of men and women, and considerable numbers of laity, have lived and worked among Australia’s Aborigines for periods much longer than the Redemptorists.
In the 1960s, Redemptorists began in a small way working with Aborigines at Kunanurra, in the Kimberly region of north-west Western Australia, in the Diocese of Broome. Redemptorists Fr Michael Callachor, Br Raymond O’Keefe and Fr Noel McMaster laboured in those parts for 30 years before the Redemptorist contribution moved to Halls Creek.
In the cities, Fr Edmond Ryan and Fr Michael Gilbert accompanied Indigenous women and men through Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in Melbourne, Victoria. At the same time, Fr Phil Medlin has been working with Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in Penrith, New South Wales, in the Diocese of Parramatta.
For many years, Australian Redemptorists working in overseas missions have given a priority to working among indigenous peoples.
Aboriginal Catholic Ministry
Janice Kennedy and Jenny Ebsworth
On evangelising in Jaru country
Noel McMaster C.Ss.R.
Learning from the Jarai, the Banah and the K’ho
Anton Tran Xuan Anh C.Ss.R.
Niknik and Makedypat: I’ve met them both
Peter Robb C.Ss.R.