MSS pledge unwavering commitment to the path of healing and unity

One Journey Together text

We, the Missionary Sisters of Service, acknowledge that our work and our homes are on the sacred land and waterways of the many cultural groups of the First Nations peoples of Australia.

In light of the recent referendum result on Constitutional Recognition and the establishment of a Voice to Parliament, we acknowledge the deep disappointment and sadness of those who were hoping for a positive result, particularly our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters and brothers. It is a regret shared by many within our own community, at this time.

To our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters and brothers,

We acknowledge that following the referendum result, we were led wisely by some of the Elders to enter into a time of silence. We acknowledge your grief in a particular way and continue to hold you all in prayer.

We thank you for your invitation to listen to your voices, and to do so with open hearts and minds. We hope to continue to learn from your 65,000 year old presence in this land as the oldest continuing culture on earth, and work together  towards a future where we may better understand our connection to this sacred land we live on, and let that reverberate through our presence, our words, and our actions.

Our community of women, who have travelled across this vast land for the past 80 years, have been formed by the land. The Spirit and beauty of the land has been imbued within each one of us.

We are grateful for what we have experienced and continue to learn from you, particularly through the relationships formed between our sisters and many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

Though we are less mobile in our older years, we remain connected with you where we can in our local communities, and certainly through our mission entity, Highways and Byways: Healing Ourselves, Healing the Land, Together. Through its Small Grants Programs in many parts of Australia and its work with Mithaka woman Megan Brown, through the Seeds of Connection program in Roma and beyond in Queensland, they are together developing  important partnerships.

At this time, conscious of the work that lays ahead, we reaffirm our commitment to standing with all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We accept the ongoing invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart to walk together with you in a spirit that encompasses voice, treaty, and truth-telling to ensure a better future for all.

We feel truly blessed to walk beside you and trust we will grow stronger as we continue this walk together toward healing, and unity.