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26 Sunday in Ordinary Time 25.09.2016

Dear sisters and brothers,

Today we celebrate Social Justice Sunday. This year, the Australian Bishops’ Social Justice Statement is titled: ‘A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing society’. The Statement celebrates the value and dignity of older people in Australian life. It challenges us to recognise their significant contribution to society and emphasises that this contribution should not be valued in mere economic terms. The Statement calls for justice for those who are most vulnerable and warns about a view of older people as burdensome or dispensable.

The number of Australians aged 65 and over will more than double by the middle of the century. This has been rightly described as ‘the great success story of human development’. Increasing numbers of older people have an excellent chance of enjoying good health and an active life for many years. In solidarity with all generations, older people have a rightful place in the heart of community life. The Bishops confront the utilitarianism in our society that values people only for what they produce and contribute economically and that, at worst, can regard older people as burdensome or dispensable.

In a society in which older people are being asked to work beyond the traditional retirement age, the bishops call for the benefits of work to be shared equitably. We must be especially aware of the needs of those who enter retirement in poverty or are particularly vulnerable to economic hardship, social isolation or exploitation.
The Bishops consider the circumstances of those who are approaching the end of their lives and warn of the loneliness, ageism and abuse that older people can experience. In particular, the Bishops warn about implications of the current community debate on euthanasia. Copies of the Social Justice Statement are available at the front foyer of the church. For further details about the Social Justice Statement, visit the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website (www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au)

On another note, I’ve been here in St. Agatha’s for about 11 months, so it must be time for a holiday. I am heading off on a month’s break later in the week. I will leave you in Fr. Kevin’s capable hands, with the help of supply priests over the coming weeks. If you are wondering where I am heading off to for my break — Nudgee Beach is always nice this time of year!

See you in late October.

Fr. Anthony

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Sep 28, 2016 26 Sunday in Ordinary Time 25.09.2016 Listen Download