New chapter in Church, First Peoples relations

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New chapter in Church, First Peoples relations

Fr Steve Duncan (left) and Chief of the Santa Rosa First Peoples’ Community Ricardo Bharath Hernandez are photographed on the final night of the novena. Around Fr Duncan’s neck is a caricoli (necklace) which Chief Hernandez presented on behalf of the Community. Photo: Gerard-Paul Wanliss

From August 14 to 22, the Santa Rosa parish collaborated with the Santa Rosa First Peoples’ Community through the novena to Santa Rosa. Knowing Our Story was the main theme and each night Bharath Hernandez gave a talk about the significance of some of the First Peoples’ traditions as they relate to St Rose of Lima (Santa Rosa de Lima). Feature speaker Fr Urban Hudlin OP, while preaching, connected scripture and the life of St Rose, highlighting the spirituality of the saint and challenging the wider parish community to live that spiritualty in contemporary times.

Referring to the Feast day of Santa Rosa de Lima which is being celebrated today, Sunday (the actual day was on Wednesday), Bharath Hernandez said Arima has something unique compared to other festivals. “We can boast of having the oldest religious/secular festival that dates back to early times. This year, we celebrate 231 years of the festival.”

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