Detention for Detention

DETENTION FOR DETENTION

On Thursday the 2nd May, Edmund Rice Colleges joined in the Catholic Mission’s ‘Detention for Detention’ Campaign. Sixty of our boys from Years 8 through to 12, voluntarily made their way to the front of the Brothers’ Old Building, joining in solidarity to protest quietly and with dignity against the one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three children who are currently in immigration detention in Australia. Our students gathered in solidarity with other boys from Edmund Rice Colleges namely: St Joseph’s College on Gregory Terrace; St Joseph’s Nudgee College; St Edmund’s College at Ipswich; St Patrick’s College at Shorncliffe and St James’ College in Fortitude Valley. All students gathered to let these children know that they are not alone and that they are welcome in our country, Australia. Our boys sat in silence, shared personal reflections and signed a petition which will be passed onto the government, asking to end mandatory detention for asylum seeker children. The boys were also joined by seven members of the College staff who quietly joined with them. I particularly thank Year 12 student, Liam Curtin, Year 11 student, Jacob Montafia and Mr Ryan Baines (Retreat and Social Justice Co-ordinator) for advertising this event for the boys to voluntarily be a part of. Personally, I was very proud to be sitting with St Mary's College students whose hearts were open in compassion with other children who are suffering in Australia. I conclude with these reflections:

‘It is really important for me to be a part of this, to stand in solidarity with other children my age’ Christopher Godfrey: Year 8.

‘Irrespective of the politics and media, I took part so that I could broaden my understanding and learn more about the issues concerning children in detention.’  Broderick Gaggi:Year 11.

 

‘(The Church) cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society ….. is proper to the lay faithful. As citizens of the state, they are called to take part in public life in a personal capacity. So they cannot relinquish their participation in the many different economic, social, legislative, administrative and cultural areas, which are intended to promote organically and institutionally the common good.’ Pope Benedict XVI: ‘Deus Caritas Est’.

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