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The Catholic Church In Jaru And Giji Country

Reworking A Contect Of Evangelisation In The Kimberley


The 2007 federal government intervention in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities provided impetus for the churches to review their own efforts on behalf of Indigenous communities. Writing out of his personal experience in the Roman Catholic parishes of Kununurra and Halls Creek in East Kimberley, Noel McMaster drafts a new approach to mission and church presence.

He notes that much church patronage has been a debilitating phenomenon which amounts to a failure to establish partnership with Indigenous people.

He examines what a true partnership in mission could be, and looks to an alternative missiology by promoting an improved anthropological and theological awareness. The local church, he says, needs to relinquish its evangelising efforts within parish schools, hitherto burdened with transient teachers and voluntaristic religious practices, and seek an authentic discipleship and partnership with fewer agents of mission committed over longer periods of time.


'Reflecting on nearly a decade of ministry in the Halls Creek area of the Kimberley, Noel McMaster invites the reader to join him in a hermeneutic circle a path of awareness, appraisal, critique and what amounts to a kind of reconstruction of theology, liturgy and church practice. There is hope and some sadness in this challenging reflection: hope for a better future yet sadness with the slow rate of change.'
Peter Willis
University of South Australia


'An important book With St Paul, Noel McMaster believes that the Gospel is one of freedom. The test of what is done by churches and of what is spoken by churches lies in their capacity to free. His account suggests how difficult this process is. It also shows how necessary it is. When church and government draw up strategies from their centre, both the communities and their faith suffer harm.'
Andrew Hamilton sj
United Faculty of Theology




Noel McMaster is a Redemptorist priest who, over 46 years of service, has been a chaplain to the Australian Regular Army, missioner, ITIM chaplain, and scholar. He was parish priest in the East Kimberley town of Kununurra, WA, from 1978-1981 and 1989-1997, and then at Halls Creek from 1997-2006. He is presently parish priest of Moora, WA.
The Catholic Church In Jaru And Giji Country
ISBN: 9781863551267
$ 24.95


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