Advent reflection to shine spotlight on reality of modern slavery

23 Nov 2023

By The Record

Cantors from Aquinas College prepare to sing at the 2022 Advent Reflection on Modern Slavery. Photo: Supplied.

Modern Slavery will once again be the focus at an evening reflection hosted by Catholic Mission and the WA Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office.

An Advent Reflection on Modern Slavery in Word and Music – Forced Labour edition will be held at the Redemptorist Monastery, Saturday 2 December from 7pm.

The event promises to be a beautiful and inspiring evening of readings and music featuring tenor Paul O’Neill, organist Andrew Brown and the St Elizabeth of the Trinity Choir conducted by Emma Oorschot. 

The evening will conclude with an Advent blessing by Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB.

In partnership with Catholic Mission and the WA Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office (WACMRO), the event is being hosted by the Redemptorist Monastery in North Perth and supported by the University of Notre Dame University Australia, the Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network (ACAN) and the Redemptorists of Oceania.

The York Street Brass Quartet perform at the 2022 Advent Reflection on Modern Slavery. Photo: Supplied.

Catholic Mission WA Director, Francis Leong said he is grateful to the event partners and sponsors for their support.

“They have enabled this opportunity for the Catholic community to come together and reflect on this current reality [modern slavery],” Mr Leong said.

WACMRO Director and ACAN Modern Slavery Liaison Dcn Greg Lowe added that modern slavery is an umbrella term to cover a range of criminal behaviour.

“Having a forced labour focus this year will help event participants navigate the other realities of modern slavery such as Forced Marriage and Human Trafficking, in future Advent Reflections,” Deacon Greg noted.

The selection of readings for this year’s event was developed by CEWA Catechist Services Team Leader, Dr Pina Ford and Redemptorist Monastery Leader of Mission, Fr Edmond Nixon CSsR.

Cantors from Aquinas College perform at the 2022 Advent Reflection on Modern Slavery. Photo: Supplied.

The event, highlighted Fr Nixon, is one way we can come together as a Perth community and prayerfully let each other know that we share God’s own thirst for justice to be done.

“On this occasion, especially justice to those impacted by modern slavery in our community, in our region and globally,” Fr Nixon said.

The Reflection on Modern Slavery, added Dr Pina Ford, gives the Catholic community an opportunity to honour this season of Advent.

“By doing our part to prepare for God to come anew and transform the suffering and indifference in our midst with his beauty and his presence,” Dr Ford said.

Student Samantha from Iona Presentation College reading at the 2022 Advent Reflection on Modern Slavery. Photo: Supplied.

Fr Edmond concluded with an observation and an invitation.

“Coming at the busy end of the year, Advent slips by so quickly.

“It would therefore be wonderful if you, your family and friends might join us at the monastery, 190 Vincent Street, North Perth, on Saturday December 2 at 7pm, with parking available.”

“The evening will be one of quality music, reflection and prayer, and perhaps meeting up with fellow travellers. This will be a great evening out and a great way to start Advent!” he said.