UNDA community pray for victims impacted by domestic violence

13 May 2021

By Amanda Murthy

UNDA celebrated a remembrance Mass and held a donation drive in support of victims of domestic violence. The Mass was held on 5 May held at their Fremantle campus. Photo: Amanda Murthy.

Students and staff at the University of Notre Dame Australia Fremantle campus congregated at the campus’ Holy Spirit Chapel to mark a Remembrance Mass at 12.35pm on Wednesday 5 May, in conjunction with National Domestic Violence Remembrance Day.

At the start of Mass celebrated by UNDA Chaplain Father Joseph Laundy, UNDA’s Respect Officer Rachel Fuller spoke about the significance and need to gather and pray for those in the community who have been affected by this crisis.

“The month of May is Domestic Violence Prevention Month, and the University’s Chaplaincy team along with our Respect Officers (myself) and Charlotte Armstrong from the Sydney campus, have organised this Mass to remember those who have lost their lives to violence, those left behind, and all those who continue to be impacted by family and domestic violence,” she said.

“The day also provides an opportunity for us to reflect, show solidarity, and consider how we can support people who are affected by family and domestic violence.”

The choir for the Domestic Violence Remembrance Mass on 5 May held at the UNDA Fremantle campus, comprised of UNDA students. Photo: Amanda Murthy.

Fr Laundy addressed those present, inviting them to pray for victims of domestic violence – that the consolation of the Lord’s presence may always be with them, that there may be a change of heart for people who perpetrate domestic violence around others, and that God will be with all those involved in these difficult situations.

A candle, signifying hope was then lit by a UNDA Manager of Student Conduct and Wellbeing Sarah Lovegrove, as Fr Laundy prayed that the “symbol of light will bring hope and encouragement to those affected by violence.”

During his homily, Fr Laundy reflecting on the Gospel reading of the day, spoke about the need to be ‘anchored in our roots.’

“Roots as we can appreciate, are important in life. We can appreciate our family roots so that we can experience belonging. Roots help us remain anchored in where we are and what we do,” Fr Laundy said.

“As Christians, we need to be anchored in Christ – so that we can be anchored and secure in our relationship with the Lord, so that He is the foundation in our lives.

“It is through that invitation that we hear in today’s Gospel that He is the vine and we are the branches,” he added.

Just as the vine branches grow and spread when activated, Fr Laundy explained that “we as believers of Christ” are called to live out our faith and to magnify the Lord’s presence within us as a way of beautifying the world around us.

Mass celebrant Father Joseph Laundy spoke about the need to be rooted in Christ, at the Domestic Violence Remembrance Mass on 5 May held at the UNDA Fremantle campus. Photo: Amanda Murthy.

“We can start by growing in our awareness of Christ’s constant presence and source in our own lives, by deliberately allowing God to work in us,” he cited.

“We grow as our trust grows in Christ, we grow as our will becomes one with His will, we grow when we experience life with all its’ challenges and difficulties…. We surrender to the Lord, we grow through being one with Him.”

Throughout the month of May, the University’s Respect Officer will be collecting women’s winter pyjamas (all sizes, new condition only) and cleaning products to support women and families living in emergency accommodation and transitioning to safe housing. All donations will go to Zonta House Refuge Association, a specialist service that provides relief and support to women who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing family and domestic violence. 

  • After the Domestic Violence Remembrance Mass, attendees signed a Pledge Respect poster provided by the Respect Life Office, as a sign of their support to those who have experienced and continue to experience violence in their homes. The event took place on 5 May at the UNDA Fremantle campus. Photo: Amanda Murthy.

If you would like to contribute to the collection, donations can be made at UNDA Student Services Office on the Fremantle Campus, 38 Mouat St Fremantle.

For more information about the collection, please contact Rachel Fuller at fremantle.respectofficer@nd.edu.au