Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Spirituality

19 January 2022 by

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) held its first ever Virtual Spirituality retreat from 21-24 November 2021.

The presentations from this retreat each explored and developed concepts including Caring for our Common Home and the path to a better future and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Spirituality.

NATSICC has generously provided the following presentations to extend their benefit:


Aboriginal Spirituality – Aunty Dulcie Isaro (16min)


  • Uses examples from her people’s spirituality to sketch broader themes of Aboriginal Spirituality.
  • One quote is: “We did not have to take another’s land as the Great Spirit gave each people their own land which was enough to provide their needs.”


Healing through Country – Caroline Hughes (43 min)


  • Starts with an overview of Ngunnawal culture.
  • People have a cultural responsibility to care for Country as a living entity with whom they have a relationship.
  • Revitalising language is vital to healing Country.
  • Cultural safety includes seeing Aboriginal symbols, artifacts and art in churches and other places.
  • Ongoing impacts of forced removal of children and other genocidal practices.
  • Importance of mutual understanding for Reconciliation.


Let us Dream – The Path to a better future – Fr Steve Fletcher MGL (40 min)


  • Links Pope Francis’ reflections in the book “Let us Dream” and the Uluru Statement From The Heart.
  • People encounter God in their context – place, situation, relationships.


I am the vine…you are the branches – Fr Dave Tremble MGL (47 min)


  • Draw deeply from God and connect to and reach out to others
  • reflections with music, art and prayer


Caring for our Common Home – Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green (43 min)



Two short reflections are also available:


Deacon Boniface Reflection (5.30 min)


  • Words of the late Deacon Boniface (first permanent Indigenous Catholic deacon in Australia) on what it means to be an Aboriginal person in the Catholic tradition


Aboriginal Contemplation – Sherry Balcombe


  • 27 slides with reflective images and text