CRA calls for National Lament for Asylum Seekers

Posted on February 28, 2014


The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry does not work on Asylum seeker issues, however like many others we are concerned about the issues of justice for those seeking refuge in Australia. Recent events on Manus Island have particularly highlighted the suffering that people are experiencing. Therefore, as we approach Lent, we support the call from Catholic Religious Australia for a National Lament. The attached documents have the explanation for the National Lament as well as supporting resources.

This is from the letter sent out by President of CRA, Annette Cunliffe, rsc.

National Lament                  

We are a society which has forgotten how to weep   Pope Francis

Many people throughout Australia are disturbed by the punitive and harsh policies and conditions to which people seeking asylum in Australia are being subjected.  The recent incident on Manus Island and the death of one person and the injury of many highlights the lack of care and dignity in the policies of both the Government and the Opposition and the absence of awareness of their legal and moral responsibilities.

In response to the desire for prayer and action, Catholic Religious Australia is launching a “National Lament”.  We are taking our inspiration from the words of Pope Francis when he visited Lampedusa.  The National Lament is a campaign of prayer, penance and action for people seeking asylum in Australia.  We are seeking to make a Christian response to these people, rather than treating them as a “problem” to be solved.

The National Lament will have 2 parts:

Part 1 Engaging in prayer, penance and action for people seeking asylum in Australia

  • Making Friday in Lent a day of prayer and penance for people seeking asylum
  • Continuing this practice after Lent through to the Ascension
  • Writing to one’s local Federal member and to the Minister, Scott Morrison, expressing our lament for people seeking asylum in Australia

Part 2 Engaging in a Week of Prayer and Prophetic Presence

Ascension to Pentecost, 1 to 8 June 2014

Included with this letter is the National Lament Prayer sheet.  Could you please distribute this to your members, associates and colleagues and invite them to participate in the National Lament by using this sheet each Friday.

Ideas for the letter and updates will be available on the CRA website:

For more information, email:

download information here

1. Information

2. National Lament