• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:37

Fr Raass takes up new faith formation role in Darwin Diocese


Fr-Raass-and-Torres-Strait-Family-2014---450---AdjustedFr Asaeli Raass SVD has returned to the Northern Territory to take up a new ministry as Head of Catholic Mission and Faith Formation in the schools of the Darwin Diocese – a challenging role, but one he says he is excited about.

Fr Raass is no stranger to the Territory, having worked in Central Australia from 2003 to 2008 amongst 17 Aboriginal Catholic communities, as a chaplain to the Eastern and Central Arrernte people.

“Bishop Eugene Hurley has given me this new role in the Diocese of Darwin, which is about supporting the teachers in their role working in Catholic schools, especially in the teaching of Religious Education,” Fr Raass says.

“A big part of the role will be to offer retreats and spirituality days for the teachers, as well as serve as spiritual director, because it can be hard for people up here in the Top End to get access to spiritual direction.”

Fr Raass says his new role will involve a lot of travelling to some very remote places in the Territory, as well as to the Tiwi Islands and it will include a special focus on supporting indigenous teachers.

“We have good numbers of indigenous teachers and assistant teachers in Catholic schools up here,” he says.

“My role will be mentoring these teachers and accompanying them. We know that some of them are dealing with cultural and social issues, such as the effects of the Stolen Generation or domestic violence in communities, so they are carrying a big burden when they go into the classroom.

“I will be sensitive to that and will be there to listen to their stories and to work with them so that they are free of those burdens and can go on to become good teachers.”

Fr Raass says he is keen to visit the teachers and their families and spend time with them, connecting school life to family life.

“I know it’s going to be a very demanding role, but I’m looking forward to working with the vision and the mission of Bishop Eugene who has said that he doesn’t just want Catholic schools, but he wants good Catholic schools.

“Teachers work very hard and up here they often work in very different environments. For example, on Bathurst Island the dynamics amongst the staff are very different from those at a city school, simply because of the environment. It can be very challenging for teachers.

“So I’ll be listening to the human needs of the indigenous teachers, and all of the teachers, and attending to their human needs.”

Fr Raass says his new role reflects the priorities of the Divine Word Missionaries in the AUS Province.

“This is a priority for us. At our last General Chapter it was agreed that every confrere commit themselves to the plight of the indigenous peoples of the world. This is mission. It is God’s mission,” he says.

“It is good to move beyond the mainstream to see who is on the margins of society to attend to their needs. So I am pleased to be filling this need in Darwin Diocese. I’m excited about it.”

PHOTO: Fr Raass, pictured visiting a Torres Strait Islander family.