Dementia Action Week takes place from the 18th to the 24th of September, with this year’s theme of ‘Act Now for a Dementia-Friendly Future’. The focus of this campaign is to reduce the stigmas around dementia and to reduce discrimination experienced by individuals living with dementia. During this time, we are encouraged to learn more about the needs of these individuals, and ways to support them.
On the 14th of September, we celebrate ‘R U OK? Day’, with this year’s theme of “I’m here to hear.” This is a national day of action to remind Australians to check in with those around them to see if they’re doing OK, and how to spot the signs if someone is struggling during these conversations.
Today begins Pope Francis’ Season of Creation, which will continue until October 4th. This time invites everyone to see and acknowledge that we, as stewards of the earth, are interlocked with it, rather than separate from it. It is a time to be thankful for everything given and entrusted to us.
On Monday, we said goodbye to Lisbon and made our way to Fatima for the day. Although the extreme temperatures and the nearby fires fueling the heat even more, we were all looking forward to arriving in and exploring Fatima. We went on a guided tour and were able to see where the angel Gabriel appeared to the Three Children of Fatima, where Our Lady first appeared to the Children, the Church of Fatima and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, which is the home of the tombs of the Three Children.
On Monday we celebrated our final Mass in Spain before making our way to Lisbon. On our way, we stopped in at Santarem and visited the Holy Miracle Church of St Stephen, which contains the oldest recorded Eucharistic Miracle! Once arriving in Lisbon, we had the afternoon at leisure – most of us took the advantage of finding the closest laundromat.
We have just wrapped up the first week of our Pilgrimage for World Youth Day. On Sunday the 23rd of July, a group of young adults from the Diocese of Lismore flew out of Brisbane and arrived in Dubai 14 hours later. We had a 2 hour layover before another 7 hour flight to Madrid, Spain. Continue to read below a more in depth recount of what this first week has looked like for us pilgrims.
On July 15th we celebrate World Youth Skills Day, which was declared in 2014 by the United Nations Geneal Assembly. This day was agreed upon to celebrate the importance of equipping youth and young people with the skills for employment, work, and entrepreneurship.
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, and the NAIDOC Week celebrations, from July 2-9th, allow a focus to increase awareness about the treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. NAIDOC Week allows everyone to come together to celebrate the culture and history of our First Nations people. This year’s theme is ‘For Our Elders‘.
On Monday the 12th of June, a satellite, Spei Satelles, with the words of Pope Francis was launched into space. These words were his moments of prayer celebrated on the 27th of March 2020, at an address during the pandemic. These words have become an ‘icon of hope, a seed of hope from which to start again.’
On June 21st we celebrate World Peace and Prayer Day, which is a day to encourage everyone to pray for our world, regardless of nationality, religion, and life experiences. This is reflected in this year’s theme, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. This is also a day to learn more about Mother Earth and our environment.