• 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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Wednesday, 28 June 2017 18:25

Joy as Arrernte language Bible launches


Arrernte Bible 350A significant milestone for the people of Central Australia will be celebrated this Sunday with the launch of the Bible translated into the local Arrernte language – a project which has taken more than 30 years to come to fruition.

The ‘Angkentye Mwerre’ Eastern and Central Arrernte Shorter Bible will be launched by the local Aboriginal people of Santa Teresa and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish, Alice Springs, in a special Mass on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday in NAIDOC Week.

Parish Priest of OLSH Parish, Fr Asaeli Raass SVD, says the translation has been a long-term project.

“It started about 25 to 30 years ago and is a project of the Catholic people of Santa Teresa and OLSH Parish,” Fr Raass says.

“Neil Broad, who was the Director of AUSIL, Australian Indigenous Languages, and is an expert in translation has brought it to this point, where, with the help of the Bible Society who have published it, we can launch it.”

Fr Raass says the translation is not complete, thus the title ‘Shorter Bible’.

“It has all 27 books of the New Testament as well as three books from the Old Testament, namely Genesis, parts of Exodus and Ruth. There’s still a lot of work to be done to fill in the missing chapters.”

While the project started decades ago, it is also a fitting response to St John Paul II’s call to indigenous people when he came to Alice Springs in 1986.

“He really encouraged all Aboriginal people in Australia to read and hear the Word of God in their own language,” says Fr Raass.

“It’s really about being able to access the Bible in your heart language, in the language that you think and speak in.”

The fact that many indigenous people in Central Australia cannot read in any language has led the developers to also produce an audio recording of the Bible being read in Arrernte.

OLSH multicultural day 350The Bible will be launched by the local Aboriginal people in a combined Mass with the people of Santa Teresa and OLSH. It will start with a traditional smoking ceremony and then the Bible will be placed in a Coolamon.

“That’s the bark vessel that elders, usually mothers, place their children in and rock them,” says Fr Raass. “So instead of a child of flesh in there, now we will have the Word of God. It will be processed up to the front of the church and we will say a special launch prayer and the people themselves will launch it.

“The people have been wanting this for a long time and it’s had the support of both Bishop Ted Collins and Bishop Eugene Hurley, bishops of Darwin.”

Meanwhile, in another celebration of culture in Alice Springs, the OLSH parish marked Pentecost Sunday with a colourful celebration of all the different cultures within the local community.

Assistant Priest, Fr Prakash Menezes SVD, who himself hails from India, says the celebration was “a beautiful day; a real coming together of all the different cultures”.

The Eucharistic celebration started outside the church, with the local Arrernte people performing a smoking ceremony and singing in their language.

african dancers OLSH multicultural day 350After that, the Indian group welcomed the congregation and the celebrants with a welcoming procession. The African community processed the Bible in, singing in an African language while the offertory procession featured the Filipino community, singing in Tagalog. Prayers of the Faithful and the Our Father were prayed in various languages, while Pacific Islanders sang the Communion song.

“After Mass we all went to the school hall and celebrated with different cultural food prepared by parishioners. Along with the food, there was a cultural celebration in dance, a fashion parade and more singing,” says Fr Prakash.

“Alice Springs is like a kind of United Nations. There are people here from everywhere. It is very rich culturally and so it was great to celebrate that.”


TOP RIGHT: The new ‘Angkentye Mwerre’ Eastern and Central Arrernte Shorter Bible.

MIDDLE and BOTTOM RIGHT: Scenes from the OLSH Parish Multicultural Celebration at Pentecost (photos by Patricia Rademaker)