Lismore Presentation group hold prayer vigil at detention centre
Two of the Presentation Peace and Justice group – Helen and Mary, went to the detention Centre on Monday June 2nd. When two of the Serco staff came out, our members introduced themselves and offered them a copy of the prayer. They also told them that more of the group were coming on Wednesday.
Lewis, from the Ballina group and Peta Anne (PBVM Qld) arrived first on Wednesday and Lewis said that they were most impressed by their meeting with Serco staff- Andrew, the Operations Manager and Shirley, whom I think was his Deputy. Firstly they introduced themselves telling us that they were happy to see us. They actually welcomed us and told us to contact them if we needed further assistance.
‘They gladly received copies of the prayer Vigil. They did make a point of stressing that because of the small size of the Centre (the smallest of the Australian Centres) they, namely themselves, were able to be on a much more personal level with the Detainees, and Shirley made the point that both she and Andrew were on a one to one relationship with all of the Detainees. I was quite impressed with them both. ‘
Four more of our group arrived a bit later and we prayed the prayer together.
We were joined briefly by Mark Gillespie who is a refugee advocate, anther volunteer and Mary- a Mercy sister. Mark suggested that we walk around the perimeter with a placard so that the detainees could see us. Celia and Gene walked around and waved to detainees who waved back.
A few cars honked their horns in support.
We all felt that it was a very worthwhile experience and are grateful to Suzette and Catholic Religious Australia for taking this initiative.