Faith in Action – Fran’s reflection

By Fran Sheahan


Many years ago in a justice workshop I came to a critical realisation: no matter how firmly some of us believe a situation is unjust and should be changed, not everyone is going to have that view. That is simply the reality and I need to resist the temptation to be disheartened about it. At the same time, given the gospels and Catholic Social Teaching, I do have an expectation of churches, in particular the Catholic Church. I expect that in their public statements and in the actions and attitudes of their members they will stand for justice without fear or favour.

I have often been disappointed in that hope but I am currently being buoyed by the level of public action among many in the Catholic community. I have no words to describe the thrill I had when some time ago I saw a huge poster outside the Kyneton church proclaiming that the Catholic community in Kyneton welcomed refugees. I was similarly moved last Friday to be among two hundred or so people, Catholic school students, their teachers and some people from parishes, gather in silence at Birrarung Marr to urge the government to # BringThemHere. In fact a look at social media shows that from their silence they are speaking to all and sundry – “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Mt 11:15

It is one thing to raise funds, to pray and to talk about the issue within our own communities. It is quite another, a courageous step in fact, to make your commitment public. At the very least some people will disagree with you, but some may also feel free to stick nasty labels on you. I rejoice in the growing voices for justice for people seeking asylum among human being Australians, and I am especially heartened to hear more and more Catholic voices proclaiming their compassion for people seeking asylum.


Fran has been volunteering with CAPSA for 18 months. If you are interested in volunteering email is at