The Catholic Church in Australia marks Safeguarding Sunday on the second Sunday of September - at the conclusion of National Child Protection Week.
Safeguarding Sunday seeks to acknowledge the immense damage caused by the sexual abuse of children and adults at risk, including by priests, religious and lay people within Catholic contexts. It makes a commitment to practices and protocols that create and maintain safe environments for all people. It invites people to pray for those harmed by abuse directly and indirectly.
Children and young people attending mass on this day will be gifted a highlighter with the words ‘Highlight your voice’, created and designed by the Archdiocesan Child Protection Unit. This messaging intends to communicate that the rights of children are a foundation for child protection. Ensuring we hear the voices of children and young people is a significant protective strategy, given the statistics which indicate approximately 90% of abuse-related trauma stems from the home environment. In making our schools and parishes a welcoming space where children feel a sense of belonging and are heard, we create a space for children to disclose if they are experiencing harm or need support.
Safeguarding Sunday Prayer
you love and care for all of your children,
especially the smallest and most
We entrust to you the lives of children
and adults at risk
who have been sexually abused,
and whose trust and innocence have
Help us to hear their cries of pain
and to take responsibility for those
whose lives have been broken.
Help us to recognise the hurt felt by
those wounded by abuse,
and the failure to be heard.
We pray that with the help of your grace
communities and families will find
understanding and support,
so that now and in the future
their wounds may be healed
and they may find lasting peace.
Let your grace and love fall gently now
upon our children and adults at risk,
giving them the inner strength, peace
to seek out assistance when required.
We ask this prayer through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God
forever and ever.
It has been a very 'egg-citing' start to Term 3 for Catholic Education SA's supported playgroups thanks to a new literacy project that includes a golden speckled egg and a book illustrated by primary school students.