Redemptorists of Australia and New Zealand

Australia, New Zealand and Samoa

Province of Oceania

Bringing Good News to the World

Missing jigsaw piece

By Bruce Duncan C.SsR.

puzzleAn unexpectedly decisive event in my life occurred when studying the justice component in my seminary studies some years ago. It was as if a missing piece of the jigsaw of my mental world had suddenly fallen into place and the total picture became suddenly vibrantly alive. I began to realise how social justice was so central to the Gospels, and indeed to the whole of the Scriptures.

This was also repeatedly affirmed in the documents of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), and in the rich stream of social documents flowing from later popes and conferences of bishops. It has meant a major shift in emphasis in our ministry, particularly to affirm the role of lay people in the task of transformation.

For a short time, I had a role as co-ordinator of Redemptorist social work activities in Asia. This enabled me to visit various places in Asia and a few spots in Africa, and talk with the Redemptorists responding to sometimes very distressing situations. For us it is not just a matter of helping where we can in emergencies or supporting social action or defence of human rights. It is also about raising communities of people convinced that God is passionately concerned about human well-being and expects us to share this passion.