World Day Against Child Labour is observed on 12 June. Child labour is often defined as work that denies children their childhood, their dignity and their potential, and that is damaging to mental and physical development. Child labour comes in many forms and includes work that is physically, mentally, socially or morally dangerous and/or harmful to children.
Was there a time recently when you stopped to watch a group of children at play, heard their laughter and shouts of sheer joy as they ran around a park or playground, then giggling, grouping in twos and threes, began to tell one another pretend stories, untrue tales of grand adventures they’d imagined?
The children file into the room under the guidance of their watchful teacher. They settle on the carpet and greet the visitor who stands before them. The class comprises some 20 Kinder and Year 1 students and they come together every week at this time. The visitor is a regular weekly guest who is becoming familiar to the group.
Recently I gazed, with combined feelings of pity and annoyance, at a contemporary photo of a large group of priests.
During the past week we have had the privilege of many events around the diocese featuring wonderful speakers and performers – Cardinal John Dew, Steve Angrisano, Bishop Mark Edwards, Professor Chris Sarra and other educational leaders and speakers at the Association of Catholic School Principals Conference which was held at the Crowne Plaza, Hunter Valley.
I feel the need to begin this week’s message with the Gospel from John (14:15-21) for the Sixth Sunday of Easter where John speaks of Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit.