Ministry to Detainees – Aug 22nd, 2014

I am one of a group of eight who visit the Villawood Detention Centre each Thursday afternoon for about two hours. At present the detainees we meet and converse with are mostly young Tamils.. There are several other nationalities, such as people from Bangladesh, China, Irak, Iran and West Papua. The ladies in our group bring some food and some clothing when it is needed. Many of the detainees have been at Villawood for some years; two young men who had birthdays recently had been there six years. When I first began my visits, there was a lot of unrest, as some of their friends who had been at Villawood  for five years or more were sent to Darwin Detention Centre or one of the two Centres in remote parts of W.A. We usually gather together and the atmosphere is quite cheerful under the circumstances. The main concern of the Detainees is how long they will be there. Most of them are male but there are several females from China, mostly quite young. On a Friday there is a Mass attended by some of the Thursday group  plus some Asian ladies. One reading is in Mandarin and also one of the Readings. Some may know Rupe Hudson of V. de P. days; Rupe “sings” very enthusiastically, especially the Chinese hymns. In regard to the Celebrants : at present there are four of us, rostered on a monthly basis but more are required to cover for someone away or sick. One of the visitors brings some musical instruments. I would prefer that the Confreres use their discretion in speaking about some details I have mentioned, as Serco, who run the Centre, do not allow some details to be spread abroad. Best wishes, Jim Maloney