Mother’s Day National Day of Prayer

The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, of which the Uniting Church WA is a member, is calling a National Day of Prayer for every mother who has a son or daughter in one of Australia’s offshore detention centres, to coincide with Mother’s Day on 8 May. More than 5000 people in churches in regional towns and capital cities across Australia will be participating.

Executive Officer of the Taskforce, Misha Coleman, said that “as a mother myself, watching the Four Corners expose on the death of a young man in our care on Manus Island [25  April] really made me think about the impact that offshore detention camps such as Manus Island have on the mothers of people seeking asylum.”               

The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt of St John’s Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane, and Chairperson of the Taskforce, said “As we cherish and hold in prayer our own mothers this Sunday, we must also be challenged to acknowledge and pray for the mothers who are the victims of our border politics.”

“Mothers of refugees are very significant in the biblical narrative, including the mother of Moses and the mother of Jesus. They are the all-too-forgotten victims of detention policies, who must live with the daily uncertainty about their children’s freedom, safety and health.”

The Day of Prayer was called following the announcement that the Supreme Court of PNG has determined the offshore processing centre on Manus Island to be illegal.

The future of the young men who have been languishing on Manus is uncertain. Advocates across the country, using the hashtag #BringThemHere, say the men should have been brought to Australia long ago.

Consider using this prayer, written by the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce in church this Sunday:


A prayer for the mothers of people in Australia’s offshore detention centres

Creator God,
Who was with the Mother of Moses as she suffered the loss of her missing child,
Who was with the Mother of Jesus as they fled together through the desert,
And who loves the mothers of the young men who have been treated so cruelly on Manus,
See the fears they carry in their bodies,
See them tossing in their sleep.

Creator of Justice and Mercy,
Who inspires in the heart of every person a desire to be good,
Who weeps about the violence of our collective sins,
And who loves our politicians who are responsible for those young men.
See the fears they carry in their bodies,
See them tossing in their sleep.

Creator of Community,
Who is the embodiment of perfect community,
Who challenges everyone to love their neighbour and their enemy.
And who invites everyone to eat together at the table,
Grant us the vision to see all those mothers who are not in front of us today,
Grant us with courage to welcome the stranger.


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