St John’s School in Rangeway translates Christian Sign of the Cross into Wilunya Aboriginal language
St John’s School in Rangeway has taken the extraordinary step of translating the Christian Sign of the Cross into Wilunyu local Aboriginal language, in a first for the region.
The translation — unveiled at the school’s NAIDOC Week celebrations — will be recited at designated liturgical celebrations by members of the St John’s community.
The school consulted with many key stakeholders for the translation including Catholic Bishop Michael Morrissey, elders from the Wilunyu language reference group, recorded translator David Ronan, Callan Bindon from the Bundinyarra–Irra Wangga Language Centre and Catholic Education WA Geraldton Aboriginal consultant Marion Baumgarten.
St John’s Aboriginal teacher assistants Lesley Jones, Ashleigh Jones and Michael Wright were also involved in the process.
Assistant principal for religious education Brett Love said they wanted to better correlate Aboriginal spirituality and Catholic faith and traditions to improve the connection between the two groups.
“We’ve received fantastic feedback, both from Catholic Education WA and from the Aboriginal community, to our knowledge, it’s the first of its kind in our Geraldton region, that it’s been translated into local language.”
“The feedback from the students as well has been wonderful in that they now have another alternative to the sign of the cross, which is a significant sign in our Catholic faith and Christian tradition.”
Mr Love said the initiative went through a very thorough process to ensure they got the correct translation.
“We are future casting it, we don’t want to have to change it further down the line, that we get it right the first time,” he said.
“Our kindergarten students now begin the day both with the English translation and now incorporating the language translation each morning, which is great to see it happening in the early years.”
SIGN OF THE CROSS TRANSLATION
English: “In the name of our father, in the name of our son, in the name of our good spirit.”
Wilunyu: “Iningga (m)amaju, iningga juraju, iningga warndu(ju) kuwarluju.”
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