Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Left To Their Fate

Father Adolf Kristen and Brother Vinzenz Scharmer are the first Austrian Jesuits to cast their eyes on the Daly River – here the missionaries are going to attempt to convert the Aboriginal people in the area to the Roman Catholic faith. But – the author of the diary records – as the two men step to the water’s edge they are disappointed: “No doubt they expected to find it resemble the Danube in its majestic flow, and found it smaller than the river Inn!” What they saw in the surface of the water is to all intents and purposes their own reflection … 

“The river is starting to rise.” 
And then the floods come, as in almost every year; but this time it almost completely destroys the Jesuits’ settlement – shortly after the Superior, with the authorization of the Superior General in Rome, decides that all the missionaries must leave the Daly River from one day to the next. No one else compares the river with the Inn or the Danube. The Aborigines are left to their fate. The flood is not the only reason for abandoning the mission. The mirror images have now become dim, blurred and distorted.
Link (here) to at the website Environment History Network the article is entitled, at the Riverside: Jesuit Missionaries.

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