Celebrating Mass Among the Unwelcome
A Christmas day celebration at a detention centre provides an insight into the difficult lives of asylum seekers in Australia.
We are running late. There are strict instructions from security: 'You have 1 hour: 3 to 4pm.' But we are late. At the reception desk it takes time to process visitors. One of the group has her name missing from the authorised list. The manager comes out from his office. 'Her name is not on the list, see for yourself.' The manager calms down once he sees an email from my phone with the name on the list that was given to them.'That's alright. Now, what about the food?' he asks. 'Yes, there it is on the bench', I say. 'But, there is no permission for you to bring it in.' 'It's Christmas day and we are visiting our friends, how could we come without food?' 'Alright, just this once you can bring it in', he says. 'Remember you have to be finished by 4pm.'
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