Caritas Group of Wangaratta
REACHING OUT TO THOSE IN NEED
Catholic Parishes of Wangaratta Social Justice Group
We began 2017 with the Annual Meeting of the North East Deanery. Kerry Stone (Diocesan Coordinator, Caritas/Justice) came to Wangaratta and informed us about the 2017 Project Compassion theme ‘Love Your Neighbour’. Pope Francis said, ‘To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, the face of Jesus’.
On Project Compassion Sunday, parishioners viewed a short film of introduction to the 6 feature stories. Lenten boxes and envelopes were distributed. Social justice members assisted in preparing the liturgy during Lent. The 6 feature stories for the 6 weeks of Lent were shown at Masses during Lent.
Thank you to our parishioners who gave so generously to Project Compassion.
Many parishioners gathered at Our Lady’s Parish Centre to share a simple meal with this year’s Caritas Lenten Visitor, Australian Richard Campbell – a survivor of the Stolen Generation – who turned to art to help overcome his anger and pain. He spoke about his work with Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) that is supported by Caritas, and how it helped heal him and others like him, restoring their dignity and identity.
In June, parishioners were asked to support the emergency Caritas Appeal for East Africa Food Crisis. It was very appropriate to be reflecting and reaching out to our brothers and sisters in East Africa on the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. Together we form one body in the love of Christ. In August parishioners, faith groups, schools, community groups and many others signed a petition presented to MP Cathy McGowan’s Chief of Staff, urging support and action on climate change. The petition called on the Federal Government to support urgent reduction of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and increase support for vulnerable countries adversely affected by climate change.
The 2017-2018 Justice Statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops entitled ‘Everyone’s Business: Developing an Inclusive and Sustainable Economy’ was announced on Social Justice Sunday. The Statement recognizes the great benefits of economic growth Australia has achieved. However, not all Australians have shared in this national prosperity. We are all called to play our part in building an inclusive economy, founded on true solidarity, with those who are most vulnerable.
The Statement is available on the Social Justice website: www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au plus, The Ten Steps that challenge us to question our attitudes and make a difference.
This Christmas, let’s give the joy of a Global Gift – helping to create a lifetime of change for some of the world’s poorest people. Send a message to loved ones, while at the same time giving a gift to those in need. Order forms for Christmas Global gifts are available in our Parish churches, or order online at Caritas Australia.
For more information about our first meeting in 2018, contact the presbytery office or visit the parish website.
As followers of Jesus we pray to be healed from the blindness that stops us seeing those in need.