Support for all in the Diocese of Parramatta
Thank you for supporting the Bushfire Appeal
The Diocesan Bushfire Appeal, coordinated by CatholicCare Social Services, has now raised $300,000 with proceeds still coming in. This result is much greater than anticipated and speaks highly of the generosity of the community, and especially the Catholic community, of the Diocese. Money has also been received from the Church outside the Diocese.
CatholicCare have been liaising with St Vincent de Paul and St Thomas Aquinas parish over the past months to understand where and how these funds can best be allocated, in support of the local community.
The outstanding response from the community now allows us to maintain an on-going presence in the Blue Mountains with longer-term on-going support for those affected by the bush fires. To that end we are:
- Recruiting a community worker to commence ASAP for a period of 18 months;
- Continuing to make counselling support staff available;
- Continuing to make grief support staff available;
- Listening to the community to ascertain the needs of the community and endeavor to meet those needs we are able to;
- Supporting the Springwood Parish to continue its work to rebuild community; and
- Seeking approval to provide a drop-in centre in the Springwood CBD for residents to access our full range of services and ‘to have a chat’. The current crisis centres provided by the State Government and the St Vincent de Paul Society are both due to close before Christmas and our advice to date is that there is a need for several mnonths ot come for people to have a place they can ‘drop-in’ to when they are in the CBD.
In particular the parish raised concern about community morale and children and families coping without the support and structure of their school community – peers and counselors, during the school holidays. It was decided to organize free events and activities throughout January, to keep children engaged and to provide free entertainment. More information about the weekly outdoor movies in January and the 2 sports clinics can be found via our facebook page www.facebook.com.au/CCSSParramatta Further enquiries can be directed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to CCSS
An introduction to CatholicCare Social Services - Diocese of Parramatta
(CCSS), presented by CCSS Business Manager John Manouk.
|Cllick graphic to open CCSS Wall Calendar online|
Download CCSS Wall Calendar PDF
Pope Francis meets with 10,000 engaged couples on St Valentine’s Day
Ten thousand engaged couples from all over the world gathered on the feast of St. Valentine, in St. Peter's Square to consider the vocation of marriage, with the theme “The joy of 'Yes' forever”, and to meet with Pope Francis. St Valentine was a 3rd Century Roman priest who is widely believed to have been martyred on February 14th for his beliefs. He has since become the patron saint of love and engaged couples.
Pope Francis answered questions from some of the engaged couples on how to have a happy marriage. Pope Francis, himself committed to lifelong celibacy as a Catholic priest, said that many people are afraid these days to make "definite decisions" and long-lasting choices -- but that it can be done.
'Don't be afraid to marry'
"Today, everything is changing rapidly and nothing lasts for long. This sort of mentality leads so many who are getting ready for marriage to say they will be together for as long as love lasts," which can lead to divorce, he said. Love has to be built together, he said, not alone. "To build such a thing means to help your love grow," he said.
"Dear engaged people, you are getting ready to grow together, to build a home, to live together for good. Do not just base it on those feelings that come and go, but on the rock of true love that comes from God," he said.
"Dear young people, don't be afraid to marry. A faithful and fruitful marriage will bring you happiness."
Don't go to bed angry
"Living together is an art. It's a patient art, it's a beautiful art, it's fascinating," Francis replied. He spoke of the need to communicate with respect and attention, "to request politely so that you enter with courtesy into the life of the other." That isn't easy, he said. Each half of the couple must learn to say thank you, and to apologize for his or her mistakes.
"We all know there isn't a perfect family, neither a perfect husband nor a perfect wife. Of course, we are not talking about the perfect mother-in-law," he joked.
"Do not end any day without asking each other for forgiveness, having peace back in your house and your family," he said. "Never end a single day without being at peace with each other. This is the secret in order to preserve love."
Celebrating the Marriage
Pope Francis said the key thing was not to have a wild party, though the celebration is important, but to feel the presence of Jesus. The dress, flowers and food are important, but only if the couple are there in a true spirit of love.
For more details go to:
Thanks to Mirvac, Bunnings and Optus RockCorps for helping Catherine Villa Quakers Hill, our service for homeless young mothers, in 2013.
Each of these organizations have contributed their time and resources to clean, conduct maintenance and modernise the indoor and outdoor appearance of Catherine Villa.
Enhancements included, a new sailing boat sandpit and stools for the children, weeding, clearing overgrown areas and establishing new gardens and vegetable patches, updating the pergola area and making it an appealing space to entice the mums and their children to want to spend more time outside, painting the interior and adding colourful murals for both the children and mothers. Also we had a new outdoor table setting and air conditioning unit donated by friends of the Mirvac owned Stanhope Village shopping centre.
The impact this service has had on young, otherwise homeless mothers over the past twenty years is immeasurable. The young women and children are homeless and “at risk”, some with challenging behaviours.
Catherine Villa has provided hundreds of young mums with the guidance, education and compassion towards developing these girls into being stable, committed and independent parents.
Volunteer with Blacktown Neighbour Aid
You or someone you know might care to answer our call, because one day you or someone you know might need someone to care to call…
Our Blacktown Neighbour Aid Program is looking for 60 people to volunteer as little as 60 minutes a fortnight. A little of your time could make a big difference. Watch below and or call 02 8822 2238. Thank you.
Following the devastating bushfires in the Blue Mountains region in October 2013, CatholicCare Social Services Parramatta has been working with St Thomas Aquinas Parish at Springwood to provide ongoing support for the local community.
Otto Henfling attending book launch for three new books for Kamilaroi Language learners.
The Diocesan Bushfire Appeal, coordinated by CatholicCare Social Services has now raised $300,000