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"Governance of contemporary Catholic agencies is a challenging and critically important ministry of service," writes Prof. Gabrielle McMullen AM. "Governance-wise, the Church is doing better in some areas than others. Importantly, board directors of Catholic agencies need to be qualified to take responsibility for both the civic and canonical facets of their role and then, through induction and ongoing formation, to be accountable for mission as well as the ‘business’ side of their ministries." McMullen discusses a workshop being led by Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University, John Warhurst AO, at the upcoming national Catholic social services conference.

There will be two stand-alone sessions at the upcoming national Catholic social services conference, Serving Communities with Courage and Compassion (26-28 February, Catholic Leadership Centre, East Melbourne), which will be open to the public - everyone is welcome! The first is Beyond Surviving to Truthfully Thriving: Continuing our Journey of Listening in Truth and Justice, and the second is Mobilising Media for Mission and Advocacy.

Significantly, Australian parishes make available a range of social service activities providing for those in need. In some ways, they can reach out to sections of the community that professional service agencies cannot. Services provided by parishes usually have a strong personal focus on those being served.

Catholic Social Services Victoria's February eNews is out now. It highlights some of the latest news from those working within our sector, as well as upcoming events from both us, and our member organisations; there's a few! Highlights include stories and sessions related to our upcoming national Catholic social services conference, Serving Communities with Courage and Compassion (registrations close 19th Wednesday, so be sure to book your place!), the Church's response to Australia's bushfire emergency and a multifaith prayer gathering on the steps of Victoria's parliament to pray for those impacted by the bushfires.

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