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The Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS) have launched an initiative that will see their work in remote and regional Australia continue beyond the life of the religious community. The Sisters have set up Highways and Byways: A Community of Service, which will expand its reach across Australia, and take over the works of the John Wallis Foundation, which the MSS established in 2010 and named after the founder of the MSS, Fr John Wallis.
Highways and Byways is inviting grant applicants for projects that can make a difference in the lives of isolated, and often forgotten, Australians. More than $90,000 will be allocated in small grants to community programs in 2019. It is hoped that this figure will increase each year.
Eliska and her retired racing greyhound China are regular, friendly faces at St Catherine’s aged care in Balwyn. The secondary school student is one of more than 350 social visitors who make a real difference to the lives of older people in Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) aged care communities, particularly around Christmas when loneliness can be amplified.
A gathering from the deaf community and their families came from far and wide around Victoria to attend a special Christmas Mass Rally at the John Pierce Centre (JPC) in Armadale earlier this month. The occasion began with a morning Mass given in Auslan and spoken English by Fr. John Hill who is a member of the Redemptorist Missionary Order. Fr John has been chaplain at JPC since 2000 and throughout the duration of the Mass used his skills in sign language while the Homily was interpreted.
Sacred Heart Mission's Dine with the Champions is back! Join Sacred Heart for an unforgettable night on 28 February 2019, enjoy a delicious dinner, hear inside stories from sports greats and - most importantly - help raise $65,000 for its Kickstart Wellbeing and Activities Program. Tiffany Cherry, the leading sports broadcaster, presenter and producer will lead through the evening. Book your tickets now, here.
In a spirit of joy and celebration, a group of 28 pilgrims spent five days travelling through Tasmania recently to mark the commencement of the 75-year anniversary of the Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS). The pilgrims came from Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania and included 13 MSS and 15 friends and colleagues. The pilgrimage commenced in Launceston, at Calvary St Vincent’s Hospital, which is the site of the first ‘foundation house’ of the then Home Missionary Sisters Our Lady.
A new joint program between Jesuit Social Services and Victoria Police is helping African-Australians succeed in their aspirations to become police and Protective Services Officers (PSOs) in Victoria. The Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program aims to boost the organisation’s police and PSOs from African communities and includes a 15-week course that is being offered by Victoria University Polytechnic.
It’s not too late to get involved with the international community’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. Commencing on 25 November and finishing on 10 December ( Human Rights Day), the campaign looks at the different forms of violence that women and girls face. The theme this year is, ‘From peace in the home to peace in the world: make education safe for all!’ Member organisation, ACRATH, has an array of resources to assist.
Following recent votes in the Senate and House of Representatives, Australia has a Modern Slavery Act, which will take effect on 1 January. This is great news for the many members of Parliament, government departments, NGOs and business that have collaborated and advocated for a number of years. Even more important is the hope that enacting this Bill will assist in eliminating slavery in supply chains and restore dignity to many who are currently enslaved. Congratulations to ACRATH and all who have had a part in bringing the bill to this stage.
Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria invites you to join staff and friends for its Christmas Celebration Mass in the chapel, 434 St Georges Rd, Thornbury, on Sunday 9 December, at 11am. This will be followed by a shared meal. Also, if you're looking for gift ideas, don't forget ACMV's 2018-2019 Gift Catalogue, which contains a number of beautiful items that feature Aboriginal symbols, which are a powerful sign of reconciliation, forgiveness, love, hope and peace.
December 5 is International Volunteer Day, celebrating the important role volunteers play in supporting our communities. The theme for this year is 'Volunteers Build Resilient Communities". There is an array of ways to volunteer within our Catholic social services organisations. Read on for a couple of inspiring volunteer stories from our member organisations, Villa Maria Catholic Homes and CatholicCare Melbourne.

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Catholic Social Services Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Elders in each of the Communities where we work. Click for our Reconciliation Vision
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