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Parishes as Centres of Service
In addition to the 17,000+ volunteers that contribute to the work of our member organisations, Catholic Social Services Victoria, as a peak body, relies on volunteers for some of our advocacy and organisational work. We would be much less productive, and less effective, without volunteer input on our committees and working groups, in organising our forums for parishes and agencies, in drafting our various advocacy papers, etc.  We are in their debt.
 
We currently have a vacancy for a volunteer to assist with our parish support work.
We'd like to say thank you to one of our volunteers, Adrian Foley, a grandfather of seven, and a keen farmer, photographer and explorer! Adrian has been volunteering in the community since 2014, in a variety of roles - with Catholic Prison Ministry Worship and Hospitality Team, CatholicCare Melbourne, the Horn of Africa Community Network, the Melkite Catholic Church and in criminal justice advocacy. He believes volunteering can "transform your life"!
 
Member organisation, John Pierce Centre (JPC) is a deaf centre promoting community through education, family support and the spiritual. It prides itself on its pastoral care services, which enrich the wellbeing of the deaf community in Victoria and helps to prevent isolation and exclusion. In this article, we acknowledge the important workof the centre, along with its volunteers, who are vital to JPC's work. There is an opportunity to volunteer at its upcoming conference in August!
 

Following the success of our inaugural Parish Services Expo held last year in Cheltenham, Catholic Social Services Victoria invites you to participate in, and attend its second expo at St Francis Xavier parish in Montmorency on Saturday 6 May 2017, from 9.30am to 1.30 pm.

Volunteering is a precious free resource made available by generous people for the benefit of others, for the Church and our communities. It is giving one's time and personal resources in the service of others. In this it is close to the heart of the Scriptures, where service runs deeply through the history of God's relationship with his people. Are we making the most of this resource, or can we do better?

An update for participants in the August 2016 Reimagining Parish Services Expo provides links to resource material - including volunteering opportunities with our member organisations; and notice of future gatherings.

More than 100 adults and children gathered at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Cheltenham on Saturday, 27 August for the “Reimagining Parish Services Expo”. Leaders from more than 15 parishes in the South Easter corridor, and social service agencies exhibited a diverse range of services. Further Expos in the north, east and west of Melbourne are envisaged.

Planning is now underway for similar events in 2017: Saturday May 6 at St Francis Xavier's Montmorency, and later in the year in the west of Melbourne, and at a parish in the east.

The Building Stronger Parishes research project conducted by the Australian Catholic Bishop's Conference Pastoral Research Office explores how Catholic parishes, in various contexts, use their strengths and available resources to respond to a variety of challenges. This page provides links to further information, resources, reports and books related to the research project.
Social Services Sunday provides an opportunity for parish communities to reflect on our own response to the Gospel call to compassionate service to those who are poor, marginalised or excluded of our society. It is also a time for the wider church community to give thanks for the social service work being carried out by Church agencies on behalf of the Church as a whole.

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Catholic Social Services Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Elders in each of the Communities where we work.
 
Cardinal Knox Centre. 383 Albert Street (PO Box 146), East Melbourne Vic 3002
Tel: (03) 9287 5566 Fax: (03) 9287 5567 Email: office@css.org.au
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