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Parishes as Centres of Service

Sr Brigid Arthur from the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project and Paris Aristotle AM, CEO of the Foundation for Survivors of Torture, thanked participants at Catholic Social Services' Forum for Parishes (held on 11 July 2017), for maintaining their support for refugees and people seeking asylum.

Sr Brigid contrasted the harsh official treatment of asylum seekers with that of generous people in parishes and communities who advocate for more humane treatment and who provide accommodation and financial support for people, many of whom have been abandoned with absolutely no means of support.
 

All are invited to attend a Culture and History of the South Sudanese Community Forum in Sunshine on Saturday 15 July from 1.30pm to 4pm in St Theresa's Hall, 18 Drummartin St, Albion. This forum sponsored by Pax Christi, an international peace movement, to meet members of the South Sudanese Community in Sunshine, learn about their culture and history, and hear first-hand of their experiences of being refugees in Australia.

Julian Burnside QC, together with Syrian refugees Omar and Saad Al-Kassab, will join with the Montmorency Asylum Seekers Support Group on Friday 28th July, at 7.00pm to discuss the experiences of people seeking asylum in Australia, and Australia’s treatment of refugees.
Volunteers are vital to our work in supporting parishes and social services agencies who assist the most vulnerable in our community. We're hoping to welcome a new volunteer to our team, to assist us in providing support to Catholic parishes as centres of service and outreach. Download flyer here.
 
Many of our member organisations also rely on volunteers. Click here to view a full list of members seeking volunteers. They'd also love to hear from you!
Catholic parishes play an important role in supporting and serving the most vulnerable within their local communities. Whether it be in the assistance of material, financial or relational support to newly arrived asylum seekers, or being aware and knowing what to do in the situations of family and domestic violence, or reaching out to an elderly or isolated neighbour, we all have a role to play in bringing to life the Gospel message.


Parishioners and Parish leaders are invited to participate in our third expo, at Resurrection Parish, Kings Park on Saturday 9 September. The expo provides an opportunity for parishes to learn from each other and from social service agencies about what can be done to make a difference to those on the margins in our community.
 
Download flyer here.
The spirit of generosity, service and collaboration was truly alive as more than 60 people from across the northern suburbs, and beyond, gathered at St Francis Xavier Parish in Montmorency for the ‘Parishes as Centres of Service Expo’ on Saturday 6 May.
Hosted by Catholic Social Services Victoria and St Francis Xavier Parish, the expo provided an opportunity for parish representatives, social services agencies, groups and organisations, to gather in one place to network and collaborate, share ideas and resources, and to dream and plan the way forward for their parishes and service-outreach programs among the community.
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!
 

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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
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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