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“The only way to love and serve people is to encounter them in the margins,” according to distinguished American author and speaker, Rev Prof. Anthony Gittins CSSp. Fr Gittins was in Melbourne on 21 May leading a reflection on ‘Ministry at the Margins’ for more than 50 guests of Catholic Mission and Catholic Social Services Victoria in East Melbourne. It is part of a 4-week tour in Australia, which has seen him lead gatherings in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. His last stop is Wagga Wagga.
People experiencing short and long-term homelessness face increasing challenges according to an expert panel that addressed the recent Annual General Meeting of Catholic Social Services Victoria. Increased awareness and continued advocacy are key elements of an effective response to this situation.
 
Catholic social services make a substantial contribution to the social fabric of Victoria. Services range from alcohol treatment, crisis housing, Indigenous ministry and prison ministry, to the protection of women and children escaping family violence, refugees and asylum seekers and those impacted by human trafficking. More than 200,000 people were supported by Catholic social service organisations during 2016-2017, with the total number of occasions of support being in excess of 400,000. The total expenditure in assisting these people was more than $700 million and included 6800 employed staff and at least 17,600 volunteers.
All are welcome to join our members, staff, leaders, volunteers and friends of Catholic Social Services agencies as we gather to celebrate our mission of justice and service. Proceedings commence at 5pm on Monday 30 April, and will be held in the Cathedral Room, Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert Street, East Melbourne. Following the AGM, there will be a forum on Current Challenges around homelessness and housing. Click here for flyer. 
Catholic Social Services Victoria's Easter newsletter contains an array of news and upcoming events both from us and from our member organisations including our submission to the 2018 state budget, Catholic Professional Standard's commitment to protecting children in church environments, McAuley Community Services for Women's on tackling loneliness, particularly among women affected by family and domestic violence.
The council members of Catholic Social Services Victoria met on Friday 6 April at Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria's office in Thornbury. As the peak body for Catholic community services in Victoria, Catholic Social Services Victoria supports and e nhances the work of service and justice of our member organisations. CSSV Council Members are in the privileged position of representing the interests of all member organisations while at the same time bringing insights, wisdom, skills and experience of their own particular organisations to the Council’s considerations. For a full list of Council members, and more information, click here
Catholic Social Services Victoria supports Catholic parishes as centres of service, mission and outreach. Our latest newsletter (March 2018) highlights how Catholic parishes are at the coal face of providing services and support to the wider community. They are often the living sign of the Gospel at work. It includes latest news related to parishes and services, and upcoming events. View newsletter, here.
At the recent Hearing Healing Hope conference, a workshop to garner the thoughts of delegates from around the country was held on one of Australia’s most vexing issues: how should we support asylum seekers? Parishioners and representatives from Catholic service agencies from Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory attended the workshop. Presentations were given by Sr Brigid Arthur csb (Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project) and Tracey Cabrie (Centre Manager - Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub).
In this interview with Fatima Measham (of Eureka Street's ChatterSquare), Labor MP Clare O'Neil discusses the persistent gap between the rich and the poor, which has left many people disillusioned about how the economy and governments function, along with the questions: What does growth mean under these circumstances and is it still useful to talk about a working class? Clare presented at the Economics for a Flourishing Society forum, together with Joe Zabar and John Roskam at the recent national Catholic social services conference, Hearing Healing Hope, held in Melbourne between 21-23 February.
Throughout the national Catholic social services conference, Hearing Healing Hope, our in-house photographer, Fiona Basile, was taking photographs to capture the energy, spirit and colour of the three days. Below are links to the various web pages that feature photo galleries. If you'd like to receive a copy of any photos, please email our office.
 

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Catholic Social Services Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Elders in each of the Communities where we work.
 
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