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In the 2016 Social Justice Statement, released this week, the Australian Bishops challenge a ‘throw-away’ culture that casts older people as being burdensome or even dispensable. They strongly affirm the sanctity of life and call for a culture of compassionate care that values and protects people in their final years. The Bishops call for communities that foster solidarity among the generations and ensure older people have their rightful place at the table.

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”. Together with Fr John Petrulis, Parish Priest of Catholic Parish of Sacred Heart and St Colomba who gave the keynote address, leaders from 15 parishes and six social service agencies exhibited a diverse range of services to their communities.  Our Lady of the Assumption Parish demonstrated service in action as they welcomed the visitors; St Anthony’s Glenhuntly inspired us with meals services for local people, while St Macartan’s Mornington and other parishes on the Mornington Peninsula showed enormous support for Timor Leste.

There was a strong support at the Expo for other parishes to highlight their services and to learn from the work of others. Further Expos are envisaged, and will be announced at www.css.org.au/parishes

The Home Stretch is a national campaign, formed to influence the Victorian government to change the current leaving care arrangements for young people from 18 to 21 years-old, which will increase the likelihood of successful transition into adulthood. 
The Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, has unveiled plans to hold an historic plenary council of the entire Catholic Church in Australia. It is to be held in 2020, only the fifth time in Australia’s history, and 79 years after the previous plenary council meeting.

This is a chance to spend reflective time walking with a group along the George Bass Coastal Walk. 

An opportunity to spend reflective time walking in silence with a group through the Doongalla Forest.
The Campion Centre of Ignatian Spirituality is holding a week long retreat in Wilson's Promontory National Park.
Click here for our latest newsletter, with news, information and events from us and our members, including items from St Vincent de Paul Society, Cabrini Health Australia, John Wallis Foundation, Welcome the Asylum Seeker Parish Support Program, etc
The Victorian Council of Churches' Social Questions Commission are hosting a forum on Migrant and Refugee Sunday, 28 August, bringing together people from different denominations to share together about how we best advocate for refugees and people seeking asylum.

As part of Anti-Poverty Week, 16-22 October, St Vincent de Paul Society will be hosting an event on ‘The Meaning of Poverty’. Dr John Falzon, National CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society, will lead a conversation with panelists Denis Fitzgerald, Executive Director of Catholic Social Services Victoria; Lucy Adams, Manager of Homeless Law at Justice Connect and Sue Cattermole, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria.

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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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