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Parishes as Centres of Service

Significantly, Australian parishes make available a range of social service activities providing for those in need. In some ways, they can reach out to sections of the community that professional service agencies cannot. Services provided by parishes usually have a strong personal focus on those being served.

More than twenty people from nine Catholic parishes and other churches attended the Catholic Social Services Parish Forum “Homelessness – Preparing for 2020” in East Melbourne on 24 September. They heard how Christian groups across Victoria are providing accommodation for rough sleepers, and how they might contribute for next winter.

 “… the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion”  Pope Francis, 2015

Parish leaders and members are invited to join other parishes in considering how we can all better care for our common home, the Earth. Catholic Social Services Victoria is hosting a parish forum, Living Laudato Si', on Saturday 14 September at St Ambrose Community Centre, 259A Sydney Road, Brunswick, 9am-1pm. This practical and interactive forum will assist participants and parishes respond to this summons, and will also identify practical actions that can be taken by individuals, families and our parishes.

"My hope is that our parish forum on Caring for our Common Home prioritises action over introspection, be that personal, or of Pope Francis’s abstractions.  Whatever reason a person comes for, it’s enough. Just an inkling, a spark, even of the most profane nature, might start a journey that will continue beyond our imagination, for a lifetime and beyond." David Moloney reflects on the link between personal spiritual formation and social transformation on the particular issue of ecology.
Each Winter, on any night across Victoria around 1,100 homeless people including women, children, young and older people and people with disabilities have to “sleep rough” in city parks, car parks, bushland areas and coastal reserves. Our upcoming parish forum, 'Homelessness: Preparing for 2020' on Tuesday 24 September 2019 will bring together people to begin to prepare for next Winter, and to make the connections with other parishes, churches and groups that will make next year’s Winter Shelter a success in as many areas as can be reached. 
Fr Samir Haddad, Parish Priest, St Joseph’s Melkite Catholic Church, Fairfield and the Australian Syrian Charity invite you to attend this fundraising dinner to welcome new Syrian refugees to Australia, and to strengthen relationships between the Australian and Syrian communities.
For the past 12 months, Catholic parishes and organisations in Melbourne and surrounding areas have benefited from participating in workshops that deepen their understanding of domestic violence and its prevention. More parishes are invited to put their hand up to offer these workshops to their local communities.
Save the date for our 'Care for our Common Home' (Laudato Si) Parish Forum to be held at St Ambrose’s Centre, Brunswick on Saturday 14 September. Taking place in the 'Season of Creation', this forum is part of our ongoing series to assist parish communities to respond to Pope Francis' call to take better care of our common home and the poor. 
Sixty-five people from parishes across the Diocese of Sandhurst gathered at St Brendan’s parish centre in Shepparton to discuss and share ideas about what could be done to alleviate homelessness in the region. The forum, auspiced by CatholicCare Sandhurst, Catholic Social Services Victoria, and the diocese of Sandhurst, resulted in each participating parish adopting a plan to deepen their contribution to addressing homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing.

At the Parish Forum on Saturday, 8 June 2019, more than 50 participants heard from excellent speakers and discussed why homelessness is an issue for all of us and what we can do about it. The parable of the Good Samaritan causes us all to pause in our journey and consider the needs of our neighbour: what can we do to assist our brothers and sisters on the margins, particularly those who are facing housing difficulties and homelessness? 

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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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