Dear People of the Geraldton Diocese
As Christmas approaches I take this opportunity again to wish you and all families a happy and peace filled Christmas.
As I mentioned in my 2014 Communio Midyear Newsletter, last years Christmas Appeal was down on previous years. This was due to a much greater and urgent need attracting our full attention when the horrific Cyclone Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013. The Diocese fundraised for this also, and through Caritas alone, the people of our Diocese raised $46,500 for those suffering in the Philippines. All due to the generosity of so many good people like yourselves.
Even though the Communio contributions were down, I was once again able to present Centacare with $20,000 this year from the Communio Appeal to assist them in their ministry of caring for those who come to them for help.
In 2011 Centacare in our Diocese had only two other centres apart from their offices in Geraldton (2 in outlining rural areas), where they operated services for 8,725 clients.
As at the end of 2013 Centacare had added 4 more rural centres and helped a total of 13, 917 clients. That is over a 50% increase in the number of people whom Centacare have needed to assist. This assistance is not always finalised with a one off meeting, as many situations require ongoing interaction and support.
Centacare, being one agency of our Diocese, is a very practical caring arm of our Church for the needy. Your contributions to Communio are a way of linking into that care.
Another major beneficiary of Communio is Nazareth House Aged Care who currently house 110 residents in the three living areas of Dementia, Frail Care and Low Care. This year I was able to increase the annual donation to the Sisters to $6,000, which was used to purchase items to enhance the Residents lifestyle, for example, wheelchairs, shower chairs, a new PA for the Chapel and some furniture needed for the Dementia wing.
Conscious of the many demands made on your limited resources I encourage you to consider supporting my Christmas Communio Appeal, and in turn help support our Catholic Caring Services and the many people they assist.
There are a number of payment options offered on the donation slip in the attachment after this letter, as well as a few questions to help us save costs in running the Appeal. I hope you will take the time to complete these queries.
Donations are tax deductible and a receipt will be issued in early March next year to those who have indicated they require one.
I assure you that your personal details and gift will be kept strictly confidential.
My good wishes to you and your loved ones for a very safe, happy and holy Christmas.
Sincerely in Christ
+Most Reverend Justin Bianchini
Roman Catholic Bishop of Geraldton