Dear Parishioners and Donors
I write my Midyear Newsletter to thank all who so generously supported Communio, helping to raise the grand total of $25,049 in our last Christmas Communio Appeal. I also want to give feedback on the allocation of these funds and share a good news story with you.
From the Communio Fund this year I have contributed the following:-
· Centacare $20,000
· Nazareth House $7,000
· Our Young Mothers Group $3,500
Centacare, which we mainly support, offers a variety of Caring Services which are in line with their Mission.
I want to mention one such service - a good news story - which is not Government funded. They can offer this service, responding to a need forrehabilitation, because of your contributions to Communio. The service is called ‘Straight Talk’.
‘Straight Talk’- is a life skills programme developed by Centacare for the female residents of the Greenough Regional Prison. The programme teaches how the brain works -why we respond the way we do and how we can change that. Its aim is to educate, challenge and encourage skills the participants can use in their daily life and to help them live in the community with confidence.
The programme has been very well received by both the participants and prison workers, as evidenced by the following feedback:
Over the past three years I have completed all the compulsory programmes and many relevant voluntary ones – relevant to my crimes and substance issue.
However, I found this particular programme to be the best. It touched on every issue relevant to addiction and criminal behaviour. It taught us about the brain, how it functions and how to deal with frustration. The facilitators actually helped deal with every subject, without rushing.
There is a lot of content and I related well and continue to learn how to manage better on an emotional and social level. The facilitators were excellent and inspiring. It has really made a difference to my outlook on life.
Speaking from a prisoner’s perspective Straight Talk has been one programme that I’ll take into the community with me.
Thank you sincerely for your generosity and being part of the Caring Services of our local Diocese through your support of Communio.
My kind regards and continuing prayers for your needs and those of your family.
+ Most Rev. Justin J. Bianchini
Bishop of Geraldton
Communio is a name given to Bishop Justin's Appeal to help the needy people in our own Diocese of Geraldton, conducted annually at Christmas time as the 'Christmas Communio Appeal'. It is also conducted annually throughout the Diocese in each school for one week, and is known simply as 'Communio Week in Schools'.
But what does it mean?
We as a Church, support needy people in other parts of Australia and the world through Catholic Mission and Caritas. Various people themselves support other countries through other organisations as well. Money collected through Communio though goes to the needy people here in our own Diocese.
The word is a Latin one which means ‘Communion – union with’. In other words it says that in our Church we are linked to and connected to people all around the Diocese. Needy people are part of us and our family. In fact all needy people are part of Jesus and therefore a part of us because Jesus said “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me”.
Each year we have Communio Week in Schools. This is a time to learn more about some of the people that our Diocese supports, to pray for these people and to raise funds for them. Various activities are suggested during the week to help young people understand and be involved in all this
Centacare. This organisation was set up over twenty five years ago and reaches out in a big way to people in our Diocese. Regardless of race, beliefs, colour or circumstances – all are helped in many ways.
Such people assisted are:-
- · Individuals and families who need counselling
- · Parents in their important role of relating to and caring for their children
- · Children who have separated parents and difficulties in relationships
- · Separated parents who still wish to do the best for their children
- · People who need food and some basic financial help.
- · Unemployed people – helping them train for work
- · Children who have to be witnesses in court
- · People with personal problems or with mild disabilities who find it hard to get work
- · Victims of violence
Centacare is in Geraldton but has centres in Carnarvon, Exmouth and Yalgoo. However it reaches out beyond these places to the Midwest and other rural areas according to needs that can be met by this organisation.
Nazareth House Nursing Home. Our contributions also support the great work done by the Sisters and Staff at Nazareth House where one hundred and twenty people, either frail aged or with dementia, are lovingly cared for.
DrugArm.A State organisation for young people and those who want help with drug addiction. It has a base in Geraldton which we support.
Other outreach.Then there are individual people and families who sometimes find themselves in difficult financial circumstances which our Priests and Sisters working in our Parishes know about and bring to the Bishops notice for support.
Communio Week in Schools takes place in Second Term. Adults get the chance to support Communio at the end of the year in Advent as we prepare for Christmas. In this way they include the needy of our Diocese in their Christmas Gift.