Bishop’s Message for Parramatta Catholic Foundation’s Christmas Appeal

4 December 2019

 

My Dear Friends,

Christmas is a time to rejoice and celebrate God coming to us in human form, showing his unconditional love for us now and always.

When Carly*, a young mum in our Diocese came to CatholicCare for help, she was experiencing the same vulnerability and rejection as baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Linda Davis, from CatholicCare told me her traumatic story.

“I came here because I had nowhere to go.  I was staying on the street and not surviving at all.” – Carly

Carly was homeless and in crisis. Her drug and alcohol addiction led to Carly’s two daughters being taken from her care.

Living rough, Carly put herself in hospital sometimes, just to have food in her stomach and somewhere to sleep. Then she found out she was pregnant.

We arranged supported housing, the basics to start a new home life, and supportive care. For the last year or so, we’ve worked with Carly to help her turn her life around, recover and thrive.

Carly participated in our addictions and wellbeing groups; and intensive family preservation, positive parenting and independent living skills programs.

With counselling and constant support, Carly has transformed her life and hasn’t touched ice, marijuana or alcohol since.

When her baby boy Jacob was born, one of our team was with her.

Surrounded by loving support and guidance, Carly has gained confidence in herself and her abilities as a mum.

Carly participates in a weekly mum’s group where she meets new people and learns new skills including arts, crafts, cooking, sewing and meditation.

Now she’s more stable, Carly is looking forward to reuniting with her daughters, finding a more permanent home and getting her family back together.

Carly has worked incredibly hard and we’re so proud of the transformation she has made. 

With thanks to your support, CatholicCare can always be there for Carly and those who need support.”

We’re grateful for your significant generosity in the last year, raising almost $1.2 million for Parramatta Catholic Foundation to support works of faith, hope and charity; and the Diocese additionally committed $2.76 million to sustain our vital ministries.

There are many more people in crisis like Carly and her children, in desperate need of help and hope, which is why I’m asking for your support again today.

As St Francis of Assisi said, “We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.”

Nobody should be homeless or without help. Will you open your hearts again to our sisters and brothers in need – to help provide practical and emotional support – so they can turn their lives around, recover and thrive?

With your prayers and generous giving, CatholicCare can help more people like Carly to find their inner strength – and with support – they will flourish and lead positive, fulfilling lives.

Thank you for your compassion and support.  May you continue to experience God’s unconditional love for you this Christmas and always.

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv
Bishop of Parramatta

To donate to the Parramatta Catholic Foundation Bishop’s Christmas Appeal, visit yourcatholicfoundation.org.au/appeal

 

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