My Dear Friends,
Very soon, we will begin a season of Lent which is meant to be a journey of renewal and transformation. We seek to be cleansed of all those things that hold us back, that prevent us from growing to full maturity in Christ. We heed the call to divest and empty ourselves of all the things that prevent us from being a more authentic sign of the kingdom.
The season of Lent is a time of reflection – intention – a time to deepen one’s faith. It’s also a time to share our blessings with those who are vulnerable and alone. We endeavour to be a refuge for the poor, an oasis for the weary and a hospital for the wounded. I encourage you to reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and ask you to open your hearts again and bring hope to the deaf and hard of hearing, through your generosity.
Thank you for your enthusiastic support of the Parramatta Catholic Foundation Bishop’s Christmas Appeal which raised over $250,000. Your generosity is giving homeless young women shelter, independent living and parenting skills that they desperately need. Your kindness advances our ministry and I am grateful for your support and fellowship.
The Ephpheta Centre – one of the ministries jointly funded by the Parramatta Catholic Foundation – gives hope, compassion, connectivity and care to the deaf and hard of hearing.
When Christiane started going deaf at 14, she felt scared, confused, vulnerable and alone. For Christiane, losing her hearing was earth-shattering. She experienced so many struggles and challenges growing up. She kept asking, why is this happening?
Thanks to the support, fellowship and hope she found through the Ephpheta Centre, Christiane has a place where she belongs – was inspired to become a social worker – and learnt Auslan, the sign language of our deaf community.
Now a Community Worker at the Ephpheta Centre, helping people like her, Christiane is passionate about empowering our deaf community in the same way she was supported.
This Lent, you can bring hope to people who are deaf or hard of hearing like Christiane – and share Christ’s message with all.
Whenever we doubt our ability to help those in need, we remember the Gospel according to St Matthew: “And the King will answer, ‘I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.’”
Your gift today will provide pastoral, sacramental and social support, bridge barriers to communication, and enable the deaf and hard of hearing to communicate with Priests, Chaplains and Social Workers fluent in sign language.
Your kind-hearted compassion will enable the deaf and hard of hearing, the vulnerable and isolated, to make meaningful connections and participate fully in their community, their faith and Catholic Church life.
Thank you for your generosity and God bless.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv
Bishop of Parramatta
To donate to the Parramatta Catholic Foundation Bishop’s Lenten Appeal, visit yourcatholicfoundation.org.au/appeal