More than $100,000 raised for WYD project in Philippines

Mission encounter with World Youth Day pilgrims to build learning centre for 756 students at Sacred Heart Academy.
Dinner guests included: Hon Madam Mayor Leonila Montaro of Panglao Island; Madam Anne Jalando-On Louis, Philippine Consul-General in Australia; and Rev Fr Joel A Ruyeras Parish Priest of Our Lady of Light Parish in Loon in the Diocese of Tagbilaran. Photos: Alfred Boudib.

Posted on 22 February 2016

A rebuilding project on the earthquake-devastated island of Bohol in the Philippines was the focus of a fundraising dinner hosted by the Diocese of Parramatta on 19 February.

More than 600 people filled the Grand Ballroom of the Westella Renaissance Reception House at Lidcombe. More than $100,000 was raised on the night due to enthusiastic support for a silent auction, the purchase of Year of Mercy candles and ticket sales.

Money raised will directly fund a Learning Centre at the Sacred Heart Academy and other smaller projects in the parish of Loon.

The work will be undertaken in July this year by 350 young people taking part in the Diocese of Parramatta’s pilgrimage to World Youth Day (WYD) in Krakow, Poland, via the Philippines.

Very Rev Peter Williams.

Very Rev Peter G Williams.

In welcoming guests, the Diocesan Administrator Very Rev Peter Williams said that participation in WYD has been life changing for many pilgrims.

“To engage in a pilgrimage is a very ancient practice of the Church, and for many it is not so much the destination that matters, but rather the journey to get there,” he said.

“For one group of pilgrims this will involve a ‘stational’ experience in the Philippines. Many of you will be aware of the recent devastation in parts of the Philippines caused by the earthquake. The destruction has seen essential infrastructure destroyed and, in particular, parish churches and schools.

“In supporting this evening, you will make it possible for young people from our Diocese to participate in a rebuilding project that will have a lasting effect upon one Filipino community.”

The after-dinner address was given Hon Madam Mayor Leonila Montaro of Panglao Island. Guests included Madam Anne Jalando-On Louis, Philippines Consul-General in Australia, and Rev Fr Joel A Ruyeras, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Light Parish in Loon in the Diocese of Tagbilaran. Entertainment was provided by singer and comedian Adam Scicluna.

To view a gallery of photos from the evening click here

Deputy CYP Director Sr Rosie Drum MGL catches up with Sarah Falzon, Elizabeth McFarlane and Walker Falemaota Aloiai.

Deputy CYP Director Sr Rosie Drum MGL catches up with Sarah Falzon, Elizabeth McFarlane and Walker Falemaota Aloiai.

Thanks to our sponsors

Diamond: Deloitte, ME Document Solutions, Patrician Brothers’ College Blacktown, Terry Shields Toyota, FAL Construction Group, Western Sydney Plumbing, Celestin, Oz Fashions, Cisco Secure Agility, Austwide Property Maintenance Services, Diocese of Parramatta, Diocesan Development Fund, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.

Platinum: Reitsma Constructions.

Gold: Catholic Commission for Employment Relations, Cingle Vue.

Silver: Dance Fever Multisport, Friends of Bohol, Emmaus Catholic College.

Background to the project

On the morning of 15 October 2013, when many residents were on their way to work and school on Bohol Island, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, energy equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs, shook the region.

The earthquake killed 222 people, with eight declared missing and more than 900 injured. As well as the human toll, 73,000 buildings were damaged – 14,500 destroyed. Many parishes and schools in the region were completely devastated.

As part of the first leg of our diocesan WYD pilgrimage, pilgrims will assist seven of the parishes in most need and will be working alongside Filipino youth; teaching, mentoring, painting, preparing vegetable gardens, feeding malnourished children and completing minor repairs.

The major project is the building of a learning centre for Sacred Heart Academy (756 students) in Our Lady of Light Parish. Students in schools in the area are still receiving lessons in makeshift classrooms.

Diocese of Parramatta WYD pilgrimages

The Diocese will be taking two pilgrimages to WYD in Krakow – one via the Philippines and one via Poland, the homeland of St John Paul II.

Current projections indicate that the pilgrimages will consist of approximately:

  • 120 young adults from 22 parishes;
  • 90 Year 11 school students;
  • 70 young teacher pilgrims (aged under 35) from primary and secondary schools; and
  • 50 support staff, Diocesan Leaders and Chaplains.

Full travel details, including pricing, are now available online. Young people aged 16-35 are invited to register, click here

For more information contact:

Mark Tuffy, Executive Officer for WYD 2016, Diocese of Parramatta:

James Camden, Director of Catholic Youth Parramatta:



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