Posted on 21 January 2016
By Sr Louise McKeogh FMA, Caritas Diocesan Director, Diocese of Parramatta
In his message for World Day of Peace on 1 January, Pope Francis was clear, “with the present Jubilee of Mercy I want to invite the Church to pray and work so that every Christian will have a humble and compassionate heart, one capable of proclaiming and witnessing to mercy. It is my hope that all of us will learn to ‘forgive and give’, to become more open to those living on the outmost fringes of society.”
Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion is just one way that we in the Diocese of Parramatta, our families, parishes and schools, will be reaching out to the fringes.
On 7 February, Caritas Australia, the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church, will launch its annual Project Compassion appeal – one of Australia’s largest humanitarian fundraising and awareness-raising campaigns.
This year we will be reaching out to countries like Malawi. Martin Mazinga is National Programs coordinator of the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM).
In the Diocese of Parramatta, he will be visiting the school communities at St Mark’s Catholic College, Stanhope Gardens, and Holy Family Primary, Granville, on Monday 8 February and Ash Wednesday on 10 February.
Martin and his team ensure that Caritas Australia’s programs create meaningful and sustainable development opportunities for the most marginalised communities, with a focus on food and water security.
His work tackles inequality at its roots, empowering people to develop livelihoods, earn an income, to learn new skills and access education.
Through Caritas Australia’s partnership with Caritas Malawi, Martin works with communities to harness their unique strengths, skills and natural resources and to release their vision of a just and equal world.
More information and a short video of this program can be found on Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion website.
This year marks 50 years of Project Compassion, which thanks to supporters, schools and parishes across Australia raised a record-breaking $11.57 million last year.
Each year Project Compassion, which runs through the six weeks of Lent, brings hundreds of thousands of Australians together in solidarity with the world’s poor, to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.
Money raised goes towards Caritas Australia’s humanitarian and long-term development programs in more than 40 countries across Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Latin America and with First Australian communities.
To donate to Project Compassion, or for fundraising ideas, call toll free 1800 024 413 or visit www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion