Social justice close to home for Western Sydney and Blue Mountains students

23 November 2018
Farida Zaheer, Sr Louise McKeogh, Lucrecia Carter and Jemma Abdilla. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta students recently gathered at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta to prepare to take action on homelessness and housing insecurity.

This annual event, led by the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, provides an opportunity for reflection on the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference Social Justice Statement.

As Chair of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, Bishop Vincent is keen to share his commitment to social justice with students as an essential component of a Catholic education. He looks to the Parable of the Good Samaritan in calling the faithful to action to address the housing crisis.

“In the face of growing homelessness and housing stress, Australia is called to be a community of hospitality, called not to walk past the thousands whose wounds need binding, but to reach out to them,” Bishop Vincent said.

A feature of the Bishop’s Social Justice Student Day is an essay contest on the theme of the previous year’s Social Justice Statement, in this case developing an inclusive and sustainable economy.

Well done to the winners of this contest: Farida Zaheer, St Agnes Catholic High School, Rooty Hill, Lucrecia Carter, McCarthy Catholic College, Emu Plains and Jemma Abdilla, Catherine McAuley, Westmead.

READ: The winning essay by Farida Zaheer here

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta secondary students will have the opportunity to participate in school-based discernment inspired by the 2018 Social Justice Statement “A Place to Call Home: Making a Home for Everyone in Our Land”.

Many students already fundraise and volunteer to serve people who are experiencing homelessness including through Vinnies Van. It is anticipated that the increased focus on these issues at school will result in even more action from students.

A range of resources to support parishes, schools and community members in advocacy around these pressing equity issues is available from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website:

VIEW: Images from the schools launch of the 2018 ABCB Social Justice Statement below or click here

ACBC Social Justice Statement 2018 - Schools Launch


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