World Mission Month ‘Living Water’

To coincide with World Mission Month (October), Catholic Mission with Our Lady of Victories Primary School, Shortland, hosted the annual Mission Month celebration. Representatives from schools across the diocese came together to call to mind the importance of access to ‘living water’ for the physical and spiritual well-being of children around the world.

Catholic Mission is the international mission agency of the Catholic Church in Australia and celebrates its 175th anniversary in Australia this year. A Diocesan Mission Mass was celebrated by Bishop Bill who was joined by enthusiastic students from across the diocese who participated in a dynamic, colourful and deeply engaging liturgy focusing on “living water”.

This theme relates to the words of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel, “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink” (Mt 25:23) and Catholic Mission’s 2015 invitation to schools across Australia to support the church communities and children of Madagascar. Fundraising will help Catholic Mission to continue the installation of much-needed water pumps and sanitation in schools, as well as support the faith development of children and families living in poverty.

During the Mass, Bishop Bill commissioned Diocesan Director for Catholic Mission, Mark Toohey. Mr Toohey thanked those present for funds raised and already being put to good use in Madagascar. “By putting our faith into action we hope to provide a credible witness to the gospel, encourage and nurture the faith of our students and provide essential funds to support the human and faith development of children around the world”, said Mr Toohey. 

Pope Francis has recently spoken on the importance of access to fresh water among other important issues addressed in his recent encyclical Laudato Si’: on care for our common home.

“One particularly serious problem is the quality of water available to the poor…access to safe drink­able water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.” LS 29-30.

Teachers, students and parents from across the diocese had the opportunity to meet and mix with each other over a shared lunch provided through the hard work and generosity of Our Lady of Victories Parents and Friends Association. 

If you would like to support the work of Catholic Mission and spread the joy of the Gospel to very needy parts of our world, please visit or phone Mark Toohey on 4979 1141. You may also make a donation to World Mission Month.

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Mark Toohey

Mark is the Diocesan Director for Catholic Mission in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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