Love your neighbour through Project Compassion 2017

Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten fundraising and awareness-raising appeal is an extraordinary, ongoing demonstration of the faith, love and generosity of the Catholic congregation and caring supporters throughout Australia to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.

The theme for Caritas Australia’s 2017 Lenten fundraising campaign is “Love your Neighbour”.

Project Compassion 2017 will be launched in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle on Tuesday, 28 February, by Bishop Bill Wright at 10.30am in the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton. Members of parish and school communities are warmly invited to participate. The liturgy, which takes place on Shrove Tuesday, will be followed by refreshments in the Southern Cross Hall. Pancakes will be on the menu!

A Caritas Dinner will be held in the Cathedral Function Centre on Friday, 3 March, commencing at 6.00pm. The guest speaker on this occasion will be Richard Campbell. Richard will be speaking about his experience as a Kinchela Boys Home (KBH) resident and the assistance Caritas Australia is providing for men who experienced separation from their families.

First Australian Uncle Richard, who has strong links to the Newcastle area and is a survivor of the Stolen Generations, was forcibly removed from his family as a child and taken to KBH in NSW. Hundreds of Indigenous boys were incarcerated there between 1924 and 1970, suffering ongoing physical and verbal abuse. They lost every aspect of their identity – their names, their culture and their families.

When Uncle Richard left KBH, he struggled with the legacy of pain and was trying to find relief through his work as an artist. However, he attributes the beginning of his healing to something even more powerful than his creative work, his reconnection with former KBH boys.

The KBH Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) was established by KBH survivors to reunite with one another and begin healing. KBHAC’s “Unlocking the Past to Free the Future” Program works to restore the social and emotional wellbeing of the survivors and their families. The former KBH boys have realised that their shared suffering has created a brotherhood. They support each other by sharing their stories and coming to a common understanding of how their experiences have impacted on themselves and their descendants.

Uncle Richard’s is just one of six weekly stories which enhance the Project Compassion 2017 campaign. These stories highlight the aid being provided and the development taking place in Timor Leste, the Philippines, Vietnam and Fiji under the auspices of Caritas as well as assistance for Australian First Peoples.

Parishes will have Project Compassion boxes and share packs available from Sunday, 26 February. If you would like further information about Project Compassion 2017 or wish to make a  booking for the Caritas Dinner, please P Patricia Banister, Caritas Diocesan Team member, 0409 300 192 or E Please visit Caritas Australia

Patricia Banister Image
Patricia Banister

Patricia Banister is a member of the Caritas Australia Team, Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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