Dear sisters and brothers,
The Olympics place before us the rich diversity of human cultures and ethnicities. Despite the obvious corruption of the Olympic ideals, there remains something noble about the pursuit of excellence and the celebration of global community. For all their shortcomings, the Olympics continue to be a hopeful global exchange of unity amid diversity. Sadly, we have become more accusation to diversity creating division and conflict. The randomness of terrorism has generated suspicion and uncertainty, exacerbating these divisions. The flood of refugees escaping war and violence has resulted in both an out-pouring of sympathy and a rise in distrust.
For a number of months now, our parish pastoral council and finance council has been examining ways in which our parish community can offer some practical assistance on a local level. The Multicultural Development Association (MDA) are a re-settlement agency which works to assist refugees with housing, skills and employment. They offer a “Work and Welcome” program through which a refugee is placed in a work environment for a placement of up to 12 weeks. St. Rita’s College has already been a partner in this program.
Working with St. Rita’s College, and our parish primary school, our parish community will assist a refugee through the “Work and Welcome” program in coming months. The aim is to establish a work placement across three locations — St. Rita’s College, St. Agatha’s Primary school and the parish. This type of arrangement is a first for MDA and the Archdiocese.
The placement will occur during the 9 weeks of fourth term. As it is a genuine employment opportunity, we will pay wages to the person who is employed. The total cost of the 9 week placement is around $9000. This means that we will be required to raise about $3000 as our share. By next week or so, I will be able to provide you with details about how can you support the “Work and Welcome” program in our parish. I am very confident in your generosity and our ability to raise $3000 for this project. Through this programme, not only we will be able to support a refugee and his or her family, but also put a face and story to the world-wide refugee crisis. Jesus told us that the mark of discipleship was welcoming the stranger. The “Work and Welcome” program allows us to respond with a genuinely Christian heart which is enlarged through the encounter with another.
|Aug 17, 2016||20 Sunday in Ordinary Time 14.08.2016||Listen||Download|