Thursday, January 20, 2011

AUSTRALIA: ARCHBISHOP ENCOURAGES AID FOR FLOOD VICTIMS

CATH NEWS REPORT- Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby has expressed his sympathy and support for the Queensland flood victims and their loved ones, stressing that the Church is "determined to do everything we can to assist", reports the Catholic Leader.

"The outpouring of love in aid of their recovery is an example of God's Holy Spirit living in their hearts in these moments of darkness. It is a reminder of the goodness and generosity that God plants in all of us."Our prayers are with all those who have been affected by this flood through the loss of their homes, properties and possessions," he wrote in a message in the newspaper.

"I have asked the main agencies of the archdiocese (including education, welfare and parish services) to plan the Church's central response to the recovery in South East Queensland, as similar planning occurs in other dioceses throughout Queensland.

"In all of these efforts we also seek the intercession of St Mary MacKillop."

The Brisbane St Stephen's Cathedral precinct suffered minimal damage, said a separate report in the Leader, and the archdiocese was seeking to do what it can for parishioners, staff and the wider community.

Among plans that will form the Church's response include to identify accommodation available within the archdiocese to house people in need; assist parishes to rebuild in the most affected areas; provide resource kits on government grants available to individuals; establish a flood counselling phone line with the assistance of Centacare's counsellors and finally to establish a Catholic Emergency Relief Fund to provide more targeted financial assistance to those in greatest need.

Similar planning is occurring in other Dioceses throughout Queensland, with all ensuring that they are doing everything they can to assist victims.

With the scope for unskilled volunteering now reduced people are also encouraged to continue assisting by donating to either the St Vincent de Paul Society's national appeal or the Archdiocesan Catholic Emergency Relief Fund at www.bne.catholic.net.au/cerf

For enquiries for contributions to these funds please phone (07) 3336 9230.

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=24778

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