Themes and At Home Appeals

From Dunedin Diocesan Report 2018 National Conference

The theme for 2014 to 2016 Vital, Visible, Vibrant led us on many paths to look at ourselves and ponder about the impact we have on the lives of others that we came into contact with. Guest presenters spoke to us about the many ways we make ourselves visible to those around us and how our actions and our conversations can impact on those we come into contact with. I recall that at one of our Diocesan Conferences we had invited a priest who is very involved in charity work in Dunedin to come and talk to us. He had asked if he could bring some young people with him who worked in soup kitchens and refuge houses. Of course we said ‘yes’. He had been told what the theme was but when they arrived at the Conference one of the young women with him asked me what it was as he had forgotten. He knew that it was three words beginning with V.  He could remember Vital and Visible but thought the third one might be Violent. I quickly reassured the young woman that, ‘No, it was actually Vibrant’, which she agreed made more sense. They turned out to be one of the most inspirational panel we had ever heard and it was great to hear from these vital and attractive young women about the work they were doing in the city to assist Father Chamberlain.

The theme for the past two years, “CWLANZ; A Face of Mercy in Creation”, was used as the theme for our 2017 Diocesan Conference. We heard from three speakers who gave us an insight into the different aspects of this theme that we could study. We looked at the many ways that human life and nature are connected and how they relate to each other, which helps us to see the many faces of Mercy in Creation. A Social Worker from Catholic Social Services Alexandra spoke about how mercy played a big part in her work, helping those to move on after suffering some of the many problems facing people today. The Parish Priest from Alexandra introduced us to GEM; Green Earth Movement, and used quotes from Laudato Si to give us practical tips for helping the environment.

The 2017 At Home Appeal was the Sophie Elliot Foundation.  Lesley Elliot, on behalf of the Foundation, was presented with a cheque. This appeal had led to some very interesting meetings around the subject of abuse, particularly mental abuse. All branches had donated generously to this appeal and had guest speakers to talk at meetings either at branch or regional.  Visit www.sophieelliottfoundation.co.nz

Last year’s At Home Appeal, ‘Pillars’, led to some very interesting meetings and some follow-on activities to assist this group. One branch had supplied car seats to enable mothers to take their children to visit their fathers in prison, another group heard about how mothers were assisted following their release from prison and another branch put an appeal in their parish newsletter for Christmas gifts and were overwhelmed with the response. It is heartening to hear about these activities taking place in our branches. Visit www.pillars.org.nz