In an official statement released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge commended the heroic efforts of firefighters and the resilience of affected communities. He also acknowledged that many may be feeling a sense of helplessness in the face of this growing tragedy. "Prayerful support of our neighbours is an integral part of our response. ... A genuinely Catholic response to a crisis of this magnitude must draw strength from prayer which inspires concrete and compassionate action."
The ACBC has prepared a number of prayer resources for use in local parishes and communities. Click on the links below to download:
Special collection on Australia Day weekend (Bushfire Appeal Weekend)
Over the Australia Day weekend, parishes around the country are being encouraged to take up a special collection at all Masses, with funds to go towards supporting communities affected by devastating bushfires. Some of you have enquired as to how to manage the donations once received.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, in partnership with the St Vincent de Paul Society, have recommended the following:
Option 1: Bank deposit
A diocese, parish, school or other body can make a donation of cash collected at Masses or special fundraising events using a normal bank deposit to: Account Name: St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia Inc | BSB: 062 000 | Account Number: 171 832 17. If a receipt is required, email Admin@svdp.org.au WITH the following details: Name of person seeking a receipt; Name of Church entity (e.g. parish name and suburb); Date the deposit was made; Amount of deposit; and Contact details (postal address or email account).
Option 2: Online donation
Go to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal website
. Online donations can be made via PayPal or credit card. - You can choose an amount to donate or enter a specific amount. Under the ‘donate as organisation’ you can also enter your parish name. - Upon making your donation, you will receive a receipt from the Vinnies State Council that operates in your state.
All monies donated to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal go directly to individuals and communities in bushfire-affected areas in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. Money received in states or territories not declared bushfire emergency areas will be redirected to bushfire emergency areas declared by the Commonwealth. The National Council has established a Taskforce to oversee the allocation of donated funds to the good works conducted through the Society’s State and Territory Councils. Option 3: Cheque
Cheques made out to the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia Inc can be sent to: Vinnies Bushfire Appeal, PO Box 243, Deakin West ACT 2600
Parishioners wishing to donate individually can donate directly via www.vinnies.org.au
and receive a tax-deductible receipt.