For the long haul
Many people in our region are currently suffering from the effects of the on-going drought and the Diocese of Bathurst is responding to their needs in a variety of ways.
Our local church is well-positioned within these communities to assist through parishes, schools and Centacare, our Diocesan social services agency.
Knowing that it will take years for farmers and communities to recover; and that droughts are becoming more common, we need to provide both immediate and long-term help to ensure communities build a level of resilience to ongoing drought conditions. To this end, the Diocese has set up an appeal, which will be managed by Centacare Bathurst. In the immediate future, donations to this appeal will be forwarded to Rural Aid, a well-known charity which already has several drought-relief initiatives underway, including the 'Buy a Bale' project.
Centacare Bathurst has also earmarked $100,000 of its reserve funds to assist families and communities in their journey to recovery. Director, Mr Robert George, said "We recognise and acknowledge that recovery will not be easy or quick. As part of the Diocesan initiative, Centacare will provide ongoing psychosocial assistance and will be with the community for the long haul".
Centacare offices in Dubbo and Bathurst will offer counselling services to those affected, free of cost, and hope to establish a telephone counselling service, considering the costs associated with travel.
Many parishes have already begun their own fundraising, and some of our severely affected parishes have received generous donations of cash and material goods from parishes outside the Diocese. These have been gratefully received and distributed far and wide, to ensure maximum direct benefit to those in need.
Bishop Michael McKenna recently called for a day of prayer across the Diocese. "We are all aware of the current drought conditions across our Diocese and their effect on our lives: for some of us more directly than others", he said. "As people of faith, we are already praying for rain and for everyone whose lives and livelihood depend on this blessing. Our prayers acknowledge our dependence on God our Creator for all things. In praying for one another, we are motivated and guided to works of practical support".
Bishop McKenna also urged families in difficult financial circumstances - for any reason - to speak with their school principal if they were struggling to meet the school fees. “We certainly do not wish to add to the financial burden families are currently experiencing, as money should not be a barrier to children attending Catholic schools", he said.
How to donate:
You can make a financial donation to this cause HERE; or
You can visit the Centacare office at 107 William Street, Bathurst or 28 Cobbora Street, Dubbo; or
You may also call Centacare on 1800 231 118 or 6331 8944 to make your donation over the phone.
All donations above $2 are tax deductible.
If you could use some support from Centacare's experienced counsellors, please phone them on
1800 231 118 or 6331 8944