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“We aim to provide a safe and more conducive place for both the students and the teachers for all the teaching and learning activities they do the whole year through.”

Sr Alma Castagna

The Christmas spirit will be alive and well across the Bathurst Diocese with church-goers being invited to support a vital community school project in one of Australia’s nearest neighbours, in Timor Leste.

Known locally as Eskola Primaria Katolika Maria Auxiliadora, the Maria Auxiliadora Catholic Primary School has more than 1000 students, the majority of whom come from vulnerable backgrounds. It was the first Catholic primary school established in the region.

Through the annual Bishop’s Christmas Appeal, conducted at Masses in each parish in the Diocese of Bathurst on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Diocese will help with the construction of a multipurpose hall for assembly and student activities, as well as with renovations to the school library.

“The quality of student life and the education they receive will be improved with the creation of a gymnasium space for students to safely do physical activities,” Diocesan Director for Catholic Mission, David McGovern said.

“Funds from this appeal will help the Salesian Sisters, who established the school in Dili in 1998, create a relaxing space for teachers and staff, enabling them to have time and space to plan lessons and discuss schoolwork.” Sr Alma Castagna said the Sisters, with Catholic Mission’s help and the generosity of people from the Bathurst Diocese, were committed to providing “a safe and more conducive place for students and their teachers.”

Donations can also be sent direct to Bishop McKenna at PO Box 246 Bathurst 2795 or made via our Diocesan website, or via this link.