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Each year, the annual Bishop’s Special Missionary Appeal is held at Christmas Masses across the Diocese, with the proceeds going to overseas mission projects.

Over a number of years, a relationship has been formed between the Diocese of Bathurst and the St Joseph’s Parish and Primary School precinct, Bongaon, West Bengal, Archdiocese of Calcutta, India.

St Joseph’s Parish, Bongaon, is situated on India’s eastern border with Bangladesh. It is a populous region and the parish’s pastoral outreach extends to distant faith communities. St Joseph’s Primary School caters for children from Nursery and Kindergarten to Year 4, and is conducted by the Apostolic Carmel Sisters (AC). The current enrolment is just over 500, with a teaching staff of 15.

The AC Convent comprises three religious sisters, including the school principal. Education remains a tool for evangelisation throughout India and Catholic schools conducted by religious congregations are very highly regarded in a pluralist society.

The Bishop’s Special Christmas Appeal will support the vision of St Joseph’s, Bongaon to expand the current Catholic primary school, by staged developments, to a Year 6 facility by 2021 and then to Year 12 by 2028.

The plan involves the expansion of the primary school area and new secondary school buildings to provide 32 new classrooms. In addition, there will be the equivalent of a further 20 classroom areas for the purposes of administration, staff room, multi-purpose learning areas, computer rooms, interview room, library and stairwells.

You can share the spirit of Christmas and help bring this project to fruition at all Christmas Masses across the Diocese.

You can donate to the Bishop’s Special Christmas Missionary Appeal via BPOINT.