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“Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”
James 2:14

Join us for the first day of a two-day symposium that is scheduled for Friday 9 July 2021 at Tannock Hall of Education, the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle.

In this symposium, we will be looking at Poverty, Homelessness and Migrants in Western Australia and looking at the increasing incidence of homelessness in women over the age of 55 in WA. Dr Martin Drum and his team will deliver a brief talk on UNDA recent research in these areas and will form a panel that will also include CEOs in the homelessness sector.

We will also be focusing on the successful programs that are delivered to Aboriginal people in the Kimberley and the regions. Michael King (CEO, Centacare Kimberley) will be giving a brief talk on Centacare Kimberley social services programs in Kimberley. There will be a Q & A discussion on welfare delivery in times of pandemic. How did the agencies cope with the onset of COVID-19 and how did it shape their service delivery?

The July symposium will also focus on Modern Day Slavery and how we can eradicate this pernicious evil from Catholic supply chains, and we will have the opportunity for discussion.

Join us and see how our Catholic Social Services are making a difference.

Say hello to our speakers

We couldn't be more excited about our lineup. Which talks will you be checking out?

Walking with His People Reflection 

by Terry Wilson, Chairperson CSSWA and Vicar for Social Outreach

The theme chose by Archbishop Costelloe SDB for the current Archdiocesan Plan (2016 – 2021), now in its closing stages, is “A people walking together in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd”. The Archbishop’s vision was that we must make sure that Christ, the real Christ, is at the heart of everything we say, everything we do and everything we are. In launching the Plan he stated that his hope was that, “ ‘’The Way Forward’ will enable us to walk together on the pathway which we hope will deliver a Christ-centred, faithful, vibrant, welcoming, inclusive and mission-oriented Church, one which will enrich our own lives and the lives of all whom we encounter and seek to serve.”

One part of that Plan was focused on “Outreach to those in need”. A key focus of the Plan in this area was to ensure that Archdiocesan services were responsive to the ongoing and changing needs of those most in need, with all Catholic service providers working collaboratively to achieve mutually positive outcomes. Outreach is the external manifestation of our faith and part of our faith development; they are inextricably linked. In short, the Plan sought to deliver practical outcomes, real assistance to those in need by walking and working together, whilst informed by the Church’s Social Teaching.

If we listen to the words of Jesus, faith does not mean simply believing something. Faith requires action. “if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains -- if I am without love, I am nothing … (Love) is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes” (1 Cor 13: 1,2 and 7)

In their on-going work, our Archdiocesan Social Outreach agencies, remind us powerfully that simply believing that Jesus existed is not faith. Doing something in response to that belief is faith.

In Evangelii Gaudium (‘Joy of the Gospel’), Pope Francis says: “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. … More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: ‘Give them something to eat’ (Mk 6:37)”. (EG,49).

St Teresa of Avila reminds us “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

Our Social Outreach agencies, working collaboratively, continue to deliver practical assistance to those in need by being Christ’s hands, eyes and feet walking with His people.

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