The annual Centacare In Action Appeal is happening throughout the Brisbane Archdiocese this weekend.
It raises money for all of Centacare’s special Pastoral Ministries – Hospital & Prison Chaplaincies, Prison Ministry, Murri Ministry, Shiloh, Catholic Psychiatric Pastoral Care and the Apostleship of the Sea.
These ministries currently fall outside the scope of Government sponsorship and are virtually fully Archdiocesan funded.
Fr John Chalmers, the head of Pastoral Ministries, said the Appeal highlighted a sense of partnership.
“This provides an opportunity for people in parishes who might like to work in partnership with us as we try to work in partnership with God,” Fr Chalmers said.
“Ultimately these pastoral ministries are in cutting edge areas where real people are engaging with the realities of life. Responding compassionately and in the light of the Gospel with people who are addressing the big issues of life and death places pastoral ministers at the forefront of what the Church is about,” he said.
All donations over $2 are tax deductible, and , with Centacare services stretched to the limit, timely and welcome.
“Our people give extraordinary amounts of time and commitment and they can’t be taken for granted,” Fr Chalmers said.
Fr Chalmers liked the fact the Appeal gives people a sense of what’s going on in the Church but hidden away from public view.
“The work they do doesn’t get much press – in fact it gets no press, but it certainly is experienced by thousands of people in the diocese every year,” he said.
“Our pastoral workers meet up with people at a pretty vulnerable time in their lives, a time when people often start to ask significant questions about the meaning of life.
As a former Hospital Chaplain himself, Fr Chalmers also sees the Appeal as essential to the nature of the Church.
“Matthew’s Gospel talks about the last judgment and what we’re going to be judged upon. It isn’t going to be our fine words but the hungry we’ve fed, the imprisoned we visited or the sick we healed,” he said.
“This isn’t an optional extra, it’s at the heart of the Gospel.