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Weekly Messages

National News

 

Vinnies' advertises its good works by news releases on its website www.vinnies.org.au. The reader can choose to see National News or State News  by clicking on an item in a list on the left of the screen.

A recent National News item welcomes the Federal Government's announcement  that it will establish a working group to improve the stock of social and affordable housing. Dr John Falzon, National CEO, uses this medium to tell us  that Vinnies has been calling for such a move to address the significant waiting lists for accommodation that exist throughout Australia. He says " We would like to see a broader working group to include community organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul Society who work on the ground helping people by the sytematic lack of social and affordable housing. The Society believes this is an excellent opportunity to focus on housing and homelessness as a key issue for the 2016 election". 

Dr Falzon ends up saying that the Society looks forward to the opportunity to contribute to the process of finding real and lasting solutions to the problem. 

On the same window, There is a blue panel with white text saying "Vinnies changes lives everyday" and calling for support of the Winter Appeal.

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Lest we forget
 
A soldier dies, a mother sighs,
A widow, weeps, a youngster cries.
These are but some of the fruits of war.
Should we not ask what is it all for?
Young folk rally to the bugles call,
Veterans know the folly of it all
We revere the price that plain folk pay,
But question the part that statesmen
play.
One question remains unanswered still
The Commandment says “Thou shalt
not kill.
These are but some thoughts for
Anzac Day.
………………………......…….......….…
Lest we forget
Tom Togher
The above excerpt from the Tom Togher was published in Vinnies’ magazine 
The Record Autumn 2015. It aims to “ resolve the dilemma that Anzac Day 
for those whose basic beliefs are  opposed to war” . It brings to mind the  
bravery, comradeship and suffering of those taking part in military service.
AS Vincentians we can pray for the fallen and their friends and relatives. We 
can also respect  the monuments raised in their honour and be generous to collections
for Legacy.

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CEO Sleepout Website

      Last week, Vinnies 2016 CEO Sleepout website was the centre of attention in this column. It shows information on the names and city locations of CEOs who have taken up the challenge of spending a cold winter's night sleeping rough. It also keeps and displays records of  donations they have raised for the homeless. So far this year, 875 CEOs have volunteered to take part in the event and they have already collected $292,000

      This website, www.ceosleepout.org.au, holds a competition among the CEOs by keeping track of how much each CEO has collected in donations, sorts the data and then shows pictures of the top fundraisers, Another competition has been arranged to see what city  makes most money. Total donations for each city are calculated and a column graph is used  to display the results. So far, Sydney has the lead.

      Amongst the interesting items on the website are dozens of pictures video clips of event activities that have taken place. Contact can be made using instagram, facebook, You Tube, and Twitter.

      Last year, generous donations provided approximately half a million bed nights, half million meals and assistance on a million occasions for the disadvantaged and homeless. So this year please give your  generous support to the CEO of your choice.

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CEO Sleepout 2016

      Every year, the St Vincent de Paul Society holds a CEO Sleepout to raise awareness of homelessness in Australia and to raise money for Vinnies' homelessness services. This project presents a challenge to leaders of business and the community to experience what its like to sleep rough on a provided sheet of cardboard as well as missing out on a full meal. 

      This year, the Sydney CEO Sleepout will be held at CarriageWorks, Eveleigh on the 23rd of June. Dr John Falzon, our National CEO,recently gave the opening address  focusing on two aspects of homelessness that of elderly women with limited incomes and that of young mothers with children escaping from a violent domestic situation. He said that research by ABS indicates that the image of a bedraggled, old man on a park bench no longer represented homelessness as the 2011 Census found an alarming 59% of Australians seeking help from homeless services were women. Compare this with 26% in the UK and 38% in the USA.

       For more information visit   www.ceosleepout.org.au/events/nsw-sleepou. where you can keep up to date with the  number of CEO.s participating, their portraits,and amount donated. Some of  these CEO's participate in Executive teams rallying together to increase fundraising power and enhance social interaction. Live streaming of the event in Sydney should be an interesting new feature of the project. .

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Service
"Follow Christ through service 
to those in need and so bear
witness to His compassionate and 
liberating love."
-- The Rule
Graham West, National President of The St Vincent de Paul Society wrote the Frontlines article of the Summer edition 2015-2016 edition of Vinnies' magazine, The Record. He gives us his thoughts on The Societies' call to action and service. as the above extract indicates. He then goes on to explain the meaning of "Liberating love" or the joy of true love. He says it is non-judgmental, expanding not limiting and is two way gift [ reminiscent of mercy in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice']. He then goes on to consider the challenge of service in a changing world. The St Vincent de Paul Society always adapts to new needs of the community and gives priority to the most needy, for example it responded to the plight of increases in homeless people by means of Night Patrol Vans that provide hot soup, warm blankets and friendly conversation to people sleeping rough, Add to this the Sleep outs that provide help for the homeless. Another target for our charitable services is help for refugees and asylum seekers whose numbers have recently increased. One new approach is for a number of Conferences to combine and work with refugees across parishes. For those interested there are many more new services described on the Publications section of Vinnies' website www.vinnies.org.au.

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The Future
 
The past, O Lord, to your Mercy,
the present to your Love,
the future to your Providence
 
- St Padre Pio
 

Mr Leo Tucker, author of Vinnies Spiritual Guides uses the above spiritual counsel of Padre Pio as a quote of the week for the third Sunday of Easter. Padre Pio, known as the priest who has a stigmata and who could see into  the future, This charismatic priest has written Lenten Meditations, much about prayer as well as the end of the world and three days of darkness. Three is a number that appears in various places in the scriptures e.g. Jesus asking Peter if he loved him three times and each time on the positive reply by Peter, Jesus said "Feed my sheep" thus underlining the role Peter is to play in the Church, Mr Tucker says "Often, in both the Church and the Society, it is as though there is a kind of mistrust in the capacity of the next generation to live up to what has been given them. And yet it is from the young that there comes idealism, energy and initiative. 

 He adds that in recent years, both in the Church and the St Vincent de Paul Society  there has been a falling off in participating membership particularly in the younger and middle-aged groups. He goes on to remind of the promise of Jesus " I am with you,always, even to the end of time’,  He then asks the reader to reflect on the following question:

"How good are we at trusting in God’s providence for the future of the Society and the Church?"

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