As another year draws to a close, we take this opportunity to thank all of our partners who have supported our mission to help those on the margins.
If you haven't already, please take a moment to read our Annual Report.
We are proud to be making a difference to the lives of individuals, families and communities across Greater Melbourne, Geelong and Gippsland - and we look forward to another successful year in 2020!
Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season to all, from the CatholicCare team.
On humanising our world: a pastoral reflection
The profound desire to make a difference can often lead into, among so many things, a choice to support a faith inspired social services provider like CatholicCare. It is a strange thing however to then somehow make sense of our endeavours to transform social disadvantage when these are dishearteningly dismissed by some with a shrugging of shoulders and the quip, “there is no place for unfunded empathy.” There are different perspectives – that’s what makes life interesting!
At a gathering at one of our major hospitals in the outer suburbs to thank faith groups in their provision of pastoral and spiritual care, one of the presenters was reflecting on the different faces of “care”. Within the medical model, care is ultimately about diagnosing the illness – “where does it hurt?” – and prescribing the solution – “we will schedule this procedure and ask you to take this medication.” Pastoral care enters into the relationship with the person from a very different perspective – “you have shared with me your pain; together, we can hold it.” The medical and the pastoral are not so much contradictory but rather interdependent – different pathways that seek out “life to the full” for the person. To simply “hold” the story of the other, is a profoundly humanising thing.
The Christmas and New Year period are replete with varying discourses, narratives and symbols that can seem contradictory. One can sense that perhaps there is just below the surface a desire, a deep human yearning to simply “hold” life’s complexities. In the action of holding, we humanise the dynamics around us that can potentially dehumanise us. There are many simple yet profound instances of this in day to day life such as: in the experience of painful loss, we poignantly respond by offering to “hold” the other in thoughts and prayers; at the birth of a baby, we simply “hold” this gift of life that is fragile and vulnerable. On a larger scale also, we advocate for social policy and action that will “hold” the person, every person, with respect for their inherent dignity. This can be understood in terms of a pastoral sensibility that all of us can engender across our broader CatholicCare community.
Perhaps the challenge for us is, like when the Christmas season is well and truly over and we strip away the tinsel, trappings and distractions, to see once again with lucid clarity what could be the most important life task: to simply “hold” each other, bound by our shared humanity, with a love that seeks nothing more and nothing less than “life in all its fullness” for all.
Senior Manager Pastoral Services
All CatholicCare offices will be closed from 12:30pm Tuesday 24 December
until 9am Thursday 2 January.
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