Archbishop of Melbourne assigns priest to help bushfire victims
Archbishop Denis Hart
Archbishop Denis Hart

.- Following the disastrous bush wildfires in Australia, Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has appointed Fr. Greg Bourke as Bushfire Recovery Chaplain as part of the Church’s “sustained effort” to help victims of the fires.

The Bushfire Recovery Chaplain will be a liaison between state and civil authorities, key Catholic agencies such as the Catholic Education Office (CEO), Centacare Catholic Family Services and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

He will also collaborate with parish priests and pastoral teams in the affected communities, a statement from the Archdiocese of Melbourne reports.

Archbishop Hart said the Catholic Church’s presence in affected communities during the initial crisis and recovery stages will need to go beyond its normal presence.

“The Church in Melbourne is committed to a sustained effort to meet the pastoral, welfare and education needs of the affected communities and to the rebuilding of those communities over the coming years,” Archbishop Hart said.

The Catholic Education Office (CEO) has waived school fees for 2009 for families that have lost their homes and is providing additional funds to assist with educational and relocation costs. CEO psychologists and counselors are available to support teachers and students of Catholic schools in the affected areas.

Centacare, the welfare arm of the Catholic Church in Australia, has offered the Australian Department of Human Services professional social workers and psychologists to help meet the needs of affected communities.

Fr. Bourke will also work to coordinate with priests and pastoral teams in parishes in unaffected parts of the archdiocese to help them support and assist parishes and religious communities in the fire ravaged areas.

Fr. Bourke will connect with individuals and families displaced by the brushfires as well as help those families who need extra assistance for funeral services.

On Tuesday Archbishop Hart visited communities in the fire zones around Healesville, Tarrawarra, Alexandra and Yea. In Healesville he spoke with emergency personnel and told them of his enormous admiration for their work.

Voicing his concern for the wellbeing of priests and pastoral teams in the affected areas, he said on Wednesday, “They have been working tirelessly and selflessly in what are exceptionally demanding circumstances… I wanted to give them my encouragement and remind them that they are human too and that they also need our care and prayers.”

The archbishop has also announced the committee which will advise him on the management of funds raised in the Catholic Archbishop’s Charitable Fund Bushfire Appeal.

Saying he was conscious that it will take many years for the communities to recover from the trauma and destruction of the bushfires, Archbishop Hart said he wanted to make sure that the donations are used to directly assist affected communities “both immediately and over the coming months and years as they courageously take up the challenge of recovery and rebuilding their lives and communities.”

Over 180 people were killed in the recent fires, some of which were started by arsonists.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 21, 2014

Monday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 2:14, 22-33
Gospel:: Mt 28:8-15

Saint of the Day

Holy Thursday »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: