Bishops Appeal 2016
Help Build the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton
It has been a real joy to meet so many people of the Diocese over the past 18 months.
Visiting you in our parishes and our school children in their schools, is for me a high priority.
Each year the Bishop’s Annual Appeal supports and helps build the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton. Last year the generosity of many people contributed $75,500 to the Diocese and its activities, some of which I want to share with you now.
Funding was used to help establish a branch of Catholic Family Social Services in the Bay of Plenty. Money from the appeal was used to fund the Regeneration Retreat Day in Tauranga, when over 300 Year 7 and 8 children attended from all around our Diocese. Money was used to subsidise the annual SetFree Youth and Young Adult weekend at Tokoroa. Again, well over 200 young people attended. Funding was provided for a retreat weekend for men considering a vocation to the priesthood. Funds were used to help cover the costs of providing hospital and prison chaplaincies. These are just a few of the needs that your money has funded.
In recent days we have started work on strengthening our pastoral outreach in the Diocese. The Pastoral Team at the Diocese’s Chanel Centre will be strengthened by the appointment of new staff members whose prime task is to assist parishes, parishioners and our schools.
The Education and Formation Animator is tasked with helping parishioners to develop their Catholic faith so that they may know Christ more deeply, live his life fully and share their faith in him with joy. The Social Justice Animator is to be a voice and heart of mercy for the vulnerable in our communities. The Marriage and Family Life Animator will work assisting growth in the baptismal, marital and familial vocations by developing relationships with God. We have also strengthened our Catholic Schools’ Office by adding a Catholic Education Manager to assist our schools form disciples of Jesus Christ. You can see my priorities reflected in what has been done in the last year and what I am hoping to do in the future. They fit well into this Year of Mercy.
Pope Francis reminds us that Jesus is the face of the Father’s mercy. Mercy is “the bridge that connects God and humanity, opening our hearts to a hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness”. At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives…
He wants this Year of Mercy to be “a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.”
My annual appeal offers you the opportunity to contribute to the Year of Mercy and say “I want to help build the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton by my prayers and financial support!”
Thank you for your generous consideration of this request and your ongoing support of your parish and the Diocese.
Yours sincerely in Christ the Good Shepherd
BISHOP OF HAMILTON