Care and concern

The Care & Concern movement has been a vital part of our Parish over many years.

It was revitalised in its present form in 2004 to offer a range of services to fellow parishioners by way of handyman help, transport, visitation, meals and general support in times of emergencies and grief and to welcome new parishioners.

We rely on everyone to assist us in serving our parish community so if you or someone you know in our parish community is in need of our support, a call to the parish office is all you have to do and they will put you in touch with the appropriate person.

I have been a member of our parish Care and Concern for many years. And I would like to share with you some thoughts from members. Members were asked the question: “What rewards do we receive by being a part of our parish Care & Concern?”

I quote: “It is the joy from helping others. I receive far more than I give and my life is richer for it. Giving from the heart fills my life with joy and nourishes my soul. In the words of Saint Francis of Assisi ‘’For it is giving that we receive.’

“In a small way it’s feeling that one may have helped another, e.g. during a family illness or the loss of a loved one.

Experiencing the reality of the true fact that there is ‘more joy in giving than receiving.”

Another has said she experiences a feeling of discipleship and living out the simple message of “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

A recipient of assistance, with some home cooked meals delivered to her family, has said: ‘the comforting feeling of knowing that others around me really cared for me and my family, brought some peace to my mind at a difficult time.’

Several members have commented about the community aspect: I quote again – “It is part of building the parish community. Those who receive assistance come to realise that they are part of the church community, as do those who give the assistance. Reaching out to others and getting to know them better is another part of the community building, too. “

The members who make the new parishioners welcome and share parish information with them comment that this gives them a great sense of joy.

Joy was mentioned again by another member who said: “There is a sense of joy in being able to assist others and lighten their load”.

One member has summed up the role of Care & Concern in this way: “Care and Concern gives us the opportunity to offer genuine and compassionate care to others when their need is greatest. At times when people are grieving, ill or in the need of the hand of friendship, the work of Care and Concern may be the instrument that brings peace and hope at a time when they are most vulnerable and feeling challenged by the trials of their circumstance. Our unconditional offer of support and love can bring comfort and a real sense of belonging to a caring and embracing community. It is often the knowledge that others care that makes life brighter again. The hand of friendship and care is a powerful healing gift.”

Many past and present have experienced this support over the years. But the years move on and through natural attrition our numbers are affected so now comes the second reason for my address today.

We are in need of some new members. The task is not an onerous one. We meet only quarterly, 4 times. Even if you cannot attend regular meetings, your support in the areas of the odd handyman job, transport to Mass or the occasional appointment, the providing of meals or baking for parish functions such as Anointing masses, visitation to a parishioner, would be appreciated.

So if you see this as a ministry you would be willing to be part of, please get in contact with the Parish Office. Together we can make a difference in the smallest of ways.

To place all this in a biblical context we refer to 1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, “Be holy because I [am] holy.”

In the Bible, to be holy means to be set apart for God. We are called to be holy, to live and act in such a way that those who come in contact with us will catch a glimmer of the presence of God. No small task, but full of eternal rewards.