Surge of support for compassion in action

By Wendy Shaw

Jesus’ call to love our neighbour as ourselves is the key message behind Project Compassion, according to Archbishop Julian.

He was speaking at the southern launch of the annual Project Compassion Lenten fundraising and awareness appeal last month.

Representatives from Catholic schools, parishes and affiliated organisations flocked to well-attended prayer services to mark the launches at St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, and the Church of the Apostles, Launceston. These were followed by question and answer sessions with Catholic aid agency Caritas Australia’s Advancement Director, Richard Landels, of Sydney.

Over six weeks schools, parishes, groups and individuals are asked to donate, fundraise or give something up for Lent, in support of Project Compassion.

Archbishop Julian encouraged everyone to support fundraising efforts.

“We are so blessed here in Tasmania,” Archbishop Julian said. “We have so many good things. In Lent each year we are encouraged to think of others who do not have what we have. We have a chance to help them.

“As we begin the journey of Lent this year, let us focus on Jesus’ call to love our neighbour as ourselves.

“The Lenten season encourages us to look not just at our own needs, but the needs of others.

“Through our acts of self-denial, may we also be inspired to undertake works of mercy and acts of charity, going without something so that we turn our attention to giving to others.

“This is what Project Compassion invites us to do each Lent.”

Representatives from Catholic schools, parishes and organisations attend a prayer service at the Church of the Apostles in Launceston to mark the northern launch of Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion appeal. Photo: Supplied

Caritas Diocesan Director Penny Edman has been hearted at the response to the appeal.

“They were wonderful launches and a great way for me to start off as diocesan director,” she said.

“The guest speaker, Richard Landels, also visited several schools and Mass on Sunday night at the Church of the Apostles, and there were question and answer sessions after the launches. They were well attended and the students asked intelligent and thoughtful questions.”

Penny stressed the importance of partnership and developing a sense of community around Caritas Australia in coming months.

“It speaks of the whole church and not just individual parts, and we as a whole Church can impact the lives of people who are much less well off than we are,” she said.

Caritas Diocesan Director, Penny Edman, stressed the importance of partnership and developing a sense of community around Caritas Australia during Lent. Photo: Josh Low

 “Every little bit that we do here in Tasmania has an impact somewhere in the globe – every time we stand up for justice, every time we fundraise even a dollar.

“Caritas Australia is part of the second largest humanitarian network in the world so it reaches to where the need is greatest, often to the poorest of the poor.

“Caritas works with 162 partners around the world in 162 countries …  It is very much grass roots.

“Partnership and community are the two things that I am becoming passionate about.”

In a statement, Caritas Australia CEO Kirsty Robertson said: “During Lent, we are invited to take up the call to fast, pray and give alms… Supporting Project Compassion is a way for us to proclaim the faith that is in our hearts and help our sisters and brothers in need.”

To donate, look out for the Project Compassion donation boxes, visit the website (, or call 1800 024 413 toll free.

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