From the Parish Pastoral Council

Dear Parishioners, families and friends of Holy Spirit Parish,
What a year we are living through! Bushfires, floods, pandemics and massive economic losses. But through it all our parish has stood by the side of each and every one of us. The Parish Pastoral Council has been working hard behind the scenes to support both our priests and our parishioners during this incredibly challenging time. Our first priority was to transfer to the internet so that Fr Mark and Fr Jiss could continue to bring you the Mass and the Word. Our Easter liturgies in particular were a strong and robust response to the challenges of COVID 19. The transition to the internet has worked really well for us and your support and patience have been fantastic. You would probably be surprised at the amount of work it took, but that is a set of lessons well learned for the future.

Now we are back in the church and it is wonderful to welcome everyone, although I find it hard to be 4 square metres away from my next companion celebrating the Mass. Our next priority is to shepherd our beautiful children through Confirmation and First Eucharist over the next month or two. The return to the church under Covid rules has also taken a lot of volunteer work – thank you so much! The Parish council has been very hands on, assisting with the arrangements and delivery of all our extra Masses. Like everyone else, the Council has also been very concerned about our finances. The parish leadership has taken strong steps to protect our financial position. This includes postponing all maintenance expenses and cancelling plans for the Grotto and for the renovation of the church. We
are very sorry about this but it is the only prudent course and we believe that it is what you would expect of us.

Finally, we have good news about the Disaster Relief Fund and your very generous donations after the bushfires. After a lot of research and feet on the ground, the Council has distributed most of the $23,000 we raised at the beginning of the year. We sent an immediate grant of $3,000 to the parish priest of Bermagui and Cobargo. We also sent $5000 to Rev.Tim of Cobargo who, hand in hand with BlazeAid, has established a good network for helping those in most need. Finally, we spent $10,000 re-tooling the shop of the local car and truck mechanic in Cobargo, who had been totally burnt out. Getting him back in business keeps the money in the town and helps the community get back on their feet. Who never needs a motor mechanic or new tyres?

COVID-19 is another disaster which will tip many into grief and hardship. The Council is planning to run some raffles in the church community to raise funds for those who need help and to bring us all together with a little fun and laughter. Look out for the hard sell!!

The Parish Pastoral Council is there to help all parishioners and our parish team to have the best spiritual experience they can and to build and nurture our church family. Tell us if you think we can help in any way.

We pray you all stay safe and well.
Alison Weeks,

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