St Vincent de Paul Society, St Gerard Majella Conference Report, 2022-2023
We wish to express our gratitude to all parishioners for your generous support of the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP) at Maroochydore and advise you of our activities over the past financial year.
Our Family Support Office is open 4 days per week with 1,305 requests coming through our doors, enabling us to help 2,789 people over the past year.
Day-to-day assistance is made up of food parcels, food vouchers, pharmacy vouchers for prescriptions and emergency fuel cards. We also receive donated food from OZHarvest and Aldi. Telstra donates vouchers for those in hardship situations and GIVIT has donated pre-paid sim cards for victims of domestic violence. SVDP donates Vinnies cards to be spent in our Vinnies Shops. The total value of assistance provided this last financial year ending 30 June 2023 was $132,519. 91.
On 9 November, 2022, the joint 40th Anniversary Celebration of St. Gerard Majella Conference in Maroochydore and St. Peter’s Conference in Coolum took place at Stella Maris Church. The celebratory mass led by Bishop Brian Heenan, Fr Peter Brannelly and Fr John Fitz-Herbert, inducted a new member Mario Barbagallo, and concluded with a blessing from Fr Peter Brannelly. Attendees enjoyed morning tea, viewing displays and photo books in the Function Room and Courtyard followed by lunch. Each received a 40th Anniversary booklet written by Pauline Edwards (Coolum) and Rita Rynne (Maroochydore) . Diocesan President Beryl Rowan addressed the assembly, followed by Q&A sessions. Festivities included with a courtyard fashion parade, showcasing Maroochydore Vinnie’s Store’s offerings.
The event was attended by 133 Vincentians, volunteers, and guests, creating a special celebration. The Anniversary Cake was made and iced by Maroochydore Conference Vice President, Carmel Barbagallo.
Vincentians play a crucial role in helping those in need. When individuals seek help, we ensure that every person receives a thorough interview to understand their specific requirements. We then prepare a food parcel, coordinate a home visit, or provide emergency vouchers as needed. In addition to these vital tasks, some Vincentians contribute by participating in furniture collection efforts when donations are received. Furthermore, there are Vincentians who dedicate their time by manning the service counter and working with computer systems to input and manage essential data. Through these diverse efforts, Vincentians demonstrate their commitment to serving the community, ensuring that assistance is provided efficiently and compassionately to those who require support.
St. Gerard Majella Conference actively supports families struggling with children’s education. The “Smart Start for Students” fund, with $3,555 raised, aids this initiative. Shamus Conway and this team notably contributed by fundraising at Bunnings Sausage Sizzles.
The Society in Queensland runs the Children’s Education Fund which is open to students from low-income families. Stateside, the Society provided over $900,000 with $19,430 allocated to 38 families in our area. If you would like to donate towards this fund, then stipulate ‘education’ and your money will be deposited in this Fund.
Our companions are also assisted with No Interest Loans (NILS) by which they can purchase white goods, computers, furniture and medical aids. There is also a NILS 4 CARS for qualifying applicants. This is a real ‘hand-up’ for those on low incomes.
The CEO Sleepout at Maroochydore Beach in June was the most successful to date, raising $193,000 for our Diocese. Nick Saunders from Maroochydore Conference participated in this year’s Sleepout with his sleeping bag, a pillow and two sheets of cardboard for comfort. He raised $6,250. Well done, Nick! He was in good company raising funds with the assistance of our two Primary Principals from Siena Primary Glen Bucklar and Stella Maris Mark Ballam joining in with many other hardy souls and raising money for the cause. The funds will aid homeless individuals on the Sunshine Coast, providing temporary accommodation and essential supplies like tents, sleeping bags, and comfort packs.
Our regular fundraisers are the Winter and Christmas Appeals. We can always rely on wonderful support from parishioners in both instances. Once again Mooloolaba-Alexandra Headland Kindergarten raised $420 for warm pyjamas and this was doubled by Target Maroochydore. These warm clothes were given to SVP Maroochydore for distribution to families in need. Our three Catholic schools helped us by donating tents, toiletries and funds.
Our Vinnies Shop is one of five on the Sunshine Coast and run by a paid Manager with the help of volunteers who work in the shop. If you would like to find out more about volunteering at Vinnies, please call the shop Manager Susan on 54517620. All are welcome.
A SVDP Bursary is given to encourage students to show respect for people in need. These students showed empathy for others in their day to day lives. Murray Langford won the Tertiary Bursary for Siena Catholic College; Kaelan Juillerat won the Primary Bursary for Siena Primary, and the Bursary for Stella Maris was shared by Brady Johns and Willow Connelly in November 2022.
Christmas is a happy time for most people, but for others, it is a reminder of their poor financial situation. We gave happiness to many families through our Christmas Hamper Program. Parishioners, Stella Maris Primary School, Siena Primary School, and Siena College were so generous with their goods, monetary donations, and vouchers. Olga Girle and her team gave out 122 hampers to families and singles to enable them to enjoy this festive Holy Season.
During the year, President Kareen Dwyer inducted new member Mary Nugent and Leanne Attard, Associate Members Tony Attard and Ross McNally as well as welcoming back former member, Loretta Ferguson. We also ask you to pray for our recently deceased members Patricia Golik, Christopher Chandler and Jack Wills. We need our membership to grow so that we can keep on assisting disadvantaged people. If you would like to learn more about us, talk to a Vincentian you see at Mass.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your unwavering support, as your generosity consistently shines through whenever we ask. Your kindness is deeply appreciated, and we are genuinely thankful.
(Vice President) 20/8/2023
Can you help?
Are you able to assist with our Junior Ministers Ministry?
We are seeking volunteers to support our junior ministers. As almost 100 children have celebrated their First Holy Communion, we would like to welcome and engage them in our Masses as part of the Junior Ministers Ministry. This ministry will provide the younger members of our parish with some ministry formation, friends, food and of course fun! However, to do this in line with the Archdiocesan Safeguarding Policy, we need to have one adult present for every 6 children. These adults will be required to have a blue card or exemption card linked to the parish, but this is easy to obtain. We are planning to meet approximately once a month on a Sunday afternoon in the Stella Maris Function room from 2.30pm- 4.30pm. Children from all four of our Mass centres are being encouraged to serve. If you feel like this is a ministry in which you would like to be involved, or you have any questions please email Bernie Baillie or ring the parish office on 07 5443 3488. Thank you.
Receipts to be collected
We still have a few receipts to be collected at the entrance of the Churches. For those who have donated to the Parish via Bpay, Direct Debit or any other means, please make sure you collect your receipts this weekend if you haven’t already done so. Thank you for supporting our parish.
Mystery and Mission
Mystery and Mission: The Art of Liturgical Celebration, here in Brisbane. Register now for this National Conference on Liturgy and Liturgical Music to be held in Brisbane from 28-30 September. It is rare to have expert liturgists, liturgical musicians and educators together in one place for three days of focussed input. In addition to six keynote presentations and over 50 workshops, there will be opportunities to engage in facilitated discussions, and to participate in the Conference Mass as well as Morning and Evening Prayer. Visit the website to register
Celebrating and Remembering
We welcome into God’s Family, the Church, Amaya Dias, Kataya Hill and Carter Holland who will be baptised this weekend in our Parish.
We prayerfully remember all those who have died, especially Mike Gillooly whose funeral rites were last Friday. May the souls of all our departed priests, religious, parishioners and family members, through the rich mercy of God, rest in peace.
Ignite Conference 23:Wonder is a National Catholic Conference for people of all ages to experience real world formation, powerful worship and encouragement in their Catholic faith in an exciting, and ground-breaking way.
We all need an opportunity to meet our God of wonders. At this time when our world is so full of fear, uncertainty and powerlessness, we desperately need the God of wonders to remind us of all that is good and true; that Jesus is present and powerful and able to move mountains in our lives.
Ignite Conference is a chance to meet the God of wonders, to encounter Jesus for the first time or the hundredth time. It’s a rare opportunity to gather as a people of faith from around the country.
A line-up of speakers and artists will be joining our expanding Ignite family this year at two locations. In Brisbane, we are excited to continue our partnership with St. Laurence’s College in the heart of the city. We want to see the Church in Australia be led by a wonder-filled generation ready to transform all around them into colour and light.
If you haven’t been to an Ignite Conference yet, this is your time. Come along for four days of unforgettable Catholic worship, speakers, creativity, sacraments and workshops. Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to breathe WONDER into our lives, Church and nation together! Contact Fr Isaac Falzon or Carrolyn Watt at the Parish Office to find out more!
A reminder that women are invited to a retreat in Dakabin. Maybe it would be worth carpooling with other women of the area. The theme of the weekend is “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord.” The retreat will be facilitated by Sr Therese Mills (leader of the Missionaries of God’s Love Sisters) and Sr Judy Bowe (Missionary of God’s Love Sister). The retreat will be held from 13-15 October at The Watson Park Convention Centre, 337 Old Gympie Rd, Dakabin.
For more information contact Rosa Montegrande 0400 755 516 or email [email protected]
Golden Wedding Anniversary
All those celebrating their golden wedding anniversary, and any couples married at the Cathedral of St Stephen or its Chapel, are invited to attend a Mass there on Saturday 30 September at 11.30am. Bring your family and friends. Please RSVP by email or phone 07 3324 3030 by 1 September.
Don’t forget, if you have photos or stories to share of your wedding at the Cathedral, please email David Todd