St Mary’s Parish ‘BEING MORE’ with Caritas Ks in Echuca

Echuca FrPompeyo ExampleBy Kerry Stone 

The day began at 7.00 a.m. with the early morning walkers waiting and raring to go! School groups, couples, families and individuals arrived at various intervals during the day to do their laps concluding at 7.00 p.m. Sponsorship Books had been provided earlier and were also made available on the day.

A 10,000 litre container of water was set up in the Church forecourt. Christine Sebire, Pastoral Associate at Echuca parish, explained to all student groups that 10,000 litres of water could be delivered to her farm, which is not on town water, for only $11 whenever she needed – how lucky we are! For women and girls in many countries of Africa and Asia, the average distance walked each day for water is 6 kilometres, carrying 15-20 litres. The distance around the Church block is 600 metres so 10 laps was equal to 6 kilometres! This set a particular personal challenge for many walkers.

In addition, a small cooking fire was kept burning, reminding walkers that women and girls also had to walk for firewood.

This meant walkers could fill a bucket with water or pick up a bundle of sticks to really engage in a sense of solidarity.

The Denton family showed no one is too small to carry a bucket and Carmel and Ted Mackenzie, both in their 80s proved no one is too old. The Mackenzies arrived with two Sponsorship Books filled and walked on behalf of their Passionist Family Group.

Justice leaders from St Joseph’s handed out Project Compassion brochures all day to passers-by, to ensure more people in Echuca now know about the work of Caritas Australia.

 

 

A highlight of the day was the appearance of elite runners, Brady Threlfall and Glenn McMillan, who set a fast pace doing 16 laps (9.6 kilometres) in 40 minutes!

At 6.00 p.m. the local Sri Lankan community provided a shared meal.

Christine Sebire, Parish Pastoral Associate and the Parish Justice Team put in a huge effort to be there for 12 hours with great support from a number of dedicated parishioners.

Sincere thanks is extended to all. The event was a big success on a number of levels: raising awareness amongst participants of how lucky they are in this country; raising awareness amongst the wider Echuca community of the transformative work of Caritas Australia; building the community spirit in what is already a very active parish; and, of course,
raising much needed funds for Caritas to continue transforming lives.