Thank you Sandhurst

Dear People of the Sandhurst Diocese,

We are seeing across the globe unprecedented pain. The dreadful suffering and dying brought by COVID has affected all countries but, of course, the poor are the most seriously affected. Our hearts go out to them. It would seem to me that, although we are far from the scenes depicted on TV news, our hearts are softened and opened.

We sense feelings of compassion and some solidarity with the worst hit.

The results of our Project Compassion in this year of 2021 are truly remarkable. Although work places, jobs and incomes of so many Australians are very tenuous, we have proven ourselves to be a people of amazing generosity. Could it be that the unprecedented sufferings in all corners of our world have softened our hearts and brought us closer to the poorest of our sisters and brothers?

The last normal year of Project Compassion was 2019 when our Sandhurst total was 495,000 dollars.

This year of 2021 has gone beyond all expectations. In spite of all difficulties; the total is 526,000 dollars.

How is that to be explained? I suggest our hearts have grown bigger as we sense a certain solidarity with God's poorest people.

This year, 2021, has not been an easy year for our people and for our parishes, and yet Project Compassion in Sandhurst has surpassed itself. Across our country, Catholic Dioceses have tried hard and successfully but none so successful as Sandhurst.

A huge vote of thanks is due to those who promote Caritas and its works in both parishes and schools. Parish Reps, you are terrific. Schools, you are wonderful. Kerry Stone of course is the keystone of Caritas Sandhurst. We too easily take for granted the many hours every day and every week that she gratuitously gives to the cause.

A final word from this wee spot on the Campaspe; the ultimate explanation for such generosity is God's grace; God's grace at large in the hearts of you all.

Fr Rom Hayes
Sandhurst Diocesan Director