St Canice’s Parish in Sydney was chosen as a focus for the celebration of the World Day of the Poor in Sydney Archdiocese on Sunday 19 November.
Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady presided at Mass at the parish at 10.30am. The Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life, Bishop Brady wrote to other bishops and priests across Australia this week urging others to mark the occasion.
‘Pope Francis reminds us that there are many people who have devoted their lives to serving the poor. We recall our own Australian Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop’, Bishop Brady’s letter read.
‘Pope Francis calls on us to truly ‘encounter’ the poor and to see how poverty challenges us in so many ways, “in faces marked by suffering, marginalisation, oppression, violence, torture and imprisonment, war, deprivation of freedom and dignity, ignorance and illiteracy, medical emergencies and shortage of work, trafficking and slavery, exile, extreme poverty and forced migration.”
‘It is the Holy Father’s wish that this occasion will provide a time for “Christian communities (to) become an ever greater sign of Christ’s charity for the least and those most in need.” It is my hope that the World Day of the Poor will become an important date in our Australian liturgical calendar.’
St Cancice’s outreach to the poor takes a number of forms. Canice’s Kitchen has been an integral part of the St Canice Community for thirty years, providing outreach to people in need in the Kings Cross area.
The parish also provides support to people in Timor Leste through a sister parish relationship with Railaco community. Through this partnership, the school and community have gone from strength to strength.
Parishioner Michael Musgrave says that Railaco Secondary School NOSSEF was chosen as the venue for a Timor-wide World Science Day event last week, attracting participants from high schools across the country.
‘This is testament to progress, sustainability and hard work of the Jesuits and specially-trained local teachers in a remote rural school for the poor that operates solely by funding of donors. St Canice’s started this in 2004 when there was just a corrugated iron cowshed.’