Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn’s Catholic Caring Foundation has given 69 grants to charities and agencies throughout the region so far this year, enabling these agencies to respond to needs of families, particularly during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Some 800 people gathered at the annual Caring Foundation Mass held at the Christ the King parish in Owairaka on July 22. Auckland vicar general Msgr Bernard Kiely celebrated the Mass on behalf of Bishop Dunn.
Msgr Kiely said that, like Mary Magdalene, whose feast fell on the day of the Mass, the followers of Jesus are called to “reflect the face of Jesus to our world”.
“Today, we acknowledge that very important part of what it means to be a Catholic, what it means to be Christian: putting our faith into action,” he said. “Putting our faith into action is not an optional part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. And the caring apostolate of who we are as a Church is what we celebrate today.”
“If we hope to reflect the face of Jesus, the one we follow, we need to be kind and we need to put our faith into action. We need to be caring in a very tangible way,” he said.
Members of the Catholic Caring Foundation Board of Trustees, as well as Auckland diocese general-manager James van Schie, were joined by donors, supporters, and friends of the foundation.
Ann-Marie Parker, Catholic Caring Foundation manager, expressed her gratitude to the Tindall Foundation’s support through the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.
“As Bishop Pat’s foundation in the Auckland diocese, it is a real privilege that, after 30 years, we can still continue our mandate of caring for the poor, [the] marginalised, and [those] in need. We can do this only with the support of our donors, supporters, and the wider Catholic community,” she said.
Auckland diocese vicar for Maori Manuel Beazley extended a welcome (mihi) to everyone, and explained the importance of manaaki (caring) and how the Catholic community and foundation show this in the work they do.
Auckland diocese vicar for education Catherine Ryan assisted Msgr Kiely in handing out Caring Awards for students in the different Catholic schools in Auckland, while vicar for social impact and communications Loraine Elliott helped with giving out the Caring Awards, for organisations which had been recognised for their “outstanding care and commitment to helping others in our diocese”.
Among those who were recognised for their caring service was Riu Roa Tetai, who helped her husband Campbell in setting up a foodbank from Moerewa 30 years ago.
She was accompanied by all those involved in the foodbank and they came all the way from Moerewa to support her.