Bishop Brian’s letter to bushfire affected parishes in the diocese
January 3, 2020
Bushfire crisis, Parish life, Bishop Brian Mascord
My Dear Brothers and Sisters
I write these words at a time when many within your communities have lost so much and many grieve the loss of friends and family. There are really no words that can be said that can take away the pain or the loss that you are suffering at this time, but they are all that I have for you at this moment.
People will ask, “Where is God in all that has taken place?” The answer is simply in those who have stood with you in fighting the fires, who stand alongside you in your grief, and those who provide support where and when it is needed. Those emergency service workers who have worked so hard can only be seen as heroic in their efforts, and courageous in their putting their own lives on the line, and for that we can only be grateful.
The future will not be easy, but as many people have said in the media, “communities stick together and are there for one another.” This is the hope and the spirit that will lead your communities forward into the future. There is a powerful prayer that is prayed often in the liturgy, “Lord, for your faithful people, life is changed, not ended.” This is a true recognition of what the future will be for you: it will be changed and different. It may not seem like this at the moment, but I hope and pray it will be for all you who have suffered such great loss.
I had hoped that I may have been able to be with you this weekend, but circumstances and advice from those who are responsible have recommended that I wait for a week before coming down to be with you. Please be assured that you are being held in prayer by me and so many people throughout the diocese and beyond.
As we move into another day of catastrophic conditions I prayer for you and with you for the safety of everyone who is affected. I prayer that we can all care for each other and stand by each other in this particular time of need.
I place these coming days and our circumstances in the hands of our loving God through the intercession of our Australian saint, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop: pray for us and our parched country. May God pour on us the rain we need.
Account means the account held at your financial institution from which we are authorised to arrange for funds to be debited.
Agreement means this Direct Debit Request Service Agreement between you and us, including the direct debit request.
Business day means a day other than a Saturday or a Sunday or a listed public holiday.
Debit day means the day that payment is due.
Debit payment means a particular transaction where a debit is made, according to your direct debit request.
Direct debit request means the Direct Debit Request between us and you.
Us and we and our means the Catholic Development Fund.
You means the customer(s) who signed the direct debit request. Your financial institution is the financial institution where you hold the account that you have authorised us to arrange to debit.
Debiting your account
By submitting a direct debit request, you have authorised us to arrange for funds to be debited from your account according to the agreement we have with you.
We will only arrange for funds to be debited from your account:
As authorised in the direct debit request; if the debit day falls on a day that is not a business day, we may direct your financial institution to debit your account on the following or previous business day. If you are unsure about which day your account has or will be debited, please check with your financial
Changes by you
If you wish to stop or defer a debit payment you must write to us at least 5 business days before the next debit day.
This notice should be given to us in the first instance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient clear funds available in your account to allow a debit payment to be made.
If there are insufficient clear funds available in your account to meet a debit payment:
you or your account may be charged a fee and/or interest by your financial institution;
you or your account may be charged a fee to reimburse us for charges we have incurred for the failed transaction;
you must arrange for the payment to be made by another method
Please check your account statement to verify that the amounts debited from your account are correct.
If you believe that there has been an error in debiting your account you should call us on 1800 047 703 and confirm the details in writing with us as soon as possible so that we can resolve your query quickly.
You should check:
with your financial institution whether direct debiting is available from your accounts offered by financial
your account details which you have provided to us are correct by checking them against a recent account statement; and
with your financial institution before completing the direct debit request if you have any queries about how to complete the direct debit
Warning: if the account number you have quoted is incorrect, you may be charged a fee to reimburse our costs in correcting any deductions from:
an account you do not have authority to operate; or
an account you do not
We will keep any information (including your account details) in your direct debit request confidential.
We will make reasonable efforts to keep any such information that we have about you secure and to ensure that any of our employees or agents who have access to information about you, do not make any unauthorised use, modification, reproduction or disclosure of that information.
However, we may use your contact details to provide information about the fund. Should you wish this not to be the case, please advise the fund in writing.
Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.