Joining a group of parishioners from St Canice’s in Sydney, the Hills – who are regularly Mass goers at St Ignatius’ Norwood – were able to see first hand the food and medical programs and schools being run by Jesuit Mission in the small Southeast Asian nation.
Inspired by the experience, the couple decided they needed to find a way of raising money to support the important work of Jesuit Mission overseas.
“The thing we got out of our trip most of all was to see what the Jesuits are doing in Timor-Leste,” James said.
“They were on the ground doing the hard yards and for us, that was mind blowing in a way.
“I had little appreciation of what they do. They were amazing guys.”
Supporters of Jesuit Mission for many years, Genevieve said they returned home with the thought, “surely there is something we can do?” and began to explore different options.
In February they introduced the concept of Pilgrims 100 at the St Ignatius’ parish Masses.
The initiative seeks to develop a “like-minded community, passionate about helping people living in the margins and suffering the indignity of poverty and injustice”.
The concept is simple – 100 people donate $1000 for a $100,000 pool of money. The Pilgrims 100 group then decides which overseas project run by the Jesuits will be supported by their donation.
“People are being asked to provide $1000, so it’s not for everybody,” James said.
“For those who do commit, I’m sure there are some who will be happy to give the money and not get too involved, others who will want to be more involved and then those who will want to go and see the projects they are supporting – and we will be encouraging that.”
Genevieve said they received a “very positive response” following the launch at the parish Masses and through “word of mouth” interest had been growing.
“But then the coronavirus struck. Our plans were stopped in their tracks and with two weeks still to go we cancelled the official launch – although by that time 56 people had already booked.”
Although plans are currently on hold, the couple wants to continue to spread the word amongst the Catholic community.
They hope that an information evening can be held later in the year and if everything falls into place, Pilgrims 100 will be supporting a Jesuit Mission project in 2021.
“Our hope is that Pilgrims 100 will establish a strong supporter base with a continuing presence for Jesuit Mission here in South Australia,” they said.
For more information contact James and Genevieve Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org
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