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Connecting with students


A change to the way Caritas Australia delivers its educational programs is helping school students to examine more closely Catholic social teaching, according to Deacon Paul Reid.

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Deacon Reid, Caritas Australia’s Social and Ecological Justice Animator WA/SA, made his first visit to the State last month since being appointed to the new position in September 2020.

With borders reopened he was able to meet face-to-face with representatives of Catholic Education SA, Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults, the Vicar General Fr Philip Marshall and Port Pirie Diocesan director Mary Manning.

A team of social and ecological justice animators has been operating across the country since Caritas Australia reviewed the way it was delivering programs to the community, including schools.

Deacon Reid was serving in parish ministry as a deacon while also working in the petroleum industry in WA before joining Caritas four and a half years ago as a Community Participation leader.

He said he was very thankful to be able to use the skills he gained working in marketing, sales and WHS in the petroleum industry to spread the Gospel message and Catholic social teaching through Caritas.

Responsible for six dioceses in WA and SA, he facilitates and hosts online presentations, workshops and question and answer sessions.

“Digital engagement is very important to our mission, and there are a lot of video and online resources produced by Caritas that we can use in schools,” Deacon Reid said.

“This ties in well with their fundraising activities, such as during Lent when the stories of Project Compassion provide a very personal connection to the money they are raising.”

Married with three children and six grandchildren, Deacon Reid said serving the poor, the marginalised and the voiceless was central to the Gospel message.

“Pope Francis is so passionate himself about social justice and that really comes through to the Church in Australia,” he said.


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