Completing the event in a speedy 1:37:02, Fr Charles used the event to raise more than $11,500 for Caritas Australia and its work with vulnerable and remote communities, particularly its efforts on the ground in war-torn Ukraine.
Croydon Park parishioners got behind the fundraising efforts and there were plenty of supporters cheering on Fr Charles during the 21.1km run. About 15 parishioners took part in the 5km event.
Caritas Australia diocesan director Tracey Tessitore, who completed the 5km event, said Fr Charles’ efforts were “inspiring” and his running appeared “effortless”.
“Father Charles is a legend in my eyes, he is using his gifts and skills for the common good and making a difference to all suffering people,” she said.
Meanwhile Caritas Australia reports it has raised more than $3.5 million for its Ukraine Appeal since the conflict started.
“We are so incredibly humbled by the generosity of our supporters, both long-term and new. The compassion that they have shown to the people of Ukraine during their hour of need is truly amazing,” said Caritas Australia CEO Kirsty Robertson.
“It reminds me of what we’re hearing from our partners on the ground, Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Spes, who have both been blessed with an extraordinary outpouring of support. In dark times, like in times of war and crisis, we often see the best of humanity against the backdrop of the worst. It gives us great hope for the future.”
Caritas Australia is working with Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Spes to support displaced families in Ukraine with food, hygiene kits, clean water, psychological support, and emergency shelter. Since the beginning of the conflict, Caritas Ukraine has assisted more than 800,000 people across the country.
In Ukraine, volunteers are helping transport hundreds of tons of cargo across the country – including bedding, medicines and hygiene supplies.
The funds raised are also supporting Caritas Moldova, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services, to provide shelter, hot meals, cash assistance and psychological support to Ukrainians displaced by the conflict. More than 460,000 people have fled into Moldova since the conflict began.
Donations can be made at: www.caritas.org.au/ukraine
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