It was in Adelaide in 1964 that the first collection was raised, the result being the purchase of a fishing boat in response to the needs of the people of the Tiwi Islands.
“For all those 60 years Caritas has been at the service of millions of the most marginal people in the world,” says Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia.
“Our diamond jubilee is really a time to thank the Lord for all God has been able to do through the generosity of our many supporters. It is also a time to renew our sense of mission. Caritas means love and the whole world needs love as never before.”
Caritas Australia’s national chairperson Robert Fitzgerald will join Archbishop Patrick O’Regan in celebrating the 60th anniversary in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on Sunday February 25.
Archbishop O’Regan will preside at the 11am Mass which will feature the Vietnamese Catholic Choir and a procession of symbols reflecting 60 years since Caritas began in Adelaide. Students from St Aloysius College, Christian Brothers College and St Francis de Sales College will participate in the Mass which will be followed by a sausage sizzle and coffee cart in Mary MacKillop Plaza.
Mr Fitzgerald will be guest speaker at the celebration. A lawyer, he is currently the NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner. Previously, he has held the roles of Productivity Commissioner, Community and Disability Services Commissioner and Deputy Ombudsman in NSW. He was a commissioner on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse from 2013 to 2017.
The anniversary celebration will be preceded by the Caritas Project Compassion schools launch on Shrove Tuesday February 13 at the School of the Nativity, Aberfoyle Park.
Archbishop O’Regan and Fr Paul Mwaura Gicheha, parish priest of Aberfoyle Park/Blackwood will lead the liturgy.
Nathan Leber, Caritas Australia Community Engagement represent-ative (WA & SA) will speak at the launch.
A senior lecturer with the Catholic Institute of Western Australia, he worked as a justice educator for Caritas Australia, has an interest in scripture and its continuing relevance and revelation and, prior to his career in education, was a professional musician trained at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
The theme of Project Compassion in 2024 is ‘for all future generations’.
Visit caritas.org.au to donate to Project Compassion.