15 September marks a day of remembering the harm caused by a history of child sexual abuse and failure to protect children within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
In response to our history, through its Healing and Support Team (Zimmerman Service), the Diocese recognises and supports community or survivor advocacy groups in acknowledging the Perpetual Day of Remembrance in their own way this year because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Thank you for your commitment to stand with our brothers and sisters who are suffering and to shine the light of Christ in our Church and neighbourhoods. Together we can be a sign of hope.
This year because of COVID-19 we have been unable to facilitate or support a survivor led event for the Perpetual Day of Remembrance. For this reason Bishop Bill has written to survivors and their families with some ideas of how to acknowedge this special day in our community.
Lina’s Project was a victim-led community event of acknowledgement and repentance, that was first held on Friday 15 September 2017 at Newcastle City Hall. The intention is that this day be marked in a variety of ways including survivor-led events that will grow and develop from year to year. Lina, a victim of child sexual abuse at the hands of a member of clergy in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, conceived this project of atonement that was facilitated by the diocese. You can learn more about Lina’s Project here.
Bishop Wright has established the Bishop’s Healing Fund, which is an annual allocation of funds (up to $25,000) to assist in promoting the healing of those affected by child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. The fund is managed by the Standing Committee for Healing and Support which is a part of theDiocesan Protection and Safety Council.
‘Those affected by child abuse’ (also stated as ‘affected persons’) is a collective term to describe those affected by child sexual abuse including individuals who were victims of abuse or the close relative or supporter/friend of individuals who were victims of abuse. A close relative includes but is not restricted to the parent, partner, biological, step or de facto child or sibling.
Affected persons need to submit a written application for funding. The application form is available for download fromthis web page.
Approval for funding from the Bishop’s Healing Fund is based on the application being deemed to be of value to those affected by child sexual abuse.
As a people of faith, we offer support to individuals and communities through our prayer. Prayer resources are available through parishes, schools, agencies and groups. You can also access PDF versions below for:
You are invited to join in the Church response to the Perpetual Day of Remembrance. Together we hope to shine a light of solidarity, a light of prayer, a light of commitment to change, a light of hope.
Counselling support is available, contact Healing and Support (Zimmerman Service) on 02 4923 0636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can contact Blue Knot Helpline on 1300 657 380