The Singleton bus accident in June 2023 devastated the community, but the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is committed to continuing to support anyone who is suffering.
Grief, loss, and sadness have long-lasting impacts on peoples’ lives. Vicar General Father Greg Barker encourages people to speak up and share their grief.
“If people are struggling, they should seek help. We can’t deal with trauma, tragedy, and grief on our own,” he said.
“Singleton and Branxton communities come together as they’ve always done, small communities are just like that.”
“In my years as a military chaplain, one of the things I recognised when dealing with others, is that it’s important not to bottle things up, but to talk about it and talk about it in appropriate places,” Fr Greg explained.
“Families, community, and churches are part of our psyche and our support. We need all of them.”
Bishop Michael Kennedy said, “We offer our prayers, sympathies and support to the family, friends and many people impacted.”
“The devastation in our community will be felt far and wide. I was deeply saddened to hear of the terrible loss of life and injury. I offer my condolences and prayers to all those involved.”
- A prayer station was established at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton to offer people a chance to light a memorial candle and gather in reflection.
- Prayers resources have been prepared for parishes, schools, agencies and groups:
- A Liturgy of the Word is available to download here. It may be used as a liturgy or parts therefore for more simple prayer services. Please see the notes beginning on page 2.
- A sample Universal prayer for the weekend 17-18 June is available to download here.
Services and support available
- The Vicar General has travelled to Singleton to provide additional pastoral support to the Singleton community, to assist the local parish priest. A prayer station has been established in St Patrick’s Catholic Church and all members of the community affected by the bus tragedy are welcome to gather and join in prayer.
- Our clergy and chaplains are available to offer pastoral care to all in our community. Find your local parish here.
- Students, staff and their families at St Catherine’s Catholic College Singleton are able to access counselling through our school-based Beyond the Gates program as well as our additional external provider, The Rosewood Centre.
- Staff and families impacted who attend St Nicholas Early Education Singleton are also able to access counselling and supports.
Bishop Michael Kennedy led the following liturgies to offer prayer and support for all those impacted:
- Tuesday 20 June 2023, 6pm at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 841 Hunter Street, Hamilton
- Thursday 22 June 2023, 6pm at St Patrick’s Church, 28 Queen Street, Singleton
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.