WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Focus on family

 Peace, security and giving at Christmas

Vic Crawford

St Vincent de Paul Society’s mission is to work to promote human dignity and justice through personal contact with those in need. Vincentians strive to seek those who are in need as well as the forgotten, the victims of exclusion or of adversity. The Society supports families and individuals to give ‘a hand up not a hand out’. The scope of service is broad and no act of charity is foreign.

Services include companionship, driving people to appointments, taking people shopping, giving food and household assistance to families including refugees, and helping the elderly and frail to remain in their own homes.

Through its welfare centre, the Wellington Area Council provides social work including long- and short-term support, budgeting, a food bank, and free bedding and clothing for babies aged up to six months. And its social worker reaches out to engage with people living on the streets.

Vincentians give Christmas hampers to people in need in their local parish or conference areas, such as families or individuals they have been working with during the year, or those who otherwise would go without treats at Christmas. At the welfare centre donated gifts are distributed along with the other support.

The message of Christmas is love – the love of Christ and for our fellow men and women. Some families come under all sorts of pressures at Christmas such as lay-offs from jobs, children or grandchildren coming to stay, or reduced work hours.

It is a time when good-hearted people think about those less fortunate than themselves, and give a little more to ease the burden of those who may worry about where their next meal is coming from, or how to pay bills. The generosity of Wellington people, evidenced by the mountain of food donated at a recent weekend food drive, goes a long way to help St Vincent’s bring some peace and security to people in need.

May peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing throughout the year.


Family and community
The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops convened by Pope Francis on marriage and family during October begins a year of deep reflection for the Church.
This reflection will continue in the lead-up to part two of the Assembly in October 2015.
Advent and the Christmas celebration of the Holy Family bring special attention to the significance of our families and communities.
In this issue of Wel-Com we feature invited contributions with a variety of viewpoints and encounters about what family means in Aotearoa New Zealand today.