WelCom April 2020:
The Archdiocese of Wellington and Society of St Vincent de Paul are supporting parishes in continuing to ‘go forth’ safely to our communities, within the strict Alert Level 4 lockdown and distancing required by the Covid-19 response.
As Cardinal John Dew said in his letter to parishes, 26 March, ‘We know many people are hurting, and that potentially there is further pain to come, because of sickness, isolation, anxiety, practical and material need, unemployment, loneliness, grief and loss. It’s important that we use what ways are still available to us to continue to connect, to look after each other and to reach out to the most vulnerable among us.’
The Archdiocese of Wellington Parish Leadership Ministries team have been contacting all parishes to collect examples to share with others, and to see where there are unmet needs. Some ways parishes are staying in touch with isolated or vulnerable members of parish communities include:
- contacting members of the parish who are anxious and/or alone, and offering regular phone calls;
- setting up phone lists and phone trees to maintain communication with elderly, isolated or vulnerable parishioners;
- checking if parishioners have internet access;
Wellington Catholic Social Services Director Karen Holland says CSS is continuing to provide social worker support to existing clients and is able to be contacted about emerging needs. CSS community facilitation can support parishes, including connecting people to other services and support that is available. Hospital chaplains continue to offer support within strict guidelines. Seasons for Growth is preparing to offer online training and groups to assist with long-term loss and grief.
Wellington area President John Kennedy-Good says the Society of St Vincent de Paul is moving to remote delivery in some services while all offices and shops are closed. Newtown St Vincent de Paul is continuing to support emergency food requests, baby care packs, and some winter packs for essential needs. Other service centres will respond to requests as they are able to.
Wellington Catholic Social Services – (04) 385-8642:
Social workers: email@example.com or 0274055469
Community facilitation: firstname.lastname@example.org or 021754145
Seasons for Growth: email@example.com or 021 374 405
Hospital chaplains: available through Wellington, Lower Hutt and Kenepuru hospital phones.
Society of St Vincent de Paul:
Wellington area, Newtown office essential packs – phone (04) 389-7122; text 021 215 7098 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hutt Valley: (04) 568-6408
Kapi-Mana: (04) 237-5968
Blenheim: (03) 577-8378
Nelson: (03) 548-9372.
In Palmerston North the St Vincent de Paul Society – and many other charitable organisations – are still functioning in limited ways during the lockdown. The city contacts are Mike Keenan (021 1858 969) and Roger Clark (021 678 141). Palmerston North Diocese has a new weekly e-newsletter, UNITED, being sent out every Friday during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has updates and helpful links, prayer resources for home, reflections, and other ideas to help unite as an iwi whakapono. It is online at: www.pndiocese.org.nz/united and you can sign up to receive it at: www.pndiocese.org.nz/newsletter