Sydney (Fides Service) - The missionary awareness of the people of Australia gave a great demonstration of generosity and solidarity in 2004. According to the Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia donations were 20% higher than the previous year and the total sum collected, 8 million dollars will go in aid of education, development, fighting AIDS and poverty in various countries.
“There are always people in need: the funds we collect and the programmes we promote can help meet some of the needs but the field of mission and missionary co-operation is immense”, National Director of the PMS in Australia Father Terence Bell told Fides.
Father Bell said the increase was thanks to initiatives of Holy Childhood, very active in Australia. The PMS Australia support programmes in Papua New Guinea, Kazakstan, Rwanda, Uganda, Solomon Islands. In 2004 the PMS, which operate in all 28 of Australia’s Catholic dioceses, launched a successful ‘Life for All’ awareness campaign in schools and parishes.
Outstanding contributions came from the dioceses of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, but every diocese gave generously. Father Bell thanked the donors: “Each small donation, even a few coins collected by children for Mission Day can help less fortunate children”. For more information on the activity of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia see catholicmission.org.au. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/3/2005 righe 24 parole 255)