The Church of St Mary of the Angels has raised funds for Australian disaster victims in a collection taken up on the weekend of Feb 5-6.

The money raised will be sent to the Franciscan Provincial Office in Australia which will then disburse the funds to the neediest amongst the victims whom the friars there are serving, St Mary’s Parish Priest, Franciscan Friar John Paul Tan wrote in the parish’s bulletin.

He reminded the parishioners of the relationships and bonds Singapore as well as the parish of St Mary share with Australia.

“Our Custody is still very much tied to our Australian friars. We continue to belong to the Province of the Holy Spirit, incorporating Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore. Many Australian friars have worked and died in Singapore, serving in our parish, formation work, retreats and many other ministries within the Archdiocese of Singapore … we are grateful for their contribution and we owe it to them for what we have today,” Friar John Paul wrote.

The flooding has affected the states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and the Church in Australia has been appealing for assistance for the disaster victims. Tropical cyclones have also hit Queensland.

While Friar John Paul is relieved that none of the congregation’s properties in Australia were affected by the floods, he believes the people with whom the friars are working will be affected.

“May we not forget our friends in their time of need and let us show our solidarity as a parish in a most practical way possible by taking up a collection for this,” he concluded.

Meanwhile Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives Singapore (CHARIS) has been in contact with Caritas Australia to discuss how CHARIS can best help. CHARIS has, at this time, pledged AU$100,000 to support the relief efforts for Australia floods.

By Darren Boon
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