St Canice’s “Acorn to Oak” Railaco Program
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‘Acorn to Oak’ – MM Address at St Canice Masses

14/15 July 2018

In 2004, our sister parish relationship with the Jesuit Mission in Railaco was



We planted an acorn. In the ensuing 14 years, we watered that little

acorn with our donations.


Now, we can proudly stand back and see a beautiful oak tree, with many

strong branches.


The latest audited report from Jesuit Mission shows that we at St Canice’s

have raised $772,000. We thank you.


The branches of that mighty oak are now strong enough to support even

more growth . . . to improve the lives of more families of Railaco.


This is not a new call on us here at St Canice’s. New donors are steppingup

to fund these additional developments, which include:

Construction of a boys’ dormitory this year for 88 students

University Scholarships for graduates of NOSSEF, our Secondary School,

funded by the Australian Sisters of the Good Samaritan Foundation.


a Social Action Plan to enable locals to get involved in best practice

projects in Water, Land and Agriculture. An initial scoping study for this

project will be supervised by Jesuit Social Services Timor-Leste.


Please take home the colour brochure you received todaywith your weekly

bulletin. It provides a pictorial of this marvellous story of your giving.

I am taking five minutes of your time today because the humanitarian

works of the Mission need to continue . . . and we need you for that to



While progress in new developments is good news, we at St Canice’s

need to continue supporting the daily ‘bread and butter’ requirements of

the Mission – food for kids, and medicines for mums.

In the teary words of one of our parishioners, anxious to help recently; she

said, “I can’t bear to think of those little tots with no food in their little

tummies’. She was satisfied knowing that her donation would see the

children continue to receive nutritious meals through our children’s

feeding program.


And drawing from my own experiences riding with Fr Bong in the Mobile

Medical Clinic, I can assure you that it was heart-warming for me to see

mothers with their babies and young children, emerging after consulting

the doctor with smiles of relief. Off they’d go across the grass to the

pharmacy set-up in the back of the 4WD – and receive medicine to relieve

the child’s cough, sore ear, or body rash.


Do you realise that it is we who have been paying for that medicine for 14

years? The cost of the medicine last year alone was more than A$40,000.

Do you want that to continue?

After our special Railaco St Ignatius Day Mass in July last year, five

parishioners made a pledge for a recurring donation. These monthly gifts

are making such a difference.


This year, we pray that we might receive 10 pledges for recurring monthly


In the course of most of our lives, the sacrifice is small.

A $3.50 cup of coffee in Australia will buy three meals for kids in


During the course of a year, your pledge of $10 a month for example

would provide 100 meals.

Whatever you can afford would be gratefully received.


Students from Sydney’s Jesuit Colleges returned home last week from

their ‘immersion’ tour to East Timor. They lived and travelled with Fr Bong

getting to meet the children, the families, and the students . . . those

people whom we’re helping in our sister parish in Railaco.

Perhaps some of you would like to travel to Railaco on an ‘immersion’

experience with me next year? But, we’ll keep that discussion for another



These students will come to all three masses here at St Canice’s on the last

weekend of this month – the Feast of St Ignatius. They will share their firsthand

experiences with us.



There will be a very special sung Liturgy at the 10.30am Mass on 29th July.

It presents an opportunity perhaps for you to invite family and friends to

come along to join in the celebrations and mingle over morning tea in the

forecourt afterwards.


Our annual Railaco leaving collection will take place after all the Masses.

Please take home the pictorial brochure and donation form you received

today with your Bulletin. Give thought over the next fortnight as to how

you want to be an ongoing part of our ‘keeping the flame alive’.


Now, it’s not all about YOU doing the giving!

Local community businesses have joined us in supporting the ‘acorn to

oak’ appeal. They’ve generously given some prizes, and these include:

vouchers for dinners at four of Potts Point leading restaurants: Apollo, Cho

Cho San, KL Kitchen and Culina et Vinum.


2 x Health and Wellness Assessments and training sessions with My Health

Coach Australia. and


6 x special table arrangements on a theme of oak by Gerhard Haas, whom

we acknowledge here for scrambling up oak trees and sweeping up

acorns to make this installation of ‘acorn to oak’ to reinforce the theme of

this appeal.


Gerhard collected enough acorns for each of you to take home as a

reminder for you to come to the St Ignatius Day Mass with a Donation

completed form.