Cowra Volunteers Recognised

The Vigil Mass at St Raphael’s on 6th July 2013 was an extra special occasion, with local St Vincent De Paul workers coming together to also celebrate the Year of the Volunteer. Attending dignitaries were Mr Bob Lulham, President of Bathurst Diocese Central Council and Mrs Jill Messenge, President of the Regional Council.

The joyous celebration was specially marked by the presentation by Mr Lulham of a Papal Blessing from Pope Francis to Mr Phil Braddon for his distinguished service to the Society over 34 years and Mr Arthur Hogan for his 42 years of dedicated service. Mr Lulham also presented a Certificate of Loyal Service to Mrs Patricia Sconce for her 15 years service as one of the Vinnies store volunteers and her Conference work in welfare.

Parish Priest, Father Laurie Beath, welcomed Mr Lulham and Mrs Messenger and spoke with admiration of the work of the Society and all its volunteers. He gave special thanks to the local volunteers for their work in our parish and district who were serving Christ in his love for the poor and a more equitable society. Father also encouraged the congregation to generously support the Society’s current winter appeal.

The solemnity of the Mass that followed was heightened by the hymns and congregational singing led by the St Raphael’s Choir.

Later, the President of the local Cowra Conference, Mrs Mary McCloskey, gave a graphic address outlining the work of the local Conference. Mary highlighted the Conference’s regular experiences in addressing difficulties many families are experiencing, not the least of which are the cost of living, the increase in energy charges, instances of domestic violence, the breakdown of family units, unemployment and the terrible situation of homelessness.

In also mentioning the Society’s winter appeal, Mrs. McCloskey added that apart from monetary donations, which are essential to the continuing work of the Society, donations of blankets and warm clothes that are in good condition are also needed and greatly appreciated.

After Mass the volunteers enjoyed a social gathering in the parish hall which was generously and scrumptiously catered for by Mrs Peta Bischof.

John Bourke

Surrounded by local Vinnies volunteers, Phil Braddon and Arthur Hogan display their Papal Blessings and
Mrs Pat Sconce her Distinguished Service Certificate

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