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Bishops thank volunteers for 'massive contribution" to Church life

Australia's Catholic bishops have used the occasion of the International Year of Volunteers to formally acknowledge and thank volunteers for their contribution to the life of the Church and the wider Australian Community.

The Bishops have their thoughts in a Statement approved at the Conference Plenary Meeting held earlier this month.

In the Statement the Bishops said: "At this time it is right that we should draw attention to the massive contribution made to the life of the Church by Volunteers. This applies to the Church's activities at every level - national, diocesan, parochial and within the multitude of our religious institutes and Catholic organisations.

"As in the case of the community at large, much voluntary work in the Church is carried out by both men and women without fanfare and out of sight. Those involved may not be asking to be praised but everyone benefiting from their tireless contributions, including ourselves, should express their gratitude…."

The Bishops suggest that parishes, other Church groups and organisations find ways of celebrating and publicly acknowledging the volunteers in their midst.

"The public become aware of the indispensable role of volunteers when emergencies like bushfires, floods, major accidents and other calamities occur….. it is important to recognise the many other less public but constant forms of volunteering… They do not look for publicity or praise but we should be aware of and appreciate their efforts."

The Statement is available on the Bishops' website.