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Catholic Mission says giving to charity keeps Christ in Christmas

Catholic Mission's National Director Fr Terence Bell, has called on Australian families to make charitable donations a part of their Christmas gift-giving, in order to act as a "counter-balance to the over-commercialisation" of the feast.

"Getting involved in a charity can be a very rewarding experience for families, especially at Christmas," said Fr Bell. "It can be a great counter-balance to the over-commercialisation that all family members, particularly children, are bombarded with in the weeks before Christmas."

Catholic Mission has launched its Christmas appeal for children, highlighting the poignant story of a Nigerian mother and her five children, suffering from the ravages of both HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. They are being assisted with life-saving healthcare at the Catholic Mission-sponsored St Catherine of Siena Medical Centre on the outskirts of Lagos.

This case is just one of hundreds of inspiring stories that families can become involved with by donating to Catholic Mission's work for children.

"It's timely to remember that for many of the world's children it's not a choice between computer games and mobile phones at Christmas but a matter of where their next meal is coming from or whether or not they have access to shelter, education and medicine," Fr Terry said.

Catholic Mission has been helping children every day for the past 160 years. During 2004 more than $1.4 million has been sent directly from Australia -the largest amount ever raised here - to help children in underdeveloped countries including India, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Albania and Indonesia. Projects cover education, healthcare, shelter and personal development.

Charity begins at home at Christmas (Catholic Mission 19/11/04)

Catholic Mission

23 Nov 2004