CEO says Caritas ready for emergency response

Caritas Australia CEO Jack de Groot told a NSW Parliamentary lunch on Monday that the organisation has staff ready and able to be deployed in the event of an emergency in the region.

"We have seen the return of our building team from Aceh and their reengagement in East Timor," he said. "We have our tsunami coordinator now in place in Canberra and able to be deployed quickly as he was in November to Pakistan. We have our emergencies coordinator in Canberra also training partners in the region in coordination and communications during an emergency."

The audience included NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Sydney Archbishop, Cardinal George Pell.

Mr de Groot said that the range of commitment makes Caritas Australia "able to make effective response and to give accountability for the support" it is seeking as it launches its annual Project Compassion Lenten Appeal.

He described the appeal as a "twofold call and challenge".

"We do undertake the practice of almsgiving and we do this with prayer and fasting as we turn towards God," he said.

Mr de Groot said that Pope Benedict XVI has given reason to focus again on the work of Caritas, in light of his first encyclical which was released on 25th January.

"In that document Benedict sets out clearly the Christian life and mission. For Benedict we are characterized by 3 practices: The Proclamation of the Word of God, the Celebration of the Sacraments and the practical service of the poor."

Caritas Australia CEO Jack de Groot, NSW Parliamentary Lunch 27/2/06

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas Australia | Project Compassion

Pancakes to be flipped for Project Compassion (CathNews 28/2/06)
Caritas issues last minute Project Compassion reminder (CathNews 23/3/05)
Premier Carr calls Caritas a 'voice of calm' (CathNews 10/2/05)
Lent at a time of tsunami (CathNews 9/2/05)
Lenten appeal to use resources out of love, not fear (CathNews 24/2/04)
Pell launching major Caritas appeal with peace call (CathNews 5/3/03)
Caritas appeal launch highlights refugees' hour of need (CathNews 13/2/02)

1 Mar 2006