100 warm and weatherproof coats for the homeless given to Auckland Diocese

One hundred high quality coats, specially tailored to fit a wide range of sizes, have been gifted to the Diocese of Auckland for distribution to the city’s homeless.

The gift comes from one of the oldest institutions of Western & Christian civilisation, the Sovereign Order of Malta, through its Sydney members.

The above picture shows staff and helpers at St John the Evangelist parish in Otara parish modelling the coats.

The coats are being distributed by the diocese through some of its agencies in Auckland, the James Liston Hostel and St Patrick’s Cathedral in the central city, and by Catholic Social Services and St John the Evangelist Parish, both in Otara.

But not just the coats were gifted to the diocese by the Order of Malta. In addition they paid for freight, customs clearance and delivery to Pompallier Diocesan Centre in Auckland.

“It started over a lunch time conversation with one of the members of the Order of Malta who was visiting Auckland from Sydney,” said Lyndsay Freer of Auckland diocesan communications.

“He was disturbed to hear of the extent of homelessness here and because they have distributed some thousands of coats in Australia, he decided to send some to us,” she said.

The idea of giving coats to homeless people began with the Order’s Australian branch and it has now caught on around the world. Last Christmas, they distributed 1000 coats to the homeless in and around Rome.

What is the Sovereign Order of Malta?

A lay religious order of the Catholic Church since 1084, the Sovereign Order of Malta has diplomatic relations with over 100 states and the European Union, and permanent observer status at the United Nations. It is neutral, impartial and apolitical.

It is active in 120 countries caring for the poor and marginalised through its medical, social and humanitarian works. Day-to-day, its broad spectrum of social projects provides a constant support for forgotten or excluded members of society.

The Australian Association of the Order was formed in 1974, and operates across every State and Territory of Australia. It now has several members in New Zealand, based in Wellington.

The Order of Malta is active in 120 countries and is committed to serving the poor and sick worldwide as it has been for over 900 years. Its motto is Upholding human dignity and caring for people in need.

Supplied: Diocese of Auckland

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