Palmerston North Diocese responds immediately to community needs

Palmerston North Diocese

On Friday, the Palmerston North Diocese Administrator, Fr Craig Butler (pictured) acknowledged the diocese’s responsibility to show care, and outreach to those impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

A significant portion of the area on the east coast of the North Island is in the Palmerston North diocese, and in the absence of a bishop, Butler is administering the Palmerston North diocese.

“People’s suffering is very real and they need our help.”

“As a diocese we have a responsibility to show we care,” says Butler.

He says Pope Francis’ call to remember those who suffer and for our charity to be concrete, ‘very in touch.’

“Brothers and sisters, let us not forget those who suffer and let our charity be attentive, let it be a concrete charity!” said Francis in his recent Angelus message.

As part of the outreach, Butler invites people to contribute to a Cyclone Relief Appeal to help those in desperate need.

Also on Friday, St John’s College, Hastings notified the diocese that on Monday it would be opening as a community centre to provide food and showers to their students, family and community.

Ironically in one of the nation’s food-producing centres, there is a food shortage and the College reached out for urgent assistance from diocese.

Over the weekend the diocese had a small team working on a practical response including food, drinking water, washing powder, women toiletries, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, torches, batteries, rubbish bags, Janola.

On Monday Butler and General Manager for the diocese, Liam Greer confirmed three commercial vehicles and trailers loaded with provisions were delivered to the College.

Acknowledging the effort as a starting point in the long journey, Butler and Greer are delighted with the response; labelling people’s generousity as “outstanding”.

Greer clarified there are a number of plans in place in the Diocese to provide ongoing support to the wider Hawkes Bay area, but it is currently responding to an immediate need from a community that is within reach.

As well as helping to meet food shortage, Greer said key diocesan staff headed to Hawkes Bay to support schools and staff. The staff include trained social workers and staff to help process insurance claims.

Greer confirmed that St Joseph’s school Wairoa is being used as a helicopter air pad and that while the school remained unharmed, it will be closed until otherwise cleared by Civil Defence.


  • Supplied
Additional reading

News category: Great reads, New Zealand.

Tags: , , ,