The Foundation held its 32nd Annual General Meeting in June 2018, so it is timely to update the diocese on the activities of the Foundation during 2017.
The Foundation was established in 1986 to raise funds to assist the Bishop fund the pastoral needs of the Diocese of Ballarat. Over the last twenty years in particular there has been a shift in the demographics of our diocese with declining population in many rural areas, population growth in regional towns, and a continuing decrease in Mass attendance.
Our diocese comprises 51 parishes with 109 church communities within those parishes. We are faced therefore with an increasing challenge to provide services to people within our Diocese. The Foundation is in its 33rd year of assisting the Bishop in providing these services.
The objectives of the Foundation are:
- to financially assist the Diocese in its mission to grow Christ’s kingdom here on earth;
- to financially assist the charitable works of the Diocese;
- to provide relief, support and comfort for those suffering from disadvantage within the Diocese, including unemployment, low income, age, physical or mental disability, language difficulties or social or economic isolation.
The Foundation has its own rules, constitution and board of management, and operates as a distinct entity from general diocesan finances. It has grown and now holds net assets of $9.7m. In total $330,300 was distributed during 2017 to the Diocese and through parishes to support activities such as: the Holiday program run by the Wendouree West Exodus Community; the One Humanity Shower Bus Project; men’s mental health via the Chris Yeung fund; sponsorship of the cost of buses to get the Diocese’s youth to the 2017 Youth Festival in Sydney; and support for organ scholarships at St Joseph’s Parish in Warrnambool. The Foundation also again supported St Vincent de Paul during 2017 by funding, in part, the establishment of their new office and development centre for the North West Central Council (located at St Patrick’s Hall in Ballarat), and assisting with the cost of an after school tutoring program for low income families (run out of St Joseph’s Parish in Warrnambool).
Supporting the Foundation:
The Foundation relies on donations to build the investment reserve which funds its activities. You can assist by making a donation (all donations, regardless of the amount, are gratefully received); through a pledge (individuals or families can choose to commit to a pledge of a chosen amount on a yearly basis, or for a set period of time); or a bequest via your will.