News Blog

Pastoral Care: Building Stronger Catholic School Communities

June 1, 2013

Volunteers fulfil vital roles that contribute to building stronger Catholic school communities.

Whether their families, teachers or staff are welcoming a new baby or experiencing illness, bereavement or unexpected hard times, Catholic school communities have an important role to play in providing pastoral support.  Quite often, this form of pastoral support comes in the form of volunteering behind the scenes, without public acknowledgement.

St John the Baptist Catholic School, Woy Woy

St John the Baptist Catholic School at Woy Woy, actions the Gospel every week through many of it’s pastoral care activities. St John the Baptist Principal, Frank Cohen explains that from time to time a call is made, via the school’s Facebook page and newsletter appealing for help for “Food for Nancy”.

“No questions are asked and everyone in the community understands that when ‘Food for Nancy’ is requested, this means families are asked to send in home cooked meals in freezer safe containers to be distributed to families in our school community who may be experiencing illness or hard times. Our school administration officers ensure the food gets to where it needs to, no questions asked.”

‘Back Pack Buddies’ is an initiative of the St John the Baptist school board with money donated from local businesses or philanthropists and on the discretion of the Principal  offered to families who may have fallen on financial hard times to help them with initial beginning of school year costs including uniforms, school shoes and bags. The sum is usually around $300 and it is offered to families and in some cases this is accepted and other times it is declined. Apart from the Principal and Family Liaison Officer no one else knows who the money is offered to and if it has been accepted. It is just another practical way the community cares at St John the Baptist.