A Message from National Director Mr Bernard Toutounji
This message was published with Mirror 1 - 2020 - it is published online (for those who elect to receive The Mirror newsletter via email and not a printed copy in the post).
Dear friend in Christ,
Greetings to you in this New Year! I hope your celebration of the Lord’s Nativity was a time of grace and renewed spiritual strength for you and those you love. Intermingled with the joy of the season, has been the devastating situation of drought and bushfire. So many of our fellow Australians, including our own ACN benefactors, continue to suffer as a result. We have arranged Masses to be offered for those that have lost their lives, homes and livelihoods, and we pray for much-needed rain. You might join your intentions to ours at this time.
Support for Seminarians
Our first Mirror newsletter of 2020 takes as its theme the topic of seminarians. As you may know, many of these young men, who seek to become alter Christus - another Christ - encounter some very basic obstacles along the way - as basic as accommodation and educational resources. Remember, many of these same men may one day serve as priests in our own nation, so the prayers and material support you offer them today, may in a very real sense, become the spiritual support you seek tomorrow. If you would like to donate to the projects featured in this Mirror you can do so by clicking the button below.
I am sure you would have noticed that apart from the new global campaigns last year on Religious Women, Africa and the Gifts of Faith, there were adjustments to the look of our regular Mirror mailings as well. We updated the donation response form, refreshed the look of this letter and even tested different paper types. Further, with the increasing cost of cheques, money orders (and postage) we have been working on additional donation options. You will see that we are now making available BPay, Direct Debit (automatic deductions we can set up from your bank account) as well as Direct Deposit (transfers you can make directly into our bank account). With the growing number of donations, we have also had to streamline the process of receiving and responding to donations.
All this has led to the development of a new personalised donation form, enclosed here for the first time. You will see immediately that the form is now a whole page. This new form enables you to support the Mirror projects that are of interest, arrange Masses, request any gift on offer (this month it is a beautiful wooden rosary blessed by the Holy Father), tell us of a friend who might be interested in learning more about ACN, and easily update your contact details. You can also request copies of our general brochure, our legacy pack or indicate your interest in volunteering with us in your parish. The personalised envelope we used to include has been replaced with a standard reply-paid envelope, which means you no longer need a stamp to send your gift to ACN.
I hope you find the new donation form easy to navigate. I invite you to give the new form a ‘test drive’ and note any feedback (positive or negative). At the heart of these changes is the aim to ensure that our small ACN Australia family can grow so that together we can be of greater support to our suffering brothers and sisters in faith.
You will also find enclosed a brochure seeking the parish volunteers I mentioned above. ACN is nothing and has nothing without our benefactors; we receive no funding from Church or State. Most benefactors support ACN via prayer and financial offerings, but now we are also seeking to engage our benefactors as advocates in their local parishes. We simply cannot hope to reach all the places and parishes around the nation without help. Would you consider giving whatever time you have (a lot or a little) to becoming a parish representative? If so, please read and return the form in the brochure, or share the brochure with someone in your parish who may be interested.
As you and I set out into 2020, knowing not what joys or crosses lie before us, let us petition the Blessed Lord and His Holy Mother for the strength to do His will in all things, no matter what comes.
Please accept my thanks for continuing to walk this path with the suffering Church. In many ways, it is not easy to be a Catholic today, to practice our faith in the face of so much. We cling to it because the Lord loved us first and he offers us a yoke that is good to bear and a burden that is light. In His mercy, he even allows us to be the instruments that lighten the load of his children who fight, more than we do, to live and love their Catholic faith.
God Bless you,
Go back to the Mirror newsletter here.