Bishop launches Communio Disaster Appeal

Bishop Michael has launched a Communio Disaster Appeal to help those recently affected by Cyclone Seroja, which hit the coast of Australia at the small tourist town of Kalbarri, in the Diocese of Geraldton.

Hitting with Category 3 winds Seroja proceeded to plough through the central Midwest region of the Diocese, devastating at random buildings that lay in its way
and strangely leaving others with only a scratch. Everyone who witnessed the aftermath could not believe there were no deaths or seriously injuries. Overnight people's lives and livelihoods were changed.  All were shaken, but not crushed, and a great community spirit has rallied. People and communities working together with great comradery and getting some normality back the best way possible, has been truly uplifting to see. 

Fortunately, the urban portion of The Greater City of Geraldton with a population of 37 650, narrowly avoided been devastated, suffering only minor damage to properties and trees. In comparison, the communities outside of the City including many farms suffered considerable property damage, placing them under personal and economic stress. 

The Diocese itself suffered varying degrees of damage to 17 of it's buildings, not counting schools. These are:
  • Kalbarri - Our Lady Help Christians Church, Kalbarri
  • Kalbarri - Diocesan Retreat & Holiday House (destroyed)
  • Northampton - Presbytery (destroyed)
  • Northampton - Convent 
  • Northampton - Our Lady in Ara Coeli Church (Monsignor Hawes heritage building)
  • Nanson - Our Lady of Fatima Church (Monsignor Hawes heritage building)
  • Nanson - Convent (Monsignor Hawes heritage building)
  • Yuna - Our Lady Queen of Peace Church 
  • Mullewa - Priesthouse Museum (Monsignor Hawes heritage building)
  • Mullewa - Presbytery
  • Morawa - The Priest Lodge (Monsignor Hawes heritage building)
  • Morawa - Church of the Holy Cross (Monsignor Hawes heritage building)
  • Perenjori - St Joseph's Church
  • Three Springs - Convent
  • Three Springs - St Paul's Church
  • Three Springs - Presbytery
  • Mingenew - St Joseph's Church
  • Geraldton - The Hermitage (Monsignor Hawes heritage building
But all these properties are in the hands of Catholic Church Insurances and assessors have toured the area, therefore over time they will be tended to.

Though it is sad to see historical buildings damaged, in the end they are only buildings. The immediate need and real concern is for the people who have suffered, and still suffering, from the aftermath of the cyclone. If you would like to assist them please complete this Donation form and make a donation via your bank account. Thank you.