Caritas Australia thanks schools and parishes for another successful Project Compassion

Archbishop Comensoli with students from St Mary's College St Kilda at the Melbourne Project Compassion 2024 launch. Photo credit Catholic Archdiocese.

Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten fundraiser Project Compassion has been a success this year thanks to the dedication and support of over 1,700 schools and 1,200 parishes across the country. 

Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia said, “We are always amazed by the way schools and parishes come together to raise funds for Project Compassion - whether its donning aprons to cook up some traditional Shrove Tuesday pancakes or hitting the pavement for Caritas Ks.”  

“These activities are very in keeping with the spirit of Lent, as they allow us to reflect on the experiences of our brothers and sisters across the world, engage in almsgiving, and come together as a global community.” 

In Sydney, Project Compassion kicked off in Parramatta with the first of the launches taking place at St Finbar’s Primary Glenbrook, attended by students from 25 schools across Western Sydney. They were addressed by the Bishop of Parramatta, Vincent Long and members of the Caritas Australia team, including Community Fundraising Manager Leanne Langdon. 

In Melbourne 250 students representing a number of schools attended the launch at the Academy of Mary College, Fitzroy, to hear from the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli. Several schools also took part in walkathons inspired by Leaia’s story of getting access to clean water, while hundreds turned out for pancakes at Pall Mall in Sandhurst and Hargreaves Mall in Bendigo. 

In Adelaide, Archbishop Patrick O’Regan launched Project Compassion during a prayer service at the Church of the Nativity, Aberfoyle Park. Several schools also took part in a fun run, completing a 3km or 6km run on the sand, followed by a treasure hunt for coins that went straight into Project Compassion boxes.  

In Brisbane, over 50 schools attended a launch at St Stephen’s Cathedral, addressed by Archbishop Mark Coleridge. On the Cathedral lawns students also took part in races, running and flipping pancakes simultaneously, all while raising vital funds. 

In Tasmania, the Archbishop of Hobart, Julian Charles Porteous, addressed over 100 students at the Hobart Cathedral launch, following which they all headed to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School in Lenah Valley for pancake flipping. 

In Western Australia, around 70 schools attended an online launch, hearing from Koreen Cueto, who oversees Caritas Australia’s programs in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, as well as the Vicar for Education & Faith Formation, Fr Vincent Glynn. Koreen also spoke at a Parish event focused on the story of Ronita from the Philippines. 

The Darwin launch took place at St Mary’s Cathedral, and schools from Canberra attended an online launch. 

Caritas Australia representatives also attended 350 masses across the country to speak about Project Compassion. 

“We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the community here in Australia, to all the schools and Parishes that have held an event or fundraiser, and to all the individuals that have donated, or engaged with our stories this year.”