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Women’s League digs deep to support refuge

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More than 170 members turned up for a high tea fundraiser in support of The Farm at Galong, a refuge for women and children. Photo: Jonathan Varga
More than 170 members turned up for a high tea fundraiser in support of The Farm at Galong, a refuge for women and children. Photo: Jonathan Varga

The women of Gymea’s St Catherine Labouré parish have fundraising down to a T!

More than 170 of them (and a few men too) turned out at short notice last weekend for a high tea in support of The Farm at Galong, a refuge for women and children who have been affected by substance abuse.

Organised by the parish’s newly-established branch of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL), it attracted women of all ages, predominantly from surrounding Shire parishes.

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St Catherine Labouré parish priest and chaplain of Sydney’s CWL, Fr Gregory Morgan, commended the members for their tireless effort in making the event possible while expressing his delight at the event’s attendance, which surpassed all expectations.

Bubbles and banter were shared along with raffles, a silent auction and high tea bingo while seated at beautifully adorned tables complete with fine china, glassware, and floral centrepieces from the members’ own gardens.

Branch president Diane McInerney said the overwhelming response showed what women can achieve when they come together in the mission of the church.

“In the space of just three weeks, local CWL members sold tickets after every Mass on two Sundays resulting in 172 guests which was terrific,” she said.

“We weren’t sure what sort of response we would get as the event was held during the school holidays and many people were away, but the huge response showed what Catholic women (and a few men) can do when we really start to set the parish on fire with Jesus’ love.

“So many CWL members, staff and parishioners helped with putting the event together, particularly because of the constant changes of the hall layout due to the unexpected increase in numbers, which was a great problem to have.

“None of this would have been possible without the encouragement of Fr Greg, who like all good leaders held the reins, but never had to pull them.

“Due to its success, we aim to hold an event every month with a retreat day at Jamberoo Abbey planned in August, a healing Mass at Mary MacKillop Place in October and a trip to Christmas at the Cathedral in December now being planned.”

Founded in 1906 in England, the CWL is a lay organisation consisting mainly of women who work together to promote Catholic values and to carry out volunteer and charitable work.

Over the years, CWL Sydney has supported many projects both in Australia and overseas, including rural primary schools in the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes, allowing them to implement music and art programs, the refurbishment of the Loreto Catholic Kindergarten in Fiji and CatholicCare’s Hope program supporting vulnerable young mothers and their babies.

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