"...for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me; sick and you visited me; in prison and you came to see me" Matthew 25: 35-36.>
The Mission’s story began in St Kilda in 1982, when Parish Priest Father Ernie Smith opened his door and shared a meal with a man who was hungry and experiencing homelessness.
It was this first act of generosity which led to the formation of Sacred Heart Mission to provide the basic necessities of life - food, clothing, emergency relief, accommodation and companionship to people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage in the Port Phillip area in Melbourne.
Since then, the Mission has evolved into an innovative not-for-profit organisation providing individualised support and care services to people who are experiencing homelessness and disadvantage as an independent financial entity.
The Parish is very proud to continue to support our mission today with the gift of volunteer help, pastoral care for many of the Missions clients and workers, as well as participation in the many fundraising events. Parishioners are members of the Mission association and on the board of management. Every year we renew our commitment to our working relationship and share stories of our journey together.
I have been a Parishioner for about 14 years, 6 years ago I joined the Mission Board and eventually became Vice Chair. I was so proud to work hard in creating opportunities for the Parish and Mission to keep its work together front of centre of our joint care for this community. From 2015 until 2018 I had the pleasure of chairing the Dine with Heart fundraising committee, which raises money to provide meals to those in need in our community. Dine with Heart from humble beginnings has now become one of the biggest fundraisers supporting our meals program, providing over 400 meals a day to the most vulnerable in our community.
As I stepped off the board late in 2018, it was not with sadness, but with pride to be in a Parish with a School and a Mission at its Heart. Because truly I still feel connected to a community that cares and gives service and support to others.
I'd love to hear your experiences of Parish life and the relationship with the Mission, whether you volunteer or work with the mission or even just share the joy of mingling with the many Mission clients who attend our various masses.