Personal Advocacy Missioning Service: Lent with a difference.
Seventy-five volunteers gathered with six staff members on a mild Sunday afternoon late in February to celebrate their missioning for the start of their 2009 program of faith development with adults with intellectual disabilities. Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton led the celebration.
The focal point for the celebration was the group of clay figures, representing the members of an advocacy group centred around the light of God, reminding those present of God’s covenant with his People.
These figures had been moulded ten years earlier by Sr Eileen Casey, who brought this program to Perth from Chicago, USA where it had developed in the 1960s. The experience of people with intellectual disabilities and their families at that time was one of exclusion simply because no one knew how to meet their needs.
The program is now being used in 10 different countries around the world to make a difference in the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
Personal Advocacy Service is one of only two centres in Australia where this program is offered by the Catholic Church.
Its capacity to offer participation in its 16 different groups in parishes scattered around the metropolitan area is made possible by the generous commitment of approximately 140 volunteers who started their work again last month.
Bishop Sproxton presented the Archbishop’s Award for Outstanding Service to six of the program’s volunteers in recognition of 10 years involvement in this program by Jean McGiffin, Marie Mosca, Theresa Pizzuto, Mary Purshouse, Anna Colonico and Sr Veronica Martin RNDM.