TWIG Holy Saviour and Santa Cecilia

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About TWIG Holy Saviour

TWIG is the outreach / social justice group for the parish of Holy Saviour , Glen Waverely North – a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. Our parish was established in 1974.  We have about 1,000 families in the parish, about 250 of whom go to mass on Sundays.Our parish priest at the moment is Fr Tony Feeney. TWIG’s role is to:

  • educate the community about justice issues
  • Lobby government in order to bring about justice through government policies
  • raise funds

As well as supporting Santa Cecilia, last year we supported communities in Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, India, Haiti, Pakistan and raised funds for Caritas Australia. At present there are seven people who are the committee for TWIG.

How did your relationship with Santa Cecilia begin?

The relationship with El Salvador began when one of our parishioners ( a journalist) was asked to go to El Salvador after the death of Archbishop Romero.  He was the first Australian journalist to go to El Salvador and report on what was happening.  He came back to Australia and wrote a book.  He also began a prayer movement to pray for peace and justice in El Salvador that was ecumenical, but based in our parish.

About twelve years ago Ana Ortiz came to Australia to visit Michele Gierk and to find sister communities.  We were asked to build a relationship with Santa Cecilia.  This we agreed to do.

In the following few years we sent money for small projects such as supplying a classroom. We supported the community after natural disasters and also lobbied the mayor of San Salvador about not building a garbage dump near the community, among other projects.

In 2005 two of our group, Christine Valladares and Lyn Fraser, travelled to El Salvador to visit the community and be part of demonstrations on the 25th anniversary of Archbishop Romero’s death.

In conversation with Carlos and community members, it was decided that Holy Saviour would try to support a scholarship program that would run for 10 years and hope to have some of the students make their way into university.  José, Carlos and Marty set up the program that exists at the moment that also was aimed at producing a team of young people who would take leadership roles in the community.

This project has continued since then.

The relationship has developed through the project, although we are very reliant on the CEBES office for any communication with the community as Australia is not a Spanish speaking country.

We have also assisted the community with providing internet access, money for emergency relief – as well as assisting CEBES / FUNDAHMER with its projects e.g. money for the photocopiers last year and the movie camera the year before.

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