Sr Mary Clare Mason dj, tells us of how the District England of the Daughters of Jesus has responded with initiative and generosity of heart to the growing needs around them during the winter period.
Works for public benefit
The entity District England of the Daughters of Jesus is registered as a Charity in the United Kingdom and so is exempt from paying tax on condition that it fulfills one of the Charity laws – “works for public benefit”.
At Christmas, a time associated with giving, charities such as the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, or Emmaus make appeals for funding. In the District, we try to respond as far as possible.
For us, it is a means of:
“going towards the margins”
“a way of collaborating with others”
(pages 8 – 9 of the Acts of the General Chapter 2016)
A response to a growing need
For some years already, we have had a tradition in the District of donating our pensioners’ winter heating allowance offered by the UK government, to a charity for the homeless.
In the face of the soaring cost of living prices in 2022 and the increasing numbers of people struggling to live decently, we decided this year to buy vouchers from some of the major supermarkets. Our intention was then to distribute them to charities working with vulnerable people in the local authority area of Thanet where our two Westgate communities are situated.
The St Vincent de Paul group in the Westgate area shared a few of their vouchers with two of the local Anglican churches as they knew they provided “lunch club” meals during the week. A Social Worker in the area told us of another Anglican Church with an excellent social outreach programme, so they too benefitted from some vouchers, as we knew there were many refugee / asylum seekers living in former hotels close to this Anglican Church. When we told these groups we were donating our fuel allowance to their causes, the response was one of amazement and gratitude.
Enabling others to act
The Earthquake in Turkey and Syria has touched us all and we knew that Syria will not get the support it needs due to the ongoing political War. We decided therefore to look for a less well-known Charity that would appreciate a financial donation. Having recently undertaken to support the David Nott Foundation, a medical charity, that trains doctors in war torn countries, we asked this Charity to help us find a worthwhile group. They recommended that we support a partner charity that they work with in Syria.
The age of the Sisters in the District prevents us from helping in person, but we can help financially. Keeping the Sisters informed of these funding projects also enables them to feel that they are helping others to do the work they cannot do. In the past we have invited somebody from the Charities supported by the Province as it then was to come to our Assemblies and share with the Sisters aspects of the work done by the particular Charity.
“Teach us, good Lord”
In our own modest way, we believe that by this giving, we are incarnating the prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola. As the needs around us continue to grow, we would ask you to pray with us at the beginning of Lent, for a generous faith :
“Teach us, good Lord,
To serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost …
To labour and not to ask for reward,
Except that of knowing
That we are doing your will.”
Sr Mary Clare Mason dj