Secular Franciscan Order

Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

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OFS National Fraternity of New Zealand

Assistance to Monte Cecilia Housing Trust


1. Project Description

Monte Cecilia provides a housing residential program for homeless families which includes services such as: Adult Education classes, budgeting, playgroup for children, household management. It also provides advocacy support and housing advice to the community. The OFS fraternity assists this program’s families with financial help and regular donations of food.

2. Background History

Secular Franciscans have taken an interest in the work of the Housing Trust for many years, providing financial donations and food at Christmas. The local fraternity has recently increased the level of assistance given.

3. Project Coordination

The assistance to Monte Cecilia Housing Trust is coordinated by the local Fraternity of the Holy Spirit, at Mt. Roskill in Auckland.

4. Impact on Society

As a result of Monte Cecilia’s untiring efforts, disadvantaged families now have access to adequate, affordable and secure housing, regardless of race, religion, income or social status.

5. What we have learned

The Regional Fraternity along with the Local Fraternity has had a long and close relationship with Monte Cecilia, spanning over two decades. We have seen how the support of every member, however small, has a significant impact on lives of the homeless and it is their gratitude and prayers that have taken Monte Cecilia from humble beginnings to its present status of being a champion of the poor.

On the occasion of last Christmas, we also had an important lesson on Divine Providence intervention. In our last meeting before Christmas, as we usually do at every meeting, we collected a good number of grocery items for Monte Cecilia’s pantry. As we were told later by the Housing Manager, with tears in her eyes, they were in desperate need of food parcels for Christmas and didn't know what to do. All they could do was pray!! To their great amazement and joy, our two bags of groceries arrived just in time. The Lord does turn our humble offerings to good use, as He did with the loaves and fish.

6. Contact person

Linda Atkinson: International Councilor

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Telephone: (64) 9 415 7393