Music lovers were in for a treat as The Walker Trio of Jessica Gethin, Ray Walker and Sophie Curtis once again lent their talents in support of Catholic Mission in August at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Subiaco.
Jessica Gethin and Sophie Curtis are classically-trained as a violinist and ‘cellist, while their father, Ray Walker is a jazz guitarist of distinguished long-standing in Western Australia.
Passionate supporters of Catholic Mission for many years, the Trio have performed many concerts to raise much-needed funds for the various causes of the mission.
Ms Gethin said that they love any opportunity to play together as a family.
“We aim to bring the warmth and familiarity of our lounge room into the concert venue. The musical arrangements are all our own and draw strongly on our family’s Irish roots.
“Combining the Irish sounds with many other diverse styles gives us a uniquely ‘Walker’ sound that we love. We hope our audiences do too,” she said.
While the first half of the concert was more atmospheric and evocative in character, the second half was more upbeat, with numbers that had the audience tapping their toes.
The Trio were showered with a standing ovation amid much applause and a request for one final tune to round off a truly scintillating evening.
The concert was supported by Iona Presentation College, St John of God Health Care and COMO The Treasury hotel. Students of Iona Presentation College were also thanked for giving up their Friday evening to volunteer their help. Funds raised from the concert will support maternal and child health in Uganda, the focus project for St Joseph’s Catholic Church and the school appeal.
With an aim to reach out to the many destitute and vulnerable in the various communities, Catholic Mission’s Mission Month for October will focus on a comprehensive community building program in Vietnam, which will be launched by Bathurst Bishop Michael McKenna this week in Mudgee.
Sister Mary Hoaian and the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who are based in the coastal mountain diocese of Nha Trang, are the focus of this year’s World Mission Month parish appeal.
The Sisters run a multifaceted program for local communities in their diocese, including in Xuan Son, where their activities include kindergarten education, scholarships for older children, nutrition, health and wellbeing, medicines and a clean water program.
Catholic Mission’s National Director, Father Brian Lucas, said the Sisters’ challenge to minister in a Vietnamese community is immense.
“Under the communist government in Vietnam, Church activities are limited to within the walls of the Church itself.
“What the Sisters are doing is extraordinary under the circumstances, as they reach out to Vietnam’s forgotten farming families living in isolated communities like Xuan Son. One third of the children living in these communities suffer from stunted growth and other birth defects due to polluted water and malnutrition,” he explained.
Throughout World Mission Month in October, the appeal will specifically raise funds for the various aspects of the Sisters’ program, including a new water filter for the kindergarten and pastoral centre from where the program is operated.
“Even though there is a water filter on site, it is not adequate to ensure safety and cleanliness. The Sisters are urgently seeking to install a larger capacity water filter, which will provide fresh, clean water for the entire community.
“The appeal’s theme, taken from John 4:14 – ‘whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never thirst again’, is entirely fitting for the work of missionaries to quench both the physical and spiritual thirst of communities around the world.
“Pope Francis tells us the Church’s mission to all people is based on the transformative power of the Gospel. There is a transformative power for the people of Xuan Son through the actions of Sister Mary and the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” Fr Lucas said.
St Matthew’s Catholic School in Mudgee, in the New South Wales diocese of Bathurst, will host the annual diocesan launch on Thursday, 7 September. Bishop McKenna will lead the celebration and present this year’s Primary Schools’ Christmas Art Show Awards.
For more information on the appeal, including the video ‘Mission at the Heart’, please visit http://catholicmission.org.au/wmm/2017-world-mission-month.