Colourful Welcome for South Sudan Bishop

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Colourful Welcome for South Sudan Bishop

One of the world’s youngest Catholic Bishops, South Sudan’s Bishop Santo Lako Pio, will spend four days in Tasmania this week.

Bishop Pio will be in Tasmania from Thursday 1st November to Sunday 4th November.  His itinerary includes morning tea with new entrant women involved in Centacare Tasmania’s STITCH program on Thursday, a visit to Sacred Heart College and lunch with the Speaker at Parliament House on Friday, a trip to Launceston with Archbishop Doyle for Mass at St Finn Barr’s on Saturday, and Mass with the African Choir at Sacred Heart, New Town, on Sunday, followed by a South Sudanese community forum and a meeting with community leaders.

Women from Hobart’s Sudanese community will put on a colourful display to welcome Bishop Pio on his visit to STITCH, which has been helping new entrant women resettle in Southern Tasmania for the past eight years. Sudanese women were among the first to participate.

STITCH, which is a Centacare Settlement Project funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, will treat Bishop Pio to morning tea and show him first-hand how the program has helped new arrivals from more than 20 countries sew and weave their way into their adopted community.

Coordinator Aileen Hough said STITCH brings new entrant women together for sewing, hand stitching, rug making, weaving and other art and craft, as part of learning vital life, health and language skills to assist their transition into Southern Tasmania.

Ms Hough said that over the life of the program hundreds of women have forged cross-cultural friendships and established valuable links into their new community as they worked together, shared lunch together and watched their children play together in the on-site Child Care Centre.

“They have produced a vast array of highly colourful garments and other items, but what has come out of STITCH is actually far more than these eye-catching creations.

“It is the bonds, linkages and understanding that help these ladies and their families find a place in our community and assist them to build new and rewarding lives here.”

Ms Hough says in some cases women from African communities whose home countries were in conflict worked and laughed alongside each other in the STITCH sewing room, chatting amiably, and learning and sharing new skills together.

Mass with Bishop Pio:
Saturday 3rd November, 12 Noon - St Finn Barr’s Invermay
Sunday 4th November  12 noon – Sacred Heart New Town