In 1947, a young Norbertine priest named Father Werenfried van Straaten set out to meet the material and spiritual needs of homeless and displaced victims of post-World War II. With the help of thousands of concerned and compassionate Catholics, he succeeded.
His impassioned preaching and calls for reconciliation touched the hearts of many. Help and supplies poured in, including strips of bacon for the poor and hungry which earned him the nickname, “The Bacon Priest.” So began Father Werenfried’s charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)
Today, thanks to the generous support of our ACN family of faithful, Father Werenfried’s vision lives on. Aid to the Church in Need continues to reach out wherever the need is greatest, bringing spiritual and material aid to millions of poor, forgotten, and persecuted faithful in more than 145 countries.
Aid to the Church in Need Australia
Aid to the Church in Need's office in Australia opened in 1965 thanks to Fr Christopher Coenen. When Fr Coenan left Sydney to return to Germany in 1969 he asked the Collignon family in Sydney to take over his role as director on a temporary basis until a replacement could be appointed. Eventually Phillip Collignon, who had served as Fr Coenan's altar boy was appointed as Director of the National office in Australia.
After Phillip and his wife Debbie Collignon retired (Philip in 2017) and Debbie in (2018) the Board of Directors appointed the role of National Director to Mr Bernard Toutounji and the offices of ACN moved from Annangrove to Penrith.
Please watch a video message from our National Director Mr Bernard Toutounji