Together we can keep the faith alive

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us!

ACN is not simply a charity collecting money. We seek to encourage prayer for those in need, to share their stories, and finally, to lead people to act. For some, action will be offering financial help, for others it will be in volunteering their time and talents. Ultimately, all those who are associated with ACN – benefactors, beneficiaries, staff and volunteers – know that this is a family of faith. This mission to the Church in need is the fruit of our common faith in Jesus Christ, whether that is lived out through administration in a national office, speaking to people in parishes and schools, or through direct engagement with clergy and laity in suffering communities. All of us are seeking to keep the faith alive using our personal gifts and talents.

In order for us to tell more Australians about the suffering Church we are looking for generous people who can help us, giving whatever spare time they can offer, to be an ACN volunteer.

As an ACN volunteer you will:

  • Live out your faith in a tangible way
  • Enhance your understanding of the suffering Church 
  • Gain experience working with a large international charity 
  • Meet new people and be part of a team with a shared passion 

Our volunteers can give as many or as few hours that they wish. Some volunteers are with us for years and some commit to a few months. We are grateful to God for every person who is open to serving in some way. The different volunteering opportunities are listed below with a form that can be completed to express your interest. We’d love to hear from you. Lastly, if you have a different way in which you think you can help ACN, be sure to let us know! 

The three main ways that people volunteer with us are as:

Parish Representatives

The ACN parish representatives are some of our most diverse and active volunteers. Spread across the nation and working completely in their local parish area, these wonderful individuals are our arms and legs on the ground forming a network of passionate supporters who act as a contact point between ACN and the parish priest and parish community. The ways that a parish representative can assist are limited only by their imagination, but some of the most common activities they are involved in are:

  • Ensuring that ACN materials are stocked and displayed in the appropriate places around the parish. Apart from the parish church this may also include schools, nursing homes and other church-related entities where the parish representative is able to build a relationship.
  • Speaking about the mission and work of ACN both informally and formally as best suits the individual and the parish.
  • Building prayerful support for suffering Christians by promoting ACN prayer campaigns and including specific prayer intentions in the prayers of the faithful. 
  • Liaising with the priest and parish council to consider ‘adopting’ a parish project or sending a contribution from Christmas and other fundraising activities.  
  • Bringing devotional items from ACN into the parish and/or the piety stall in order to help raise funds. 
  • Engaging with the parish catechists to share with them the needs of the suffering Church and providing them resources to take into their classes in the local State Schools. 
  • Arranging for an annual parish talk to be held so parishioners can learn more about the suffering Church. 
  • Planning for the Diocesan Outreach Assistant to make a parish visit so as to speak to parishioners at a weekend of Masses and share our modern-day martyr display.
  • Selling ACN Easter and Christmas cards as a special seasonal fundraiser and opportunity to share the work and mission of ACN.

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School Collaborators

Those who work in our Catholic schools as teachers or ancillary staff can serve as a vital contact to students and their families who may not hear about the suffering Church any other way. Because ACN is a spiritual and pastoral charity our entire focus is on maintaining and growing faith, not only in the hearts of those who are the beneficiaries of assistance but also in the hearts of those who are made aware of those who are oppressed or persecuted for faith. In our experience, when a person comes to understand that some people cannot easily live their faith in Jesus, it causes the other to ask what their own faith means to them and how they can better live out their own baptism. Our school collaborators can be as creative as they wish in sharing the mission of ACN but some of the usual activities undertaken include: 

  • Encouraging classes to pray a short weekly prayer for suffering Christians by distributing primary and/or secondary directed prayer cards from the ACN office.
  • Sharing the ACN resources (e.g. Child’s Bible; poster series; children’s rosary booklet etc.) with staff to ascertain an interest in ordering them for classes.  
  • Liaising with the ACN office to create and run school events (e.g. Red Wednesday; A Million Children Praying the Rosary; Porridge for Persecution etc.) which will build awareness and create solidarity.
  • Arranging for the occasional talk on the suffering Church to be presented across the year e.g. parent formation nights, secondary school events etc.
  • Looking for opportunities on the school calendar when the story of the persecuted Church can be shared with the community.
  • Promoting the sale of Easter and Christmas cards and devotional products to help raise fund for the work of ACN. 
  • Liaising with the school leadership to consider ‘adopting’ as a school a particular project or sending a contribution from Christmas and other fundraising activities.  

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Office Assistants

Without a doubt, the heart of ACN Australia, are the tens of thousands of benefactors across the nation who support in varied ways our suffering and oppressed brother and sisters in the faith. The hands of this work though belong to a dedicated team of staff and volunteers that make possible the administrative load of ACN Australia by encouraging prayer, sharing information and collecting funds for the Church in Need. The national office of ACN Australia is located in a small but busy office in Penrith, one hour west of Sydney, NSW. In the national office we receive and respond to all correspondence, we plan advertising campaigns in print and digital, we run our retail arm That Catholic Shop, and we coordinate the Diocesan Outreach Assistants.

Volunteers are a growing part of our team, both in size and in importance, and we look to them for help with:

  • Processing and responding to correspondence
  • Typing and sending acknowledgement letters
  • Donation processing and reconciliation 
  • Preparing and packing retail orders
  • Answering incoming phone calls and emails 
  • Making outbound calls to thank benefactors 
  • Updating the database and maintaining records

Plus, if we have volunteers with particular skills or interests we do our best to accommodate them into tasks where they can best engage.

To help with the ongoing workload we need a team of volunteer office assistants regularly. We are happy to use the amount of time you can give us, whether that be a half-day every week or fortnight, or a full day every month or second month. Some volunteers commit for an open ended amount of time and others commit to six months before reviewing their commitment. Naturally all volunteers are free to come and go as their circumstances permit. We will provide all our volunteers with training and a meal each time they are with us. Our volunteers truly are an invaluable part of our team so if you could spare some time please do reach out!  

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