In September 2017, the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle facilitated a survivor-led event called Lina’s Project. The aims of Lina’s Project were:
- To publicly acknowledge the devastation caused to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse by clergy and other church personnel, as well as the damage done to their families, friends, and the whole community.
- To admit, with shame, the church’s cover ups and failures to report allegations of child sexual abuse.
- To beg forgiveness and try to bring some healing to the whole community.
Bishop Bill believes that to bring healing to the whole community the Diocese must continue to publicly acknowledge our history and reach out to those so irreparably damaged by these crimes. In light of that, the Bishop decided the date of the launch of Lina’s Project, 15 September, will be recognised as a Perpetual Day of Remembrance in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Such a day holds before us our Church’s history of child sexual abuse and the reality of its continual unfolding in the lives of those directly and indirectly affected.
The intention is that this day be marked in a variety of ways. One such response is a liturgical response through our schools and churches so that we as members of our Church do not forget our history and commit ourselves to a better future. So important did Bishop Bill consider this day that in 2020 he decreed that Perpetual Day of Remembrance Sunday will be a feast day inscribed on the Diocesan Liturgical Calendar on the Sunday of or immediately prior to 15 September. A link to the Bishop’s decree can be found elsewhere on this page.