CERA – Catholic Emergency Relief Australia – has emerged as a Church-wide collaboration of the key Catholic ministries that serve the Australian community. Those ministries include parishes, social service agencies, schools and universities, hospitals and aged care providers, and religious congregations.

The unprecedented bushfires that have devastated Australia in the summer of 2019-2020 were the catalyst for deeper collaboration between Catholic ministries that engage with millions of Australians in various ways.

CERA brings together the leadership of key national organisations to support the Catholic Church’s response to emergency events in the most effective and efficient ways.

NEW: Fifteen groups get funding boost from CERA grants

Twenty-four organisations applied for funding totalling about $400,000 in the first round of grant allocations from Catholic Emergency Relief Australia, with at least $100,000 available for distribution. Fifteen organisations will receive a total of $110,000 to support communities continuing the path to recovery from last summer's bushfires. Click here to read more about the grants and the successful applicants.

Why “CERA”?

The name CERA was also chosen because of the life and impact of St Cera, an Irish abbess whose prayers in the seventh century were said to have helped extinguish a noxious fire. Read more about St Cera here.

Who is involved?

CERA brings together a number of key peak national organisations within the Catholic Church: The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Catholic Religious Australia, Catholic Social Services Australia and the National Catholic Education Commission. Other organisations are expected to join the collaboration.


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