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Matt O’Connell took up the role of Earthquake Recovery Co-ordinator in mid-November. His first few weeks have been spent visiting parishes, meeting with priests, parish pastoral assistants, and pastoral councils to find out first-hand what people’s concerns are. ‘When we get a picture we can get onto it. It is important to listen to people’s needs rather than just assume what is needed,’ he says.
Born and bred in Christchurch, Matt has built up strong networks, and has worked for the Diocese for the past nine years. In his most recent role as a Young Adults Worker with the Catholic Youth Team, he gained extensive pastoral experience. The team did a lot of recovery work following the February quake including daily barbeques.
‘I’m excited by the challenge, there are some big needs out there,’ says Matt.