185 years on and Catholic Mission continues its work in 160 countries. Figures from Catholic Mission’s Annual Report released for the 2008 financial year show a decrease from the previous year. In many of the Dioceses around the country there was a decrease in the number of bequests however Australians are continually generous to the children of the world. Catholic Mission’s work with Children increased slightly to just over $4.5 million, up from $4.4 million the previous year. Catholic Mission’s Deputy National Director Peter Gates, says that it is ultimately about the people who receive our support that matter. ‘Without Australian Catholics donating and supporting us in many ways we would not have helped over two and a half million children last year. We wouldn’t have assisted thousands of people in getting fresh drinking water, education resources, access to medications’ he said ‘so my sincere thanks to all our supporters across Australia.’ Catholic Mission is the Church’s global mission aid agency, with three major areas of giving – Catholic Mission’s work with Communities, Church Leaders and with Children. Catholic Mission’s National Director, Martin Teulan is currently at the Vatican in Rome, with other National Directors from all over the world He is involved in a democratic vote on projects that will be funded in the next financial year. ‘The decision making in Catholic Mission internationally is in the hands of the National Directors, each with one vote. Whether it’s Bangladesh which raises say $5,000 per year or the United States which contributes more than $50 million’ said Martin Teulan, National Director of Catholic Mission Australia. ‘The beauty of this process,’ said Peter Gates ‘is that each country gets an equal vote. The money that is donated by Australians gets distributed where it is needed most. Twelve and a half million dollars is a lot of money and does an extraordinary amount of good.’ The Lismore Diocese was particularly generous to Catholic Mission’s work with Children, increasing donations by over $35,000 to a total of $86,780. Lismore Catholic Schools also increased their donations to $9,817, up from $5,300 the previous year. Catholic Mission’s work with Â· Communities raised $6.99 million. Â· Children raised $4.5 million, an increase of 2 per cent. Â· Church Leaders raised $932,635, These three areas of work amassed a total of $12,577,553. This is an excellent opportunity to thank all the people who have made a donation to Catholic Mission’s work with Communities, Children, and with Church Leaders all over the world.