News Release

‘Meet the Mormons’ Gold Coin Donation Presented to New Zealand Caritas Leaders

A new documentary titled “Meet the Mormons” was the catalyst that brought together leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and representatives of the Catholic Church yesterday in Auckland, New Zealand.

“Meet the Mormons” is a feature-length documentary film that provides viewers an opportunity to get to know six members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It premiered in theatres throughout New Zealand on 9 February 2015.

In keeping with the film’s themes of volunteerism and community service, movie-goers were invited to make a gold coin donation to the Catholic humanitarian charity, Caritas. 

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is the Catholic Bishops’ agency for justice, peace and development. The goal of the charity is to work for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education and emergency relief.

Proceeds from the gold coin donations were presented yesterday (24 February 2015) at the Latter-day Saints’ Missionary Training Centre in Manukau, New Zealand.

Making the presentation were Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Elder Lynn G. Robbins, of the Presidency of the Seventy; and Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, of the Church’s Pacific Area Presidency. 

“We are delighted to be able to work with you,” Elder Bednar said. “Doctrinally there are things in which we will never agree, but in terms of core values we are all on the same page. In the world in which we live we will be soldiers together, fighting for what is right.”

Elder Lynn G. Robbins added, “The purpose of ‘Meet the Mormons’ was not to proselyte, but to let the world know who we are.”

Elder Nielsen said, "The relationship with our friends from the Catholic Church is getting stronger. Both religious organizations are passionately involved in humanitarian work and we are so honoured to give a donation from our church to Caritas. We know the 'gold coin' initiative from those attending the movie 'Meet the Mormons' will be used compassionately to bless many lives.”

Accepting the donation on behalf of Caritas and the Catholic Church was Julianne Hickey, CEO Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand; Nick Borthwick, Caritas Programmes Coordinator, Christina Reymer; Director Mahitahi Catholic Overseas Volunteers; and Louise Campbell, Director, National Liturgy Office.

Following the presentation of the donation Ms Hickey said: “It is a real privilege and blessing to be here. This experience has enhanced my understanding of what we share and what we have in common. In New Zealand we use the term whānau, which means family — and it does feel like we are part of a big family. We will have our differences just like cousins and brothers and sisters do, but the good thing is that we know we are always there for each other.”

Read a Manukau Courier report on the event.




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