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Help in times of need

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May 16, 2018

St Mary’s Parish Mooroopna’s Monsignor Peter Jeffrey.

St Mary’s Parish Mooroopna’s Monsignor Peter Jeffrey was shocked to hear about the death of a man whose body was found in Shepparton’s Maude St on Monday morning.

‘‘It is a sad situation in our society and for our city,’’ he said.

Shepparton police Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Shortis said following the discovery, a number of witnesses came forward to say they noticed a man lying outside the Centrelink office, originally thinking he was sleeping.

Monsignor Jeffrey said he believed there were many people in our society who would assist others in times of need or desperation.

However, the incident made him wonder whether a different outcome could have been reached if an earlier passerby has become involved.

‘‘Going to the help of another person requires a certain freedom in ourselves, and many people these days are so preoccupied with their own affairs that they sometimes don’t notice. They sometimes hurry on,’’ he said.

‘‘I think that it is good that the incident was drawn to our attention because it makes people reflect on their social responsibilities.’’

Monsignor Jeffrey likened the situation to the parable of the good Samaritan.

‘‘There is a parable in the gospel where a man is lying on the side of the road between Jerusalem and Jericho.

‘‘Many people turned the other way and rushed to the other side of the road. It was the Samaritan that went to the aid of this person that saved him.’’

Monsignor Jeffrey offered his own advice to community members who may come across confronting situations at some stage.

He said people needed to take a step back from the situation and think rationally.

‘‘I think they would have to make a decision whether they need to notify someone, call the police, get an ambulance or some other type of assistance,’’ he said. ‘‘It would be best for people to stop, take a step back and assess the situation.’’

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