A merger has officially been entered into between the Ballarat Catholic Development Fund (MCDF) and the Catholic Development Fund of Melbourne, Sale and Bunbury, according to a statement released on 20 November by their respective bishops. The merger is set to be finalised by early 2024.

The statement, jointly released by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli (Archbishop of Melbourne), Bishop Gregory Bennet (Bishop of Sale) and Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB (Apostolic Administrator of Bunbury), said that the expanded CDF will continue to meet the demands of the local community while maintaining a prudentially sound and sustainable fund into the future, delivering on the collective mission of the Church.

‘Both funds have a 50+ year history of working together and sharing resources to offer customers in their respective dioceses strong and competitive financial solutions,’ the bishops said.

‘A larger fund will continue to meet the demands of our growing communities and those who work within them, as they minister and deliver services in pastoral care, education, healthcare, social services and aged care.’

Recent mergers with the CDFs in the Diocese of Bunbury and the Diocese of Sale have proven successful in delivering a range of additional benefits to their local communities, the bishops said. They also expressed their gratitude for the work of BCDF to date and to its customers ‘who have supported an organisation that promotes and lives our Catholic mission’.

‘Alongside Bishop Paul Bird from the Diocese of Ballarat, we look forward to the new partnership and the potential it has to add value for all customers and communities across the Diocese of Ballarat, Diocese of Bunbury, Archdiocese of Melbourne and Diocese of Sale.’