Annual Mass acknowledging Volunteers in the Archdiocese of Perth

14 Jun 2024

By Contributor

By Joseph Younes

2024 Volunteer Mass
Bishop Don receives the offertory gifts at the annual Mass for Volunteers, Sunday 26 May at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Samuel Chan.

On Sunday, 26 May 2024, the Archdiocese of Perth held its Annual Mass Acknowledging Volunteers, coinciding with National Volunteer Week, which spanned from 20th to 26th May 2024.

This year’s theme for Volunteer Week was “Something for Everyone,” highlighting the diverse opportunities and inclusiveness in volunteerism.

The Mass, celebrated at 11am at St Mary’s Cathedral, was a significant event in the Archdiocesan calendar, bringing together volunteers from various parishes and agencies to recognise and honour their invaluable contributions.

The celebration took place on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, a fitting occasion to reflect on the unity and mission shared by the Church and its volunteers.

The Choir stands ready to sing during the annual Mass for Volunteers, Sunday 26 May at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Samuel Chan.

Importance of Volunteers
In his homily, Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton expressed deep gratitude for the volunteers’ dedication and service.

He began by sharing a personal anecdote from his high school science class, where the simple act of observing a candle flame revealed profound truths about observation and reflection.

Bishop Sproxton connected this to the Word of God, emphasising the elements of fire and water as symbols of God’s presence and action throughout biblical history.

Through the use of fire and water, Bishop Sproxton drew parallels between Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush and Jesus’ instruction to baptise all nations.

These elements symbolise God’s call to relationship and mission. Just as Moses was called to lead and Jesus’ disciples were sent to baptise, volunteers are called to serve and unite people.

In his homily, Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton expressed deep gratitude for the volunteers’ dedication and service. Photo: Samuel Chan.

Reflection on the Trinity
The homily delved into the mystery of the Trinity, describing the Father as the creator, the Son as the revelation of God, and the Spirit as the source of enlightenment and faith. Bishop Sproxton likened the Trinity to the colours of a flame—distinct yet unified—illustrating the harmonious relationship within the Godhead that calls believers into a life of mission and service.

“The Trinity beckons us to join in the life and mission of the One God,” he said. “Our volunteers have been drawn into this relationship, responding to the needs of others with the strength and guidance of the Spirit.”

Acknowledging Volunteer Efforts
The Mass specifically honoured the many volunteers who tirelessly serve in various capacities within the Archdiocese.

Bishop Sproxton noted that these individuals, through their acts of service, embody the Gospel’s call to love and support one another.

Cathedral Dean, Rev Dr Sean Fernandez offers his thanks. Photo: Samuel Chan.

“Our volunteers have seen a need and responded, making a significant difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters,” he remarked. “Their generosity and commitment are a testament to the transformative power of faith in action.”

National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week’s theme, “Something for Everyone,” underscores the wide range of volunteer opportunities available within the Archdiocese.

From helping in parishes to participating in programs run by Catholic agencies, there are numerous ways for individuals to get involved and make a meaningful impact.

The Annual Mass Acknowledging Volunteers was a poignant reminder of the vital role volunteers play in the Church’s mission.

As the congregation stood for the entrance hymn, united in prayer and thanksgiving, it was clear that the spirit of volunteerism is deeply woven into the fabric of the Archdiocese of Perth.

Bishop Sproxton’s homily concluded with a heartfelt prayer:

“We give you thanks for these volunteers and the work they do. We pray that you pour out your abundant blessings upon them and their ministry. Grant them good health and support them in their service. May they continue to serve you and their neighbours generously so that by the good works they do, the Gospel may be proclaimed in the world. We also pray that you bless the people whom they serve. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

This event not only celebrated the contributions of volunteers but also inspired others to join in the Church’s mission of service, embodying the synodal spirit called for by Pope Francis.

Staff and volunteers from across the Archdiocese came together for the annual Mass for Volunteers, Sunday 26 May at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Samuel Chan.

The Mass served as a beautiful expression of gratitude for the countless volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to various Archdiocesan ministries and agencies.

Their contributions are vital in fulfilling the Church’s mission and supporting those in need within the Perth community.