LifeLink Chair and Perth Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton has last week Thursday 2 November welcomed some 120 parish priests, parish representatives and guests to a special liturgical service at St Mary’s Cathedral for the launch of the 2023 Archbishop’s Annual Christmas Appeal.
The annual event is an opportunity for the Bishops to thank all those who support and assist the Archbishop’s Annual Christmas Appeal each year.
Bishop Sproxton hosted the launch on behalf of Archbishop Costelloe who was returning from Rome following the conclusion of the First General Assembly of the Holy Father’s Synod on Synodality.
Speaking at the Appeal, Bishop Sproxton referred to the message of Pope Francis for World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis, who reminded Catholics around the world: ‘Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor’.
“This year, I know that many people are experiencing financial hardship,” Bishop Sproxton said.
“Every day, our LifeLink welfare agencies are responding to desperate calls from families unable to provide sufficient food or to pay electricity, water, or gas accounts, from single parents and victims of domestic violence unable to secure rental accommodation and forced to seek night-by-night accommodation or resort to living in their cars.
“As well as calls from the elderly who are making choices between turning on heating, buying food, or buying a much-needed prescription.”
Bishop Sproxton continued by saying that the 2022 appeal was a major success thanks to so many people digging deep and giving what they could to help our brothers and sisters in need.
“Together, we raised $ 686,288 which was above our appeal target. What a remarkable and generous outcome,” Bishop Sproxton said.
Bishop Sproxton explained that if we are to continue to answer these calls for help from the community, we must raise a minimum of $650,000 this Christmas.
“I ask each and every parishioner throughout this Archdiocese to continue in our shared mission of care to those who reach out to us for help. Let us turn our faces towards our brothers and sisters in need.”
In a special video launched for the appeal, Archbishop Costelloe emphasised the plight of the poor.
“The poor are persons. They have faces, stories, hearts, and souls. They are our brothers and sisters – it is important to enter into a personal relationship with each of them,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“Caring for the poor is more than simply a matter of a hasty handout.
“It calls for re-establishing the just, interpersonal relationships that poverty harms. In this way, not turning our face away from anyone who is poor leads us to enjoy the benefits of mercy and charity that give meaning and value to our entire Christian life, Pope Francis said.
“As we ourselves face the challenges and negative impacts of the current economic climate, let us each imagine what it must be like for those who were already struggling or who now find themselves in a climate of urgent need,” Archbishop Costelloe continued.
The Archbishop’s Christmas Appeal will be launched in parishes throughout the Archdiocese on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November 2023.
For more information, go to https://lifelink.com.au/2023-christmas-appeal/