By Amanda Murthy/CEWA
Moving forward together as a people of Christ in ‘communion, mission and participation’, was the call of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB to Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) students and staff attending the Archbishop’s annual Forum for Secondary Schools and Launch of LifeLink Day on 18 May.
Attended by student and teacher representatives from 25 Archdiocesan schools, the Archbishop’s Secondary Schools Forum for LifeLink Day 2023 was held at Aranmore Catholic College.
In 2023, funds raised through LifeLink will benefit Identitywa, The Shopfront, Centrecare Inc, Catholic Ministry for People who are Deaf or Hearing Impaired, Catholic Outreach, Emmanuel Centre, Daydawn Advocacy Centre, Emmaus Community, Centacare Employment and Training and Samaritans Projects.
Archbishop Costelloe was joined for the occasion by LifeLink Chair and Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation, the Very Rev Fr Vincent Glynn, CEWA Executive Director Dr Debra Sayce, Aranmore Deputy Principal Danny Battistessa, Archdiocesan and CEWA staff.
Dr Sayce thanked students and teachers for the ongoing efforts to support LifeLink, citing the work of the LifeLink agencies as a “tangible expression of the love of Christ in action.”
“By supporting these agencies, students are not only providing practical support to those in need, but also sharing the message of hope and love that is central to the teachings of Christ.”
“Last year, even with the restrictions due to COVID 19, and the cancellation of the Archbishop’s LifeLink Day Launch events, our schools raised more than $100 184 in support of LifeLink Day – an outstanding outcome given the circumstances. This year we are hoping to raise $120 000.
“Thank you all for your generosity.”
Reflecting on the theme of LifeLink ‘Synodality,’ Archbishop Costelloe spoke about the need for the Church to become, “more than it already is, a true community of disciples which is doing its’ best to walk in the way of Jesus, to believe in the truth of Jesus and to live the life of Jesus.”
“……. in our own Catholic Church, which as I say, many of us here this morning, our present leader Pope Francis has become convinced that the best way for the church to help us all to (live a life of deep joy and purpose and fulfillment) is to become more and more what he calls a synodal Church.
“So, when Pope Francis talks about synodality, and about the church, and he refers to this idea of communion of belonging together, this is what he’s talking about, that all our relationships in the church should be based on these kinds of opportunities, giving, receiving gratefully loving, not despising, and rejecting, staying together, not going off and isolating ourselves.
“To become a more synodal church, is to become a community of believers in Christ, who are more concerned about each other than we are about ourselves, are more concerned about inviting people in rather than building walls to keep people out.”
After Archbishop Costelloe’s Address, students reflected on four questions presented for their discussion, and responses were displayed on large screens for everyone to see: –
- Pope Francis has often said that “listening is more than hearing”.
What do you think he means?
- As leaders of our Church and society, why are ‘listening and dialogue’ important to you in how you come to understand and respect other people who may hold views different from your own?
Why does ‘listening and dialogue’ matter to you?
- What do you most admire about Pope Francis?
What do you see as his priorities for the future of our Church?
- Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) provide much needed community aid, relief and care to the vulnerable and those in need across our world.
Please outline how you see the Church uniquely contributing to community aid, relief and care efforts to the vulnerable and those in need as followers of Jesus.
Following the reflection, as has become the tradition, students were invited to ask any question they may wish of the Archbishop Timothy, Bishop Don, Fr Glynn and Dr Sayce. An opportunity for personal dialogue with the Church Leaders.
To learn more about LifeLink, please visit its new website at www.lifelink.com.au
To learn about LifeLink and access resources for 2023, go to www.lifelink.com.au