The importance of sharing and listening, and the tools needed when making decisions was at the forefront of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB’s candid and informative sharing with young budding leaders recently.
Hailing from Catholic primary schools across the Archdiocese of Perth, the students were in attendance of the 2021 LifeLink Day launch for primary schools at Newman College on Wednesday, 2 June.
Each year, Catholic schools hold multiple fundraising events and volunteer their services to support LifeLink agencies, including Catholic Ministry for People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Centacare Employment and Training, Centrecare Incorporated, Djooraminda, Emmanuel Centre, Emmaus Community, Identitywa, Daydawn Advocacy Centre, The Shopfront, and Catholic Outreach.
Despite additional challenges caused by COVID-19, last year, Archdiocesan schools collectively raised $80,316.13.
Joining Archbishop Costelloe and Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton at the launch were Marist Brother Provincial Leader Br Peter Carroll, Floreat-Wembley Parish Priest Fr Kazimierz Stuglik, Archdiocese of Perth’s Vicar for Education and Adult Faith Formation, Fr Vincent Glynn, Office of the Archbishop Executive Director Daniel Lynch, Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) Executive Director Dr Debra Sayce, CEWA Director of Religious Education Dr Chris Cotter, CEWA Religious Education and Faith Formation Team Leader Diana Alteri, and Newman College Principal John Finneran.
In his welcome address, LifeLink Chairman Bishop Don thanked all who are part of Catholic Education and the school community, for always accepting the challenge of raising awareness, funds and for genuinely spending their time and effort to care for those in need.
After presenting a new LifeLink promotional video, produced by the Archdiocese of Perth with help from four handpicked schools (Holy Cross College, Servite College, Iona Presentation College, Newman College), Mr Lynch recounted the words of Saint Mary McKillop, ‘never see a need and do nothing about it,’ explained that the donations collected through the Archbishop’s LifeLink appeal, through the agencies, will address the “needs” of those most vulnerable in the community.
“…LifeLink is the single umbrella organisation through which each of our individual Catholic caring agencies are supported,” he said.
“However, LifeLink needs the commitment of the entire school community, to come together and extend a helping hand to those in need.”
Ms Alteri presented two entries from the LifeLink schools and students online based project – which, she said responded to several questions, that connect the church in Perth to the on-going Plenary Council.
“The questions asked by Archbishop were – “How do LifeLink agencies answer God’s call to be a Christ-centred Church in the Perth Archdiocese, that is Joyful, Hope-filled and a Servant Community?” and “What ideas and strategies can you suggest about how Catholic schools can support LifeLink financially, with prayer and practical support?”
During his address, Archbishop Costelloe took the time to explain the significance of the Plenary Council to all Australian Catholics, and why it is equally as important to share ideas as well as listen when making decisions in life.
“Many of you have already started attending a few meetings in your schools – Meetings are important because they give you the opportunity for you to share your ideas with other people, and for you to hear other people’s ideas, hopes and dreams and then work out what is the best way forward.
“…The Plenary Council is a meeting, of the whole Catholic Church in Australia. We have millions of Catholics in the country, so in this case, we have chosen representatives (300 to 350 people) who will be meeting this October (online due to the pandemic) for five days.
“The task of our meeting is to try and find an answer to this question, ‘What is God asking of us, His Church, here in Australia, at this time in history?’
In reflecting on the theme of LifeLink this year, drawn from the Plenary Council theme ‘How do we become a Christ-centred Church in the Perth Archdiocese, that is Joyful, Hope-filled and a Servant Community?’
Archbishop Costelloe shared some of his experiences as a leader, then offered his hopes that the students together with their educators will find ways to live-out the theme, through their words, deeds, and prayers.