LIFELINK 2021: Find ways to be a joyful, hope-filled, servant community of God.

27 Aug 2021

By Amanda Murthy

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe speaking to secondary school students.
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB engaging with Secondary School students at the LifeLink launch for Secondary schools on 20 May. Photo: Ron Tan.

“Faith in action” is demonstrated each year through the Archbishop’s LifeLink winter appeal. This year was no exception – as representatives from Catholic Secondary and Primary Schools, gathered for a rare opportunity to dialogue with Perth Archbishop and Plenary Council President Timothy Costelloe SDB, and witness the official launch of LifeLink Day.

Last year, LifeLink funded agencies reached out to help more than 37,000 WA families and individuals in need, delivering more than $60 million in caring services and professional programmes throughout WA.

LifeLink agencies include the Catholic Ministry for People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Centacare Employment and Training, Centrecare Inc, Djooraminda, Emmanuel Centre, Emmaus Community, Identitywa, Daydawn Advocacy Centre, The Shopfront, and Catholic Outreach.

The role of Catholic schools’ play is vital. Throughout the year, staff and students work together to organise fund-raising projects, they volunteer their services, time and talents to support these agencies, and create awareness for the needs in the community.

In his welcome address at both events, LifeLink Chairman Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton 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.

The Secondary School event held at Aranmore Catholic College on 20 May, was conducted in a forum format, led by Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, Bishop Don and Catholic Education Western Australia Executive Director Dr Debra Sayce, who took turns responding to feedback posed by the student representatives based on Archbishop Costelloe’s questions:

  1. What new understandings or insights have you gained on discernment from my presentation today, and the discussions at your table?
  2. Identify a specific time in your life when you had to make an important decision. What steps did you take to reach your decision? and
  3. As a young Christian making important decisions, why might it be important for you to think about what Jesus might do as you prepare to make them?

In his closing remarks, Archbishop Costelloe expressed his thoughts on decision making, encouraged the young people present to be opened to ‘giving things a go,’ even if the outcome is not always perfect.

“I’m not a believer of regretting mistakes, but I think of a mistake as a step towards the right direction as it can still lead to a place that prepares me for what is to come,” Archbishop Costelloe cited.

“Collaboration or co-labouring is key to get the best outcome – it is great to always seek advice from people you trust, and people who have the experience to share. It is always important to have good people around you.

“…..Following the same approach to life as Jesus did is so important, but in order to understand why Jesus did what He did, we have to understand His mind and heart. We can do this by learning about Him from the Gospels,” Archbishop Costelloe concluded.

The Primary school event held at Newman College on 2 June, was delivered in the form of a personal sharing by Archbishop Costelloe, who explained abit about the Plenary Council, his experience in leadership, and encouraged the young people to find ways to be a joyful, hope-filled, servant community of God.

Video entries submitted by the LifeLink schools and students responding to several questions by Archbishop Costelloe – that connect the church in Perth to the on-going Plenary Council, were then played for the audience present.

The questions posed 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?”

A new LifeLink promotional video, developed in collaboration of LifeLink secondary school students and staff representatives and the Archdiocese of Perth, was revealed at the close of both events.