25 years of Catholic schools’ commitment to common good praised at LifeLink launch

27 May 2024

The annual Archbishop’s Secondary Schools Forum in support of LifeLink Day is an invitation to make sure that we never lose sight of those people in our society who are really in need, Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has said.

“Right from the beginning, Catholic schools have been involved and committed to the very generous work of our LifeLink agencies through the activities they undertake to raise money to support those most in need.”

Archbishop Costelloe addressed 250 students, teachers and representatives from Catholic agencies gathered for the Forum at Aranmore Catholic College on Thursday, 16 May.

CEWA’s Director of Religious Education, Deacon Mark Powell, said over the years students have found creative and inspiring ways to raise funds for this important cause.

“They have committed time and care to fundraising and have been actively encouraged to demonstrate their support and compassion for those in need. Catholic schools encourage all students to be committed to the common good and contribute to society.

“LifeLink is a very real way in which our students do this, and I am inspired by their service to those in our community who need support.”

The annual Forum provides Archbishop Costelloe and Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton an opportunity of preaching to, and engaging with, students attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Perth. The Forum also provides an opportunity for the young people to collectively discuss questions posed by the Archbishop relating to faith, social service and other relevant issues, and communicate their opinions and feelings directly to the Bishops.

In celebration of this milestone anniversary, Archbishop Costelloe presented a special acknowledgement plaque to each participating school, making the presentation to Aranmore College Principal, Declan Tanham on behalf of all schools.

Joining Archbishop Costelloe for the Forum was Auxiliary Bishop and Chair of LifeLink, Don Sproxton, Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar for Education, the Very Rev Fr Vincent Glynn, Head, Mission Enhancement and Outreach – Archdiocesan Agencies Dr Debra Sayce, Catholic Education WA Director, Religious Education, Deacon Mark Powell and Catholic Education, Coordinator, Formation for Mission, Diana Alteri.

Archdiocesan Catholic primary and secondary schools were prompted to raise an aim of $120,000 to support the works of LifeLink agencies.

Archbishop Costelloe began his speech with a question to those gathered, “Why is this so important to reach out to those in need? Why does this matter?”

“In a way, it is because we belong to the world of Catholic Education here in Western Australia that we would even think to ask this question.

It is not, of course, he continued, that we would be the only people to ask this question – people of all religious faith and people who don’t have any religious faith also ask this question.

“…Any decent human being would not be able to see the suffering and the despair and the hopelessness of other people and at least wonder whether he or she should be trying to do something about it.”

Archbishop Costelloe pointed out that it is the job of a Catholic School to help people grow into decent human beings.

“And because we believe that in Jesus Christ, we have the very best model of a truly decent human being who has ever lived, it makes sense and indeed is essential, that these questions should be front and centre in a Catholic school, or a Catholic Hospital, or a Catholic parish or any other Catholic institution or agency. We couldn’t really call ourselves Catholics otherwise.”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of LifeLink Day, an initiative for Catholic Schools established by Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey in 1999. LifeLink Day is both an educational and fundraising initiative. Through LifeLink Day, young people attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Perth are encouraged to learn more about the very real ‘need’ which exists in the community, and how our Church agencies, through LifeLink, respond to our brothers and sisters who reach out to us.

To learn more about LifeLink, CLICK HERE

Photo credit to Ron Tan and article collaboration with The Record au

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