Friday 28, April 2023
Archbishop Launches Annual Winter Appeal
On 1 May, 2023, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB will launch his annual Winter Appeal for LifeLink, urging supporters to “continue a ‘mission of care’ to our brothers and sisters in need.”
In his appeal letter this year, His Grace writes:
At the time of preparing this message for my annual Winter Appeal for LifeLink, the joy of Easter is now just days away.
Christ is risen!
This is the source of our hope, the unshakeable conviction of our faith, and the inspiration for our determination to bring the beauty and promise of our faith to anyone who will listen. It is a message which our society needs desperately.
In the end, of course, this message of hope is an extraordinary confirmation that all that Jesus taught about God – about God’s merciful love, God’s offer of healing and liberation from sin, of God’s infinite patience with us as we travel the journey of our lives – all of this is true.
In his Lenten Message, Pope Francis speaks of two paths for us to follow. “The first path has to do with the command that God the Father addresses to the disciples on Mount Tabor as they contemplate Jesus transfigured. The voice from the cloud says: “Listen to him” (Mt 17:5).
The first proposal, then, is very clear: we need to listen to Jesus. Lent is a time of grace to the extent that we listen to him as he speaks to us. And how does he speak to us? First, in the word of God, which the Church offers us in the liturgy. In addition to the Scriptures, the Lord speaks to us through our brothers and sisters, especially in the faces and the stories of those who are in need”.
Pope Francis reminds us that as part of our faith, our journey towards God, we have a collective mission to follow the example of Jesus to listen to, care for, and reach out with loving arms to our brothers and sisters in need.
It seems hard to reconcile that in our seemingly affluent society there is an increasing number of people in desperate need of our help. Headlines and stories in newspapers across the country tell of the worsening financial crisis, and its impact on so many families and individuals.
Families are at breaking point as they struggle to meet escalating mortgage payments on fixed incomes. Add to this the burden of significant grocery price increases, increasing utility charges and high fuel costs.
We hear of the number of people being forced to ‘sleep rough’ or rely on casual accommodation with friends and family as a result of a lack on rental properties. I was saddened to learn of the impact this rental crisis is having on victims of domestic abuse in particular.
It was reported that women living in refuges or with abusive partners have been unsuccessful in up to 300 rental applications each. Allegedly, only 15 per cent of all rentals in Perth are priced at $400 a week or less. So even if a property became available, these women, and children, are simply priced out of the market.
Pensioners are having to make decisions about whether to forego meals or stop taking required medications they can no longer afford. Neither ‘choice’ is acceptable.
Our LifeLink Catholic Caring Agencies fulfill a mission of care to those most in need in the community, providing emergency housing, counselling support, emergency food and accommodation, employment and training programmes, migrant and refugee assistance, disability and respite support, support for women escaping domestic violence and much more.
It is important to mention that these agencies, established or supported by the Church, are there for anyone in need, not just those of the Catholic faith. We follow the example of Jesus and express our faith through our service to others.
As I officially launch my Winter Appeal for LifeLink 2023, I ask you to respond positively and generously to the calls of our brothers and sisters in need.”