Tuesday, 3 November 2020
Archbishop’s Liturgical Launch of his Christmas Appeal for Parish Priests and Parish Appeal Representatives
On Tuesday evening 3 November 2020 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, joined by Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton (Chairman, LifeLink), Rev Fr Peter Whitely (Vicar General) and Rev Dr Sean Fernandez (Dean, St Mary’s Cathedral) will warmly welcome more than 150 parish priests, parish representatives and invited guests to a special Liturgical Service in support of the Archbishop’s annual “Christmas Appeal for LifeLink”.
Archbishop Timothy said “Almost 70% of all parishes will be represented at this launch either by the parish priest, the parish’s appeal representative or both for which I am very grateful – especially as my launch falls on the same day as the Melbourne Cup.
This annual Service is an opportunity for Bishop Don and I to thank everyone for the wonderful support they provide in helping to make this appeal possible each year, and most importantly, for us to join together to reflect on and pray for people struggling in our community who rely on our Church agencies for help.
My Christmas Appeal is the only fundraising conducted in our parishes each year to help financially support the vitally important work of the Church’s welfare agencies in this Archdiocese,” said Archbishop Costelloe SDB.
Pope Francis’ call to Catholics around the world this year is to:
“Stretch forth your hand to the poor” (Sir 7:32).
Pope Francis said, “Keeping our gaze fixed on the poor is difficult, but more necessary than ever if we are to give proper direction to our personal life and the life of society. It is not a matter of fine words, but of a concrete commitment inspired by divine charity. Each year, on the World Day of the Poor, I reiterate this basic truth in the life of the Church, for the poor are and always will be with us to help us welcome Christ’s presence into our daily lives (cf. Jn 12:8).
Encountering the poor and those in need constantly challenges us and forces us to think. How can we help to eliminate or at least alleviate their marginalisation and suffering? How can we help them in their spiritual need? The Christian community is called to be involved in this kind of sharing and to recognise that it cannot be delegated to others. In order to help the poor, we ourselves need to live the experience of evangelical poverty.
We cannot feel ‘alright’ when any member of the human family is left behind and in the shadows. The silent cry of so many poor men, women and children should find the people of God at the forefront, always and everywhere, in efforts to give them a voice, to protect and support them in the face of hypocrisy and so many unfulfilled promises, and to invite them to share in the life of the community.
A hand held out is a sign; a sign that immediately speaks of closeness, solidarity and love.”
In the Archbishop’s annual Christmas Message he writes:
“More than 37,000 Western Australian families and individuals, people who are struggling right here at home in our communities, will reach out to LifeLink agencies for help. They extend their hands to us – the homeless, the unemployed, those experiencing desperate financial hardship, women and children escaping domestic violence, people with disabilities or struggling with mental health conditions… and we respond, as best we can, with love, compassion and understanding through the work of our LifeLink agencies.
It is in the ‘doing’, the ‘action’, the ‘selfless response’ that we make in response to these outstretched hands, that we profess and experience our faith in a very deep and meaningful way, and truly see reflected in our brothers and sisters who reach out to us for help the face of Jesus.
My Christmas Appeal is the only occasion I take each year to directly ask you – our parishes, parishioners and members of the Western Australian community – to help support the important work of the welfare and social service agencies in this Archdiocese.
As I officially launch my Christmas Appeal, I ask you to ‘stretch forth your hand to the poor’ and help raise a minimum of $650,000 so we may continue to ease the burdens of those who reach out to us” said His Grace.