Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB
Archbishop of Perth
Greetings, everyone. Thank you for giving me a few moments of your time today.
As you are listening to this message, I am preparing to return to Australia from Rome following the conclusion of the First General Assembly of the Holy Father’s Synod on Synodality.
I was honoured to have been appointed by Pope Francis to assist him as one of the nine president-delegates for the Synod.
I’ve taken the opportunity to pre-record this message as I wanted to remind you that next weekend in parishes throughout this archdiocese, there will be the official launch of my annual “Christmas appeal for LifeLink”.
My Christmas appeal for LifeLink 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 Church’s welfare and social service agencies in this Archdiocese.
Pope Francis’s seventh “World Day of the Poor” will be launched the week after my appeal.
We can be guided and inspired in our charitable efforts here at home by the message he will share with Catholics around the world.
“Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor.”
Pope Francis said, “Whenever we encounter a poor person, we cannot look away, for that would prevent us from encountering the face of the Lord Jesus.” Everyone is our neighbour, regardless of the colour of their skin, their social standing, or the place from which they come. We are called to acknowledge every poor person and every form of poverty.
The poor are persons. They have faces, stories, hearts, and souls. They are our brothers and sisters. It is important to enter into a personal relationship with each of them.
Caring for the poor is more than simply a matter of a hasty handout. It calls for reestablishing the just, interpersonal relationships that poverty harms. In this way, not turning our face away from anyone who is poor leads us to enjoy the benefits of mercy and charity that give meaning and value to our entire Christian life, Pope Francis said.
As we ourselves face the challenges and negative impacts of the current economic climate, let us each imagine what it must be like for those who were already struggling or who now find themselves in a climate of urgent need.
Every day, our LifeLink welfare agencies are responding to desperate calls from families unable to provide sufficient food or to pay electricity, water, or gas accounts, from single parents and victims of domestic violence unable to secure rental accommodation and forced to seek night-by-night accommodation or resort to living in their cars, from the elderly who are making choices between turning on heating, buying food, or filling a much-needed prescription.
It seems hard to imagine that here at home in Perth and around Western Australia, such need can exist at all.
As you leave the church today, you will be handed this envelope. It contains my Christmas appeal letter. Please take this home, read my message, and respond as generously as you can to my appeal.
You may choose to mail your gift in the envelope provided or donate securely online. If you prefer, you may return your envelope at mass for the official Christmas Appeal launch next weekend.
Today, I ask you to continue in our shared mission of care. Let us turn our faces towards our brothers and sisters in need.
Please give generously to my appeal and help raise a minimum of $650,000 for those who reach out to us for help this Christmas.
Thank you for your time today. I wish you every success with your parish’s appeal.
May God bless you, your family, and your loved ones as we prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the face of our Heavenly Father’s mercy.
I wish you all a happy and holy Christmas.