2016 ARCHBISHOP’S CHRISTMAS APPEAL FOR LIFELINK: Archbishop Costelloe invites faithful to be healers of wounds
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe is inviting people to give generously to his annual ‘Christmas Appeal for LifeLink’ on appeal weekend. Photo: Supplied
By Marco Ceccarelli
This evening, 10 November, more than 160 parish priests and parish appeal representatives will attend a special Liturgical Service at St Mary’s Cathedral in which Archbishop Timothy Costelloe will outline his plans for his annual ‘Christmas Appeal for LifeLink.’ The appeal will be announced in parishes throughout the Archdiocese this weekend, 12-13 November.
Archbishop Costelloe’s message to parishioners this year was inspired by Pope Francis’ “healer of wounds and warmer of hearts” metaphor, used by the Pope to describe the mission to which the Church is called today.
Pope Francis compared the Church to a field hospital receiving the wounded after battle, highlighting the futility of addressing the wounded’s cholesterol or blood sugar levels, when the most urgent need was for the wounds to be healed first.
Archbishop Costelloe uses this example to explain how Jesus taught by both word and example and instructed His followers to do the same. He suggests that by supporting the work of the LifeLink agencies, we are all afforded the opportunity of helping people in need this Christmas.
“[Jesus] made it a test of discipleship that we who claim to follow Him should do as He did,” the Archbishop states.
“It is all summed up in the words which conclude the challenging parable of the Good Samaritan. Having told the story of the generosity, sensitivity and courage of the Samaritan traveller who, in contrast to the two Jewish religious leaders who walked by on the other side, stopped to help a man in desperate need, Jesus said to His listeners, ‘Now go and do the same yourselves.’”
Archbishop Costelloe is this year asking the Catholic community to help raise a minimum $650,000 for people in need, here ‘at home’ in WA.
“When we cannot reach out directly ourselves to encounter the Lord in those who suffer, we can do so through those who, because of our financial support, help warm the hearts and heal the wounds of people in desperate need. This is the work undertaken by our Archdiocesan agencies which are supported through LifeLink,” Archbishop Costelloe has said.
One of the many LifeLink supported agencies, The Shopfront, is the focus of the Archbishop’s Christmas Appeal this year. The Shopfront is a drop-in and referral centre offering support and friendship to people experiencing difficulties dealing with homelessness, financial stress, hunger, depression, loneliness, addiction and violence.
LifeLink agencies reach out to help more than 34,000 Western Australians in need each year, through the provision of accommodation, food, clothing, emergency assistance, counselling, and the protection of women and children escaping domestic violence and abuse.
The Archbishop’s Christmas Appeal for LifeLink will be officially launched in parishes throughout the Archdiocese on the weekend of 19-20 November 2016.
In advance of this launch, parishes will distribute the Archbishop’s Christmas Appeal Letters following each Mass this weekend – 12-13 November, 2016.
This is the only appeal conducted in parishes each year to help support welfare delivery in the Archdiocese of Perth.
To help ‘heal the wounds and warm the hearts’ of people in need this Christmas, you can donate securely online at www.lifelink.com.au.