Project Compassion 2018 Launch – Archbishop calls to reflect the face of the Father’s mercy
Archbishop Costelloe emphasised that mercy is ‘not simply a nice idea’, but an important task, challenge and invitation. Photo: Josh Low.
By Josh Low
Turning away from self and being the face of the Father’s mercy was the message of Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe SDB at the launch for schools of Project Compassion for 2018.
Several hundred staff and students from Catholic schools across Perth were present for the launch held at Newman College on 13 February, which concluded with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Costelloe and concelebrated by Fathers Benedict Lee, Cyprian Shikokoti, Nicholas Perera, Kazimierz Stuglik and Joseph Tran, assisted by Deacon Paul Reid.
In his homily for the occasion, the Archbishop emphasised that mercy is ‘not simply a nice idea’, but an important task, challenge and invitation.
Director of Caritas Australia’s Perth Office, Deacon Paul Reid addresses those in attendance at the launch for high schools at Newman College. Photo: Josh Low.
He added that it was essential to all who call themselves disciples of Jesus to keep their eyes and ears fixed on Jesus, listening to His words and watching His actions.
“In fact, as Pope Francis reminds us, in our Christian faith Jesus, who is not just a great figure from history but actually the presence of God among us, comes to us in order to reveal the face of God the Father.
“God prefers more often than not to work through us to share his goodness with his people. Even more strongly we might say that God has, in a certain sense, bound himself to us, so that if we do respond to God, then his people will have all that they need.
“But if we do not respond then God’s beloved people will endure loneliness, hunger, discrimination and despair, not because God does not love them enough but because we do not love them enough.
“If we do not love them enough, perhaps it is because we do not love God enough – not enough to care about the people God cares about,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“In one of the letters of Saint John, the writer puts this very plainly: how can you say you love God, whom you cannot see, if you do not love your brothers and sisters whom you can see?”
Students from John XXIII College and Newman College, together with Servite College teacher Ryan Wiles, also gave testimonies on their experiences from their particular mission work and trips. Photo: Josh Low.
The Archbishop issued a challenge to staff and students present for their own particular College communities.
“By becoming involved in Project Compassion; by turning your eyes away from yourselves and on to those, both here in Australia but in a particular way those who do not have the advantages we in Australia have, can you show yourselves to be large-hearted people – generous, compassionate, encouraging and courageous?
“If you can then, just like Jesus himself, you together will also be the face of the Father’s mercy,” he concluded.
Director of Caritas Australia’s Perth Office, Deacon Paul Reid, Justice Educator for Western Australia, Anita Finneran, Caritas Australia’s Head of Mission, Sister Anne McGuire, Acting Director for Catholic Education WA, Dr Debra Sayce, Newman College Principal John Finneran, and Deputy Principal Mission & Catholic Identity, Daniel Lynch all addressed those present on Catholic social teaching principles and looking to Jesus’ example in works of mercy toward others.
Students from John XXIII College and Newman College, together with Servite College teacher Ryan Wiles, also gave testimonies on their experiences from their particular mission work and trips.