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Safeguarding Officers receive special blessing, children encouraged to live, to love and to be free


Safeguarding Officers from parishes across the Archdiocese of Perth came together on Sunday 29 April to receive a special blessing from Archbishop Costelloe at the 11am Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.

By Amanda Murthy

“Jesus invites us to make our home in Him, to remain and to become one with Him.

“As we eat his body, and drink His blood, we recognise the Lord who wants to live in us, who wants to be the source of a new and deeper faith and love in us, who wants to help us be the people we are created to be.”

This was the message of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB during his homily for the 11am Mass on Sunday 29 April at St Mary’s Cathedral, during which he took the opportunity to welcome and bless the Archdiocese’s parish-based Safeguarding Officers.

Archbishop Costelloe administered a special blessing to the Safeguarding Officers, who he said, “volunteer their time weekly to ensure the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults within Church grounds at all times.”

The 11am Mass started with the Cathedral choir leading the hymn This Day was made by the Lord.


Archbishop Costelloe cuts a Thank You cake together with Safeguarding Project Compliance Officer Barbara Blayney, Office Manager Mary Mantle and Safeguarding Director Andrea Musulin at a morning tea, following the 11am Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.

Several Safeguarding Officers were given the opportunity to take part in the liturgy throughout the Mass, including Anne Englebrecht and Mike Kavanagh who proclaimed the readings.

Co-celebrating the Mass with Archbishop Costelloe was Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, Acting Cathedral Dean Father Don Kettle and Assistant Parish Priests Fr Jeffey Casabuena and Fr Stephen Gorddard.

Reflecting on the Gospel readings, Archbishop Costelloe spoke about Jesus as the Good Shepherd and Jesus as the vine and we, his Disciples as the branches.

“The image of the Good Shepherd pictures Jesus as the one who sometimes strides ahead of us, leading the way; sometimes stands behind us, urging us to go in a certain direction; and sometimes stands in our midst drawing us closer to each other and to him.”

“The image of the vine and the branches instead, pictures Jesus as the one who is so closely connected to us that the very fact of our existence, of our life and of our well-being, is absolutely dependent on our connection to him.”

Before the recessional hymn was sung, the Cathedral Junior Choristers performing for the first time, delivered a Safeguarding song, composed and written by husband and wife duo, who are also Safeguarding Officers at the Wanneroo Parish, Phillip and Teresa Stuart-Tuckwell.


Mrs Stuart-Tuckwell proclaims the Prayers of the Faithful during the Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday 29 April, where several Archdiocesan Safeguarding Officers received a special blessing from Archbishop Costelloe. Mrs Stuart-Tuckwell and her husband Phillip composed the Safeguarding song which was performed by the Cathedral Junior Choristers. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.

Mrs Stuart-Tuckwell commended the choir for their performance, saying they were delighted and touched to hear the beautiful voices of the children. She explained the inspiration behind the tune.

“We were approached by Andrea and were asked to write a song about keeping children safe,” Mrs Stuart-Tuckwell explained.

“During a training session, Archbishop Costelloe mentioned these words, ‘children have the right to grow and to love’ and together with much reflection, it inspired us to write these lyrics.”

“The chorus sings “Safe as the way we are born, to live, to love and to be free.

“We want this to be a reminder to all children that they have so much to live for, and they deserve the right to love, to be loved and to be free,” she added.