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Advocates for life, marriage and family – New Archdiocesan agency officially launched


Auxiliary Bishop of Perth, Don Sproxton officiated the Agency Launch at the Newman Siena Centre and blessed the office spaces on 31 July. Photo: Feby Plando.

By Josh Low

Encountering and walking with people along their journey of life and providing valuable formation as advocates for life is the mission of the newly launched Centre for Life, Marriage and Family.

Having grown out of the work of the Catholic Marriage and Fertility Service and Respect Life Office in the Archdiocese, the amalgamation of the two agencies will see the unified agency work to promote a culture of life.

Auxiliary Bishop of Perth, Don Sproxton officiated the Agency Launch at the Newman Siena Centre in Doubleview on Wednesday 31 July 2019.


Bishop Sproxton provided a reflection on passages of Scripture from St Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and Ephesians. Photo: Feby Plando.

In his reflection before proceeding to bless the new office spaces, Bishop Sproxton referred to the passages of Scripture (Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and Ephesians) which had previously been read to all present.

Speaking first about the reading of St Paul to the Corinthians, he explained that the words used in the text are all doing words, because love is an action

“I think these are important things to remember, because if you want to know what love is, you see an action, experience an action; that is, the action of love.

“That was the point that St Paul was trying to make in this reading, that love is something that is acted, defined by action and not by some sort of philosophical definition,” he said.

“So it is in that spirit that we gather, in the same way as St Paul to the Ephesians, kneeling before the Father in thanksgiving, asking that the many blessings He has given to us already, He will continue to bestow upon us and particularly in this agency that will continue to be a very important part of the life of the Archdiocese.

“This agency is one that will help in our journey right through life and it’s very important for us to have such a place that can assist people with their questions about how to live their lives with faith, and how to respond to the various stages of their lives in a faithful way,” Bishop Sproxton said.

“We’re very grateful for the work that’s been done to bring these two agencies together.”


Director for the Centre for Life, Marriage and Family, Derek Boylen said that walking with people on their journeys of life is a privilege. Photo: Feby Plando.

Director for the Centre for Life, Marriage and Family, Derek Boylen, said the amalgamation of the two agencies “reflects the full spectrum from conception to natural death and gives support to a Catholic voice in our local community and culture that is much needed”.

He explained that the centre will provide many services which include pre-marriage education, counselling, marriage enrichment or natural family planning services, as well as a lot of work trying to build a sense of an understanding and appreciation of the culture of life.

“Our goal is to build the culture of life that St John Paul II envisaged, and to do that as collaboratively as possible with a whole range of agencies and organisations,” he said.


He added that even though it’s tempting to think of projects and programs, meeting people and walking with them is at the core of it all.

“We can often think about our agency and the work that we do in the sense of programs, initiatives and projects and all those sorts of things, but it’s really about encountering people,” Mr Boylen said.

“It’s about meeting people in their journey of life, wherever that is, and helping them to form their understanding, developing their skills and knowledge and discovering in themselves and in their relationships, the dignity that was in them from the moment of their conception, and that can’t be diminished in any way until the end of their life.

“For us to be able to do that with people is such a privilege.

“It is a challenging time for the Catholic Church but there is so much for us to be proud of; we are the advocates for life, for God’s plan for every human person and I think that’s really exciting,” he concluded.