Secondary school students from Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) schools across the Archdiocese of Perth gathered at Aranmore Catholic College in Leederville this week to participate in the LifeLink Forum for Secondary Schools.
The Forum served as a launch for this year’s LifeLink campaign, with Archbishop Timothy Costelloe and Bishop Don Sproxton speaking about LifeLink and the Catholic social agencies it supports.
Archbishop Costelloe and Bishop Sproxton, along with CEWA Executive Director Dr Tim McDonald, highlighted the role of Catholic schools in raising funds and awareness for the campaign, and the Archbishop stressed the importance of Catholic schools being large-hearted communities of faith in the Year of Mercy.
Following morning tea, the floor was opened to a Q and A session, with students flagging down two roving microphones to direct their questions directly to Archbishop Costelloe and Bishop Sproxton.
Topics covered ranged from practical ways in which schools could creatively support the LifeLink campaign, services provided by LifeLink agencies to address specific needs of marginalised or disadvantaged members of Australian society, to questions about the ‘average day’ and highlights of life as a Bishop, and even what it would take to see Pope Francis visit Perth.
Archbishop Costelloe and Bishop Sproxton engaged fully with each question, and through their answers stressed the need for the Church and Catholic Education community to remain devoted to the ideal example provided by Jesus in order to help meet the needs of those facing tough situations in their lives.
According to Bishop Sproxton, CEWA schools had raised about 1.5 million dollars for LifeLink agencies since the LifeLink schools initiative began in 1999.
Bishop Sproxton challenged the students and staff at the Forum to equal or exceed last year’s record of $130,000 through their fundraising efforts this year.
Each year the Archbishop’s Spirit Award is given to a school that enthusiastically embraces the spirit of the LifeLink campaign and LifeLink Day, and Archbishop Costelloe announced Infant Jesus School in Morley (Primary) and John Paul College in Kalgoorlie (Secondary) as the joint winners for 2015.
Seton Catholic College in Samson, Francis Jordan Catholic School in Currambine, St Jerome’s Catholic Primary School in Munster and Prendiville Catholic College in Ocean Reef were also given special mention for their efforts.
For more information on LifeLink agencies, the 2016 LifeLink campaign, or to donate, visit LifeLink.