By Natashya Fernandez
In keeping with the strategic plan and putting into practice the true meaning of being disciples of Jesus, the 2017 Parish Secretaries Day Mass reiterated the Archbishop’s message of putting Christ at the heart of everything we say, everything we do and everything we are.
Held on 12 September at the Pro-Cathedral, the Mass was celebrated by Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe SDB and saw staff from across the Archdiocese attend. The Mass was an acknowledgement of roles and jobs, in particular the role of the secretary – a role that directs, guides, welcomes and serves people in the parish.
In his homily the Archbishop spoke about the important role the parish secretary plays in the Church and being a person of welcome but also supporting the Priest and parishioners.
The theme of the day was Our Archdiocese and it was chosen to complement the strategic plan by providing relevant information on the Archdiocese with a focus on social outreach within the Archdiocese and how staff should all play a part in it.
Hosted and introduced by Archbishop Costelloe’s Executive Assistant, Jennifer Lazberger, she said that the day was split into two with presentations and talks taking place in the morning and afternoon with time for lunch and gathering of the secretaries to share ideas and meet each other.
“While the morning sessions focussed on presentations from Mr Odhran O’Brien, Archivist and Director, who spoke about the early establishment of the Church in Perth, Dr Terry Wilson, Vicar for Social Outreach, outlined the various Archdiocesan agencies proving services as well as the social outreach organisations working within the Archdiocese.
“There were also talks from Directors of the Archdiocese’s outreach agencies that included Daydawn Advocacy Centre, IdentityWA and Catholic Outreach. It was followed by a presentation from Media Manager Brett Mendez who discussed the Archbishop’s biggest initiative, Lifelink,” Ms Lazberger said.
While the afternoon session was facilitated by the Very Rev Peter Whitely VG who spoke about his priestly journey, he also introduced three members of the Clergy including Parish Priest Monsignor Timothy Corcoran from Thornlie Parish, Parish Priest Fr Varghese Parackal VC from Maddington Parish and Assistant Priest Fr Rodrigo da Costa Ponte, Cottesloe Parish who shared their very different journeys as priests in presentations, titled My Journey
A tremendous effort that saw all parish secretaries appreciative of the day with a new focus and renewed energy to be more involved and a part of the Archdiocese, Ms Lazberger said.
“The response has been positive by all those who attended,” Ms Lazberger said.