By Amanda Murthy
“The different Church agencies of the Archdiocese, play the important role as the hands and feet of the Archbishop.
“You work in his name, and you work in places Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB cannot be physically – contributing your skills and talents to assist in his mission for the Church.”
This was the message delivered by Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton who addressed some 30 Church agency staff representatives, during the Perth Catholic Interagency Mission Network Mass on Wednesday 12 September.
The purpose of the celebration was to recognise the various roles under the Archdiocese, and to strengthen the relationship between the agencies.
The Mass commenced with the entrance hymn, All the Earth Proclaim the Lord, led by Cathedral Director of Music Jacinta Jakovcevic and chorister Emma Oorschot.
Bishop Sproxton began his homily by thanking those present for contributing their time, skills and talents, in working together to build the body of Christ.
“We’ve come a long way, it is very important for us as we celebrate this Mass to realise that we are all parts of the body of Christ, we make up the Church together – Recognising that, each of us has a different role to perform.
“Because Christ is the source and the centre of everything that we do and all that we have, we need to remember that it is through the relationship each of us has with Christ personally, that reflects on the relationship we have with one another.”
This, Bishop Sproxton explained, is the great vision of the Second Vatican Council in helping the Church to understand that we are the body of Christ, and together, we are the Church.
“Those who are involved in the strategic planning of the Perth Archdiocese have been working towards building up networks so that we recognise all the work that all our brothers and sisters do in all the agencies,” Bishop Sproxton continued.
“By recognising, understanding and finding ways to work as one, this will ensure that our work together can be more and more effective for the life of the entire diocese.”
Bishop Sproxton quoted St Paul who often in his ministry, was seen urging the early Church to realise that by having Christ present in their lives, they would be able to be effective in the mission that had been given to them.
The mission that St Paul was referring to, Bishop Sproxton cited, was to encourage one another, build each other up for when they were reaching out to the others throughout the world.
Echoing the message gained from the meeting of Bishops in the early 1960s, “the Church will be affected when everyone in the Church recognises the special gifts, talents, how we build each other up because of our ministries, and we are able to give to the wider community, a real vision of what the Christian Church’s ministry is all about,” Bishop Sproxton reiterated, adding that all agencies are an extension of the ministry of the Archbishop in all the places that they are able to reach out and touch.
Bishop Sproxton ended his homily with a saying by St Teresa of Ávila.
“Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours,” adding that this, can be a guiding principal in the important role played by the agencies present.
The Mass was followed by a light dinner at the Parish centre.