By Theresia Titus
Positive participation and outstanding support in the Archbishop’s annual LifeLink Day for Catholic Schools Initiative have seen Seton Catholic College (Samson) and St Mary’s School (Merredin) announced as 2017 Spirit Award recipients on 28 May.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB made a special visit to Seton Catholic College (SCC) on 23 November, presenting his 2017 Spirit Award to the secondary school.
The award is not presented on the basis of how much money is raised through fundraising, but for demonstrating support for the LifeLink Initiative, responding to those in need, educating students on their responsibility to care for those less fortunate, and promoting the ethos of compassion and care to students, teachers, parents, and wider community each day.
During the visit, Archbishop Costelloe attended SCC’s assembly and presented the award to Head Boy Dylan D’Amato, Head Girl Ella Waterman, and Ministry Captain for 2019 Janelle Tangarorang.
Addressing the assembly, Archbishop Costelloe focussed his message on the importance of supporting those who are less fortunate by referring to SCC’s motto: “Seek Christ” and challenged the audience to see Christ in every person they meet regardless, of their circumstances.
Acknowledging the College’s effort in fundraising and supporting charities, Archbishop Costelloe thanked the community for showing “Catholic Faith in Action” by embracing LifeLink Day.
SCC Principal Joseph Hoyne said he was delighted to receive the positive recognition of the good work and commitment of his school.
“St Elizabeth Ann Seton, the patron saint of our College, in her ministry saw a need to care for those who were marginalised; the Archbishop’s LifeLink Appeal provides a medium by which students are inspired to follow her example,” Mr Hoyne said.
Mr Hoyne affirmed that SCC has shown its commitment to the Archbishop’s LifeLink Initiative through various activities in which students across all year groups have participated.
“We are very proud of the support they have shown to the Breakfast Club at East Hamilton Hill Primary School and St Vincent de Paul Society Christmas Appeal, as well as their fundraising for Caritas, various House Appeals, and support for the College immersion programme, where students visit and work in a school, run by the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition in Thailand”.
“The College was very privileged to have His Grace visit us; we were gratified to hear his encouragement that what we are trying to achieve as a school, through a practical expression in giving, can support a change in our community,” he added.
Speaking to The eRecord, SCC Community Relations Manager Sarah Robey said it is a great honour and privilege for SCC to receive the 2017 Spirit Award.
Ms Robey emphasised that SCC has committed to a number of initiatives over the years, which have become a tradition at the College as these activities “not only assist the marginalised in society, but also helping others and bringing great joy to the College’s community”.
“Both students and staff at SCC find giving to others without expecting anything in return is very rewarding and that working together towards a common good brings Seton together as a community,” Ms Robey said.
“The LifeLink initiative fits well with Seton’s educational philosophy – we feel it is vital for schools to engage in activities such as LifeLink because programmes such as these generate empathy and promote a positive outlook for our students.”
Ms Robey said SCC is hopeful that its students will grow to be “responsible, generous, empathetic and valuable members of society who are not centred just upon themselves, but realise the importance of making a healthy community”.
“Now more than ever we need compassionate, respectful, collaborative and engaged people in our world and programmes such as LifeLink are a vehicle to develop these skills in our young people,” she concluded.