By Theresia Titus
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has last week blessed the new office of Western Australia Catholic Migration and Refugee Office (WACMRO) and Catholic Social Services Western Australia (CSSWA) on 22 November.
More than 30 people attended the blessing including Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton, Vicar for Social Outreach Terry Wilson, and other Archdiocesan agency directors.
The blessing started with an Introductory Rite, which then followed with a reading taken from the letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 4:6-9, which was proclaimed by WACMRO Director Deacon Gregory Lowe at the porch of the building.
Before moving on to the Prayer of the Faithful, Archbishop Costelloe spoke to those in attendance, saying the opening and blessing ceremony of the office of WACMRO and CSSWA “symbolises the compassion of God to the marginalised”.
Archbishop Costelloe also emphasized his brief message by quoting the first letter of St John 4:20, that says: “Anyone who says ‘I love God’ and hates his brother is a liar, since no-one who fails to love the brother whom he can see can love God whom he has not seen”.
The verse, he said, is a reminder that it is important for the Church to practice the faith and make a difference.
Proceeding the Prayer of the Faithful, Archbishop Costelloe sprinkled Holy Water around and inside the building before returning to say the final blessing to those who gathered for the event.
Dcn Lowe said the blessing of the new offices by the Archbishop means “keeping with our Catholic Tradition of turning God in, with and through the many events that happen in our lives and asking God to be with us in, with and through these events”.
“Having the Archbishop conduct the blessing is affirming of WACMRO and CSSWA and fosters our identity as Catholics,” Dcn Lowe said.
With the blessing of the new offices, Dcn Lowe hoped that by having the office of WACMRO and CSSWA near the Cathedral, it can be understood in two meaningful ways: first as an intentional gesture of proximity – and second, availability.
“Having such a location is saying that social outreach is what we do outside of the liturgy,” he said.
“In other words, the Church is here to accompany the person in need.
“Anyone who needs to see us can visit us – they don’t need a car and there is no danger of getting lost because we are right here next to Royal Perth Hospital,” he continued.
Director of CSSWA Steve McDermott also said the blessing affirmed the work of CSSWA and WACMRO they are about to deliver.“The opening of CSSWA marks a new chapter for Catholic Social Welfare delivery as it is not only showcasing the excellent work of Catholic agencies, but also act as a conduit for agencies who want to know how to access the relevant people within the Archdiocese in regards to expanding service provision,” Mr McDermott said
“We are currently working on an ‘active’ website that will highlight events that are taking place within the agencies and to promote issues that are affecting the delivery of services to the general community.”