Perth student’s hearts come alive for those in need
By Staff Writers
Some 70 young men and women last weekend volunteered their time to create a powerful visual demonstration now on display at St Mary’s Cathedral in a follow-on event of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe’s LifeLink Day initiative.
In a tremendous show of support and enthusiasm for those in need, Catholic secondary students from across the Archdiocese and staff from Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) have last weekend volunteered their time to spread some 40,000 paper hearts around the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral.
The students were joined by Archbishop Costelloe SDB, who said the hearts provide a powerful visual demonstration of what can be achieved when we join together.
“To make a real difference in the lives of those who reach out to us for help,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“I invite and encourage everyone to visit the Cathedral and take time to stroll through the hearts and read the beautiful, touching and inspirational messages the young people have written.
“I’m sure they will find it to be a joyful experience,” he said.
The Hearts were provided by primary students from the 90 Catholic Schools across Perth, with each heart containing a personal message or a drawing written by the young people to someone in need within the community.
The event on Saturday 17 June followed the Archbishop’s LifeLink Day Initiative, which involved the 41,000 young students from Kindergarten to Year Six making a gold coin donation to receive a ‘paper heart’ on which they were encouraged to draw a picture or write a message of support to someone in need.
Archbishop Costelloe went on to say the message of the hearts is for the entire community.
“Regardless of faith, creed, colour or circumstance,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“It is fundamentally important that we embrace a collective spirit of generosity, or be ‘large-hearted’ as I like to say, in responding to people in need within the community.
“In doing so; in making the choice to reach out and help someone in need, we truly walk in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd,” he said.
Director of Ministry at Servite College, Ryan Wiles, said the event was a beautiful example of the solidarity of catholic schools in the fight against poverty.
“It was heart-warming to see the sheer number of hearts, personally decorated by our primary school students and the thought felt prayers written in support of the poor and marginalised in our society.
“The LifeLink hearts event was an opportunity for our students to learn about, reflect upon and engage with real life issues and be people of service who will have an impact on society.
“As people walk past the cathedral this week, they will see the thousands of prayers for those marginalised in our community and our students can know they had a small part to play in supporting those individual people,” Mr Wiles said.
Servite student Anika Desai said the event helped her to deepen her understanding of LifeLink’s purpose and the work they conduct for the less fortunate.
“This event was a beautiful demonstration of faith in action. As a student, I was able to recognise how much time and effort was put in from all the primary school students that were involved in making the hearts.
“It was definitely heart-warming to read all the prayers that were written in them.
“I think it is extremely important to help people in need because it is not only good for them and a good thing to do, but it also makes us feel more fulfilled as young people, knowing we can contribute to such important issues and that we can make a difference,” she said.
The hearts will remain on display at St Mary’s Cathedral until tomorrow, Friday 23 June, the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
Each year, more than 34,000 Western Australian families and individuals are helped by a Catholic Church welfare agency in WA, which is delivered through LifeLink. LifeLink is the Archdiocese of Perth’s umbrella organisation which supports the Church’s many social service agencies.
LifeLink agencies deliver professional programs and practical assistance throughout the State. LifeLink supported agencies reach out to care for people battling homelessness, people with disability, the deaf and hard of hearing, women and children escaping domestic violence or abuse, the long-term unemployed or disadvantaged, people with mental health issues, the lonely and the isolated.