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Launch of Archdiocesan Sacramental Policy
Sacramental Policy for School-Aged Children launched in Westminster
“Catholicism is a religion of high ideals and of “feet-on-the-ground” practicalities.” began Archbishop Timothy Costelloe as he addressed clergy, school principals, catechists and agency directors at a launch of the Archdiocese of Perth’s new Sacramental Policy in Westminster.
“We hold very high ideals,” the Archbishop said, “and never compromise on them – but we live in the real world and know that more often than not we are a long way from the ideals.”
The Archbishop spoke of how “our belonging to the Church finds its basis in our belonging to a parish community” and that it is “in a local parish community that we were baptised” and “gather with the faith community to celebrate the Eucharist”.
He went on to describe how each parish community is then “in communion with the local bishop” and each diocese “in communion with the Bishop of Rome – thus the Catholic Church”.
Referring to the schools across the Archdiocese, the Archbishop defined them as “one of the most important and extensive dimensions of a parish’s life”, not seeing them side by side but rather a “parish which has a school at its heart as an integral part of its life and mission”.
Archbishop Timothy went on to say that “the parish, under the leadership of its pastor, who is in communion with the local bishop, has a responsibility of preparing for, and admitting candidates to, the Sacraments” stating that this be done “in union with the parents who are the first and primary educators of their children in the faith”.
The Archbishop sees the possible need for further refinement in the Archdiocese’s outlook as together we:
gain a new appreciation of the importance of parish
embrace a willingness and readiness to work with and in the parish for the good of young people
all work cooperatively for the well-being of our children
engage with families in an inviting way, recalling that the Sacraments are not prizes for being good but are free gifts of God’s grace
share resources within a parish setting and also between parishes
look to better form parents, school and parish staff, and also parishioners
Three key areas of the new policy were covered by other speakers. Fr Vincent Glynn and Dr Pina Ford addressed theological principles. Peter Cutrona covered the pastoral principles, and Fr Sean Fernandez and Dr Carmel Suart looked briefly at how to implement the policy.
Should parish or school staff require further copies of the Sacramental Policy booklet, these can be obtained:
- by collection or by mail from the Catholic Education Office WA (50 Ruislip Street, Leederville. 08 6380 5200 or 08 6380 5335) or
- by collection only from the Catholic Church Office (25 Victoria Avenue, Perth. 08 9223 1351).
To Download the Latest Version of the Sacramental Policy: Click Here