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La Salle College presents Archbishop Costelloe with new crosier


Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB (centre) is presented with his new crosier at the Office of the Archbishop on 5 December by La Salle College Vice Principal Adrian Martino (left), Teacher John Velardo (right), and joined by then-Year 10 pupils Benjamin Sorgiovanni and Brendan Taylor. Photo: Matthew Lau.

By Matthew Lau

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB led more than 5500 flock during the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival Closing Mass at Trinity College on 10 December with a new pastoral staff in hand.

Two La Salle College students created the handcrafted crosier – under the tutelage of Design and Technology Teacher John Velardo – and gifted the hook to His Grace last month within the Office of the Archbishop, Griver House.

Adrian Martino, La Salle College Vice Principal and Christian Ministry, attended the crosier presentation along with Mr Velardo and then-Year 10 pupils Brendan Taylor and Benjamin Sorgiovanni.

The metalwork students were tasked with assembling the shepherd’s crook and the joiners of the Archbishop’s new crosier by using their skills to turn, braze, weld, hot bend and polish the steel components that were then nickel-plated.


Holding his new crosier, the Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe SDB gives the final blessing at the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival Closing Mass on 10 December on the oval grounds of Trinity College. Photo: Iceberg Media.

The crosier is an ecclesiastical ornament conferred on bishops at their consecration and on mitred abbots at their investiture, and is used by these prelates in performing certain solemn functions.

Upon receiving the crosier on 5 December, Archbishop Costelloe expressed his delight in receiving the “one-off” piece.

“It is way beyond what I was expecting,” he said with gratitude.

Whilst presenting the Archbishop of Perth with his personalised crosier, Mr Velardo explained how all processes were executed in-house using the school's facilities and the expertise of the Design and Technology staff to guide the students and the design.

“The timber used for both the crosier and the carry case was milled from a fallen white gum,” he described.

“This white gum fell from a combination of erosion from Blackadder Creek that borders the college grounds and a severe storm a number of years ago and was left to the elements.”

While young for a white gum, he added, the tree would date around the same age as the Middle Swan-based institution.


In keeping with the tradition begun by John Baptist de La Salle, La Salle College is committed to providing a quality education for the whole person within a Catholic community. Photo: Matthew Lau.

“The combination of young timber and exposure to the elements gives the timber it amazing colour and character – the beauty is in its imperfections.

“The crosier was designed around the timber with the aim of creating a continuous grain from top to bottom that would combine the strength of the heart wood yet show the young outer growth as a contrast,” Mr Velardo continued.

“The challenge of making this continuous length break down into a portable and practical crosier was met by two La Salle metalwork students.”

La Salle College is a co-educational secondary Catholic school founded by the De La Salle Brothers in 1954, situated in the Swan Valley region of WA.