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Christmas 2019: Perth Catholics live out the Gospel message


Perth Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton interacting with attendees after celebrating the year-end Mass for the Centre for Faith Enrichment that took place on 15 November. Photo: Supplied.

By Amanda Murthy

Christmas 2019 was a time of reflection, a time of sharing, and a time to live out the message of Christ to the wider Perth community.

Perth Archdiocesan agency Centre for Faith Enrichment (CFE) ended its year on a high with a year-end Mass dedicated to staff, in the lead up to Christmas.

The Mass took place at St Catherine’s Dominican Convent Chapel on Friday 15 November with Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton as the main celebrant.

The group took the time to acknowledge German Dominican Bishop, theologian and philosopher, Saint Albert the Great, as the Mass coincided with his feast day.

CFE Director Dr Marco Ceccarelli shared some insight on the life of St Albert the great in his address delivered at the start of the Mass.

“Today we remember St Albert and thank him for having infused the Christian tradition with a love of both faith and knowledge, two elements that have accompanied us in this year of learning, understanding, and growth,” Dr Ceccarelli concluded his address.

The Catholic Mission annual Christmas Reflection in Word and Music event, this year themed “A Voice for Her”, was the perfect opportunity for the 250 attendees to reflect on the vital role that Joseph played in defending the dignity of Mary in the Christmas narrative.

Held on Thursday 12 December at St Patrick’s Basilica in Fremantle, the one-and-a-half hour Christmas musical narrative in word and music spectacle included the likes of Jennifer Barrington (soprano), Paul O’Neill (tenor), Adrian Biemmi (violin), Hugh Lyndon (conductor), Dominic Perissinotto (pipe organ), The Giovanni Consort, and performing for the first time, were the Aquinas College Schola Choir.

Catholic Mission Diocesan Director Francis Leong said being able to reflect on the meaning of Christmas in a deeper way was a privilege that guests appreciated greatly.

“The attendees left feeling uplifted, and we were able to reflect on St Joseph’s role in being a voice and pillar of strength for Mother Mary during the birth of Christ,” Mr Leong expressed.

“All proceeds raised went to support the amazing work of the Catholic Missionary Sisters, who do so much in the area of promoting education, refuge and rescue young people who fall victim to acts of human trafficking – We are grateful for their work, and also grateful to see many of the Sisters were also in attendance to support our event.”


John Paul College students participated in the 2019 Topdrill St Barbara’s Parade last Christmas. Photo: Supplied.

Over in Kalgoorlie, the students of John Paul College (JPC) participated in several events leading up to Christmas, including their generous contribution to the St Vincent De Paul Society’s annual Christmas appeal.

JPC Liturgy and Faith Formation Coordinator Adriene Markham said that service to others was a huge part of living out the college’s motto “justice, peace, charity”.


John Paul College students out together around 100 hampers for the annual St Vincent De Paul Society’s Christmas appeal. Photo: Supplied.

The food and drink items, which students made into hampers, received support by the surrounding community members of the college, including donations from St Joseph and St Mary’s primary schools, as well as the contribution from St Mary’s Catholic Church.

The college also added to the Christmas cheer when JPC students and staff took the time to adorn their Christmas float with elf themed decorations, as they walked the 2019 Topdrill St Barbara’s Parade.


The creation of the manger and nativity scene by father-daughter duo Stephen and Clara Choi was displayed throughout the Christmas period at St Peter of Apostle Catholic Church, Bedford Parish. Photo: Supplied.

Father-daughter duo Stephen and Clara Choi of Bedford Parish put their artistic skills to good use by creating a nativity scene on the third week of advent. This special piece of work was displayed at all Christmas Masses including the outdoor Children’s Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas day Masses.