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2021 Agencies Mass: Agency workers fulfil the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ in the Archdiocese, says Bishop Don

Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton spoke about the need to always put Christ first, at the annual Agencies Mass held on Thursday, 15 July at Saint Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Max Hoh.

By Amanda Murthy

The work of an agency is a call to partnership and an intimate relationship with Christ, said Mass celebrant Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton to Archdiocesan agency workers, at the recent annual Archdiocese of Perth Agencies Mass, held at Saint Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday, 15 July.

The Mass was a great opportunity for representatives from the Archdiocese’s 26 agencies, to reflect on their roles in the community and pray for God’s continuous guidance in the important work they do.

Concelebrating the 9:30am Mass was Archdiocese of Perth Vicar for Clergy Father Brian McKenna, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Chaplain Fr Sebastian Fernando, Monsignor Michael Keating. WA Catholic Migrants Office Director Deacon Greg Lowe assisted with the celebration.

Archdiocesan agency workers attended the annual Agencies Mass held on 15 July at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Max Hoh.

A reduced number of staff from the agencies and organisations were able to attend the Mass due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Bishop Don began by honouring great philosopher and theologian Saint Bishop Bonaventure on his heavenly birthday – for always looking to Christ as his Master and Teacher.

“Bonaventure, like others in his time, wanted to integrate faith and reason with the aid of the recently recovered sources of philosophy. He constantly taught that Christ “offers humans knowledge that begins in faith, which is developed through rational understanding, and is perfected by mystical union with God.”

Bishop Don then focussed on what it means to ‘evangelise’ as a Catholic, citing that the process of evangelisation is the “human heart hears of the love and mercy of God in the life and teachings of Christ, and this announcement of the Good News is fanned into a maturing faith through catechesis, with the aim that we would develop a close, loving union with God fed by our reflection and discernment of the presence of God in the events of each day.”

“We know that the works and service to our society by the agencies are ways in which we are drawn into the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ in the Archdiocese,” Bishop Don said.

“When we join in the work of an agency, it is possible to sense the call to partnership and an intimate relationship with Christ.

“This call is nurtured by our continual reflection on the events and interactions we have with the people and situations Christ leads us to serve,” he added.

Bishop Don speaks with Archdiocesan Agency representatives on 15 July at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Max Hoh.

Expressing the value that each Archdiocesan agency brings to the communities they serve, Bishop Don reflected on his personal experience, serving as former chaplain at Royal Perth Hospital, adding that it is through prayerful reflection and discernment that priests and lay faithful discover more about themselves and grow in being able to be there with those facing pain, suffering or death.

“Putting ourselves into situations that are uncomfortable or, better, allowing ourselves to be led into these encounters by Christ is how the partnership is formed,” Bishop Don explained.

“Then we can become sacraments of care and accompaniment, and bringers of Christ to those in need.


The Archdiocese of Perth’s annual Agencies Mass was celebrated on the heavenly birthday of great philosopher and theologian Saint Bishop Bonaventure. Bishop Don reflected on the life of Saint Bonaventure at the Mass, held on 15 July at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Max Hoh.

“There is a mystical dimension to our ministry in our agencies. We go with God into the lives of the people,” Bishop Don added.

“Sometimes we go in trepidation and uncertainty, but like the psalmist, we come back rejoicing in amazement at the harvest, what God achieved through our service. And we are amazed at the closeness and the love of God. We gain “the strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is, beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God”. (Ephesians3:19)