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18 December 2014
Your news from across the Archdiocese of Perth
Edition #12
Archbishop’s message of peace for Christmas
By Archbishop Costelloe
the one hundredth anniversary of a remarkable
event at the start of the First
World War. It is reported
that German, British and
French troops laid down
their weapons and began to
exchange seasonal greetings
and songs with the diggers
in the opposing trenches.
These soldiers walked across
to their opposite numbers
bearing gifts, exchanging
food and souvenirs, playing
soccer games together, joining in carol singing and even
having joint burial services.
This very moving account
points to the extraordinary
power of the Christmas story
to touch the human heart at
the deepest level, even in
the midst of great suffering,
brutality, and when in direct
opposition to one another.
Christmas seems to draw
out of us our real humanity.
It invites us again to be our
best selves. If it was so one
hundred years ago on the
battlefields of Europe, it can
still concretely happen for us
today here in our own beautiful corner of the world and in
every part of the globe.
We are told that the
Christmas carol Silent Night
or Stille Nacht was sung that
Christmas night between
the troops. The miracle of
this event was precisely that
the guns fell silent and it was
indeed a silent and peaceful
night, punctuated only by
religious songs and the cries
of “Happy Christmas”.
EDITION #12 | 18 DECEMBER 2014
Archbshop Timothy Costelloe SDB filmed his Christmas message at St Mary’s Cathedral and is
accessable online through Vimeo or the Archdiocesan Facebook page. PHOTO: MILLER LOKANATA
One common greeting
would have been “Peace
on earth, goodwill towards
men”, which seems to capture
the hope of Christmas very
well. It is worth remembering, though, that the angels
are reported to have said
to be bringers of peace and
goodwill to others.
If we want our lives and
our world to be marked by
peace and goodwill, then it
is up to us to do something
practical about it. Although
an everyday task, Christmas
If we want our world to be marked by
peace and goodwill, then it is up to us
to do something practical about it.
“Peace on earth to people
with whom God is pleased”.
The first greeting – “goodwill towards men” – reminds
us that, through Jesus taking on flesh among us, God
offers us his gift of peace
through a person and in this
way extends his goodwill and
loving kindness to us. It also
hints that we, in our turn, are
called to imitate Jesus and
offers us a special opportunity to recommit ourselves to
being people of peace. And
after all, who really wants to
be a bringer of discord and
I see this practical peacebuilding being lived out
in our midst following the
recent siege that transpired
in Sydney’s Martin Place.
The hashtag, #illridewithyou,
born out of one Australian’s
commitment to another
to move beyond division,
judgement and intolerance,
speaks of a deliberate decision by one person to reach
out beyond fear and opposition and to build confidence
and unity with a neighbour.
The second translation –
“peace on earth to people
with whom God is pleased”
– reminds us that the great
blessing of peace is the fruit
of a life lived in openness,
and with gratitude, to God
for His goodness to us. St
Augustine once reminded
us that our hearts are always
restless until we find our rest
in God. Living our lives in
fidelity to God is the way to
this peace which only He can
Full Text available at
Heart and Mind, the joy of Christmas 2014
By Bishop Bianchini
THE GOSPEL is the Good
News of Jesus Christ. In
fact, I have heard it put
more beautifully and powerfully as the Good News
which is Jesus Christ.
Now Pope Francis has
highlighted through his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (and even
more by his life), that there
is joy in the Gospel - and
that the Gospel brings joy.
This joy began with
Christmas. It was there
right at the beginning of the
Incarnation of the Son of
God as Jesus Christ.
The Annunciation, the
communication of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, was indeed a joyful message. “Rejoice so highly favoured”
(Lk 1:28) was the beginning
Bishop Justin Bianchini, pictured in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral,
speaks on joy in his Christmas message. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
of this world-changing message and event.
The visit of Mary to her
cousin Elizabeth was the
occasion of immense joy.
It brought joy to John the
Baptist, “For the moment
your greeting reached my
ears, the child in my womb
leapt for joy” (Lk 1:44).
This describes simply yet
dramatically the joy and
when someone truly encounters Jesus. No doubt
this was true for Elizabeth
as it was for John the Baptist. Mary then bursts into
a joyful prayer and praise
of God which begins with,
“My soul proclaims to the
greatness of the Lord and
my Spirit exults in God my
Saviour…” (Lk 1:47).
The Son of God brought
indescribable joy to her
as she welcomed the great
privilege of becoming His
At Jesus’ Bethlehem
birth, the angels joyfully
sang, “Glory to God in the
highest and peace to people
who enjoy his favour” (Lk
2:14). Why? It was because
one of the angels had just
announced, “...I bring you
news of great joy, a joy to be
shared by the whole people.
Full Text available at
We must share the Christmas peace we enjoy with the world
By Bishop Holohan
RECENTLY, I joined a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
My purpose was to further
deepen my personal relationship with Jesus. I sought
to reflect on all the ways He
revealed the depths of this
love for me - and for you –
and in those places where
he revealed this love.
Each of the holy sites
where Jesus was conceived,
born, lived, died and rose
again gave either new insights or deepened insights
I had already received. One
was the ‘Field of the Shepherds’ where they heard the
angels proclaim [Luke 2:14]:
Glory to God in the
highest heaven, and on
earth, peace for those God
favours. ‘Who are those
whom God favours, and so
EDITION #12 | 18 DECEMBER 2014
gives peace?’ Those who accept the personal relationship God offers all through
Jesus Christ! These are Jesus’ disciples today.
Do I enjoy God’s favour?
The more we learn from
media about our world to-
people’ start ‘inside your
own selves’ [James 4:1-2].
Many today seek respite
from inner stresses and
conflicts through drugs and
other addictions. Others
are so busy that they may
or may not feel the physical
stresses caused by deeper
The New Testament Letter of James reminds
us that ‘wars and battles between people
start inside our own selves’ [James 4:1-2]
day, the more we may well
wonder: ‘has there ever
been a greater need for
peace?’ There is turmoil
between nations; within societies; between people and
within families.
The New Testament Letter of James reminds us that
‘wars and battles between
Jesus came to offer His
own peace to everyone
who hears His Gospel (or
‘good news’). As He said:
‘My own peace I give you,
a peace which the world
cannot give’ [John 14:27].
This peace is always a byproduct of accepting Jesus’
power in our lives.
Christmas is a time to
ask ourselves questions like:
‘to what extent does inner
peace and freedom from
inner stresses and conflicts
reveal that I enjoy God’s favour?’ We need to be honest
with ourselves for none of
us has exhausted his or her
personal relationship with
The Christian mission of
As Christians, we cannot
simply be concerned about
our own peace. Jesus’ final
command was to ‘proclaim
the Gospel’ to all [Mark
16:15]. Christmas peace
is an essential part of this
Full Text available at
This day a light will shine on us
By Bishop Saunders
THEY SAY you shouldn’t
eavesdrop on other peoples’
conversations in case you
don’t like what you hear!
Recently, I was in an airport
lounge and couldn’t help
but hear a business executive talking on her mobile,
an experience everyone else
in the vicinity seemed to
She was complaining to a
willing listener at the other
end of the phone about her
busy life and how stressed
she was. And she added, just
to make the point: “… and
now to top it off, it won’t be
long before Christmas will
be rearing its ugly head”.
I was astounded, shocked,
in fact. I had never heard
the sacred event of Christ-
thought, all of a sudden it
was driven home to me just
how strong secular views
have become in our society.
I wondered too about that
person and what misery
We owe it to ourselves to see beyond
the efforts of the commercial world
that seeks to secularise Christmas.
mas referred to in such a
manner and I moved to
another part of the lounge,
saddened by the bitterness
of the words.
As I sat down, deep in
has possessed her life to the
point where the drudgery
of work had taken over and
had become an end in itself. Finally, resentment was
now very much entrenched
in a mantle of sadness. Surely God never intended us to
live like that! Perhaps part
of the marvel of Christmas
is that it is a counter-sign
to a culture like ours that is
in serious transition, in turmoil, in fact.
In the wonderful story of
Christmas, as told in Scripture, there is so much for us
to take on board. Christmas
pageants capture some of
the drama and the charm
of this blessed season of joy
and hope.
Full Text available at
The Shopfront holds joyful Christmas party
By Marco Ceccarelli
A CROWD of more than
400 hundred visitors filled
The Rise recreation centre
in Maylands on Saturday
13 December for the 2014
Shopfront Christmas party.
Guests were invited to
share an appetizing meal
together, served by the numerous friendly Shopfront
volunteers, to the tune
of live Christmas Carols
played by a remarkably talented band.
One of the guests, named
Brian Gooley, was particularly grateful for the work
that The Shopfront does,
stating that “it is amazing to
be part of all this.
“I am immensely enjoying the event and, to be
honest, it feels like family,”
Mr Gooley said. “This is a
terrific resource which has
offered me support when
I had difficulties with my
After lunch the arrival
of Santa Clause was an-
Hundreds of people who attended the Shopfront Christmas party was greeted by Shopfront
volunteers who served them their shared meal. PHOTO: MARCO CECCARELLI
nounced to the delight of
expectant guest, particularly the children.
Santa Clause arrived and
handed out various bags
of gifts to all those present,
giving guests the opportunity to sit on his lap, take
photos and for those who
wished to do so, exchange
a few words. Individuals
from the local community,
businesses and schools donate gifts and food, as well
as their time, to help on this
The role and function of
Shopfront WA, an agency of
the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth, Western
Australia, is to relieve poverty and suffering in an environment that offers practical assistance.
Full Text available at
EDITION #12 | 18 DECEMBER 2014
Mayford says goodbye after milestone career
By Jamie O’Brien
NOT MANY teachers can
say they have taught at one
school for more than 30
years. Mercy College teacher Mayford Godfrey is one
of those rare persons.
The 68-year-old father of
seven children and grandfather of nine has this
week retired from full-time
teaching, saying he became
a teacher because he wanted
to join a profession that was
well regarded.
Originally from Bangalore, India, “Mr Godfrey”, as
he was commonly known,
taught in the area of science, biology and chemistry
– but says he has also taught
maths, English, social studies, health and the occasional relief Religious Education
He started teaching in
1975 at the age of 29, following his completion of a
Bachelor of Science from
Madras University.
Following his migration
to Australia, Mr Godfrey
undertook further studies
including a post-graduate
Diploma of Science and a
Master’s Degree in Education from the University of
Western Australia.
For Mr Godfrey, being involved in the development
of young minds and inspiring them to achieve their
dreams and goals has been a
highlight of his career.
“I’ll definitely miss the
enthusiastic students who
all talk at once, their cheerful faces, harmless mischief,
hilarious answers and eagerness to do everything
else but school work,” Mr
Godfrey said.
Mercy College teacher Mayford Godfrey this week retired after
more than 30 years of service. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
“I’ll also miss my excellent, dedicated colleagues
on teaching staff and their
comradeship, as well as the
spirit of Mercy College which is second to none.”
Mr Godfrey was also
well known for his involvement in various other tasks
around Mercy College,
which included chairing
several committees, serving
as Year Head amd Department Head.
Mr Godfrey plans to savour his retirement before
contemplating his next
Below, fellow colleague
Rick High shared his
thoughts on working with
Mr Godfrey during the
teacher assembly held to
honour Mr Godfrey.
“The measure of any
teacher’s contribution to a
school is the legacy he or she
has left behind.
I could share many anecdotes with you as Mayford
has been at Mercy for over
30 years. I have too many
senior moments now and my
long-term memory is shot to
ribbons – so no anecdotes.
Mayford came to us from
St Joseph’s in Northam.
At Mercy, Mayford established an Air Training Corps
Cadet Unit which subsequently morphed into the
In the early years, we had
graduation ceremonies for
Year 12 which began with
an evening Mass followed by
a graduation dinner. When
Mayford was Year 12 Head
of Year, he split those two
elements because more em-
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phasis was being placed on
the dinner.
To dignify the graduation
ceremony, Mayford introduced gowns and sashes for
the graduates.
He even forced staff to
wear academic gowns,
but thank God not mortar
boards. Sadly, some of that
gloss has now gone, but don’t
our graduates look resplendent as they excitedly and
proudly wear their gowns at
Under former Principal
Barry Harvey, Mayford
sought and was given the
role of Public Relations on
top of his other duties.
It was Mayford who introduced student scholarships
and chaired the selection
committee for many years.
Mayford initiated the
formation of an ex-student
Alumni Association and
tried to attend as many reunions as he could. I am always impressed with the way
he is so warmly greeted by
his past students.
Finally, in the last two
years of service at Mercy,
Mayford initiated an ExStaff Association that was
agreed to by Tony Curry and
had its first meeting earlier
this year. Len Barrett is the
first convenor.
On behalf of Mercy College, thank you for all your
dedication and enormous
contribution over the years.
Editor’s Note - From
a former student, Thank
You, Mr Godfrey, for all
your hard work, tireless efforts and positive spirit.
Full Text available at