Raymond de Souza

We wish to commend Mavis Power (February AD2000) on her excellent initiative to collect testimonies from lay people of all walks of life expressing their concern about young people's widespread loss of faith and drift from the Church.

She has encapsulated in a few words what most Catholic parents who care about their children's salvation believe.

Archbishop Barry Hickey has recently stated that "from a human point of view we have to admit that if we simply continue to do what we are doing we will get the same outcome. The drift away from the Church will continue. We must therefore look closely at what we are doing and see what still needs to be done. New initiatives that we have not even thought of yet, need to come from our common consideration of the problems the Church is facing" (Knightlife, February March 2002).

Mavis Power's initiative fits in very well with Archbishop Hickey's desire to see the laity becoming more and more involved in the apostolate of the Church.

It is encouraging to see Australian Catholics respectfully making use of their sacred rights, enshrined as they are in Canon Law ( 212:3). This states that lay Catholics "have the right, indeed at times the duty ... to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church" and to communicate their views to other people.

In this context, we have agreed to be the co-ordinators for Western Australia in this most timely initiative.

WA Catholic parents, whose children have drifted away from the Church in spite of having frequented Catholic schools, are cordially invited to write down their testimonies (one or two pages) and post to: Raymond and Theresa de Souza, St Gabriel Communications, PO Box 111, Forrestfield, WA 6058, or e-mail to: SaintGabriel@bigpond.com

Perth Catholics can also have their say on this issue in WA's very own Catholic talk-back show, the Layman's Hour (Radio Fremantle, 107.9 FM, every Sunday at 7:30pm) in the segment Vox Populi, Vox Dei, every 4th Sunday of the month.


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