Catholic Education responds to shock death of Perth priest Fr Joseph Tran

Father Joseph Tran photographed after Mass in 2016. Picture: Twitter
Father Joseph Tran photographed after Mass in 2016. Picture: Twitter

SUPPORT is being put in place in Catholic schools following the suspected suicide death of well-known Perth priest Joseph Tran.

Catholic Education WA executive director Debra Sayce said in a statement released Sunday night Father Tran had ministered to many in Catholic school communities and “the reported circumstances of his death have caused deep distress and concern for many”.

Dr Sayce has written to schools outlining the support and reiterated Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe’s statement that Catholic Education WA had not received any complaints against Fr Tran.

Priest found dead as police started probe into child abuse claim

“The care and wellbeing of students is always the highest priority for Catholic schools,” she said.

Dr Debra Sayce.

“As such, all schools have stringent policies and systems to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students.

“Catholic Education WA has never received any complaints or allegations in relation to Father Tran’s conduct and would always report any such matters to the Western Australian Police and relevant authorities.”

She said when she heard the allegation of child abuse against Fr Tran on Friday her “heart immediately went out to the child, her family and the families of those directly involved”.

Catholic Education WA executive director Debra Sayce’s letter to schools:

To all in our Catholic school communities

I am writing to you in response to the sudden death of Father Joseph Tran, a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Perth who ministered to many in our school communities. I know that the reported circumstances of his death have caused deep distress and concern for many of us.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe released a statement providing further information regarding this (attached).

When I first heard the news about the allegations against Father Tran on Friday 22 March my heart immediately went out to the child, her family and the families of those directly involved. My second thought was for all of you, especially our staff, students and parents who feel a deep connection to Father Tran. Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) is providing pastoral and psychological support to our school communities.

The care and wellbeing of our students is always our highest priority. All schools have stringent policies and systems to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students. For further information please refer to our Child Safe Framework.

CEWA has never received any complaints or allegations in relation to Father Tran’s conduct. I urge any person who has information regarding the safety and wellbeing of our students to contact the CEWA Child Safe Team or the Police directly.

CEWA Child Safe Team: 6380 5134

WA Police: 131 444

For those seeking additional support in relation to these matters I refer you to the following options:

CEWA Psychology Team: 6380 5422

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36