Bishop Michael Kennedy with Aussie pilgrims during World Youth Day, 2016.
“No family drops down from heaven perfectly formed.” (325) This, I believe, was one of Pope Francis’ key messages in his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love. It’s also one of the reasons the Catholic Bishops of Australia are calling all the faithful to a month of prayer and fasting for marriage and families during the month of October, and why many other Christians are joining in this effort too. Happy families require effort; happy families need prayer.
You see the Pope and the whole Church continue to present the beauty and perfection of God’s plan for marriage and family as a community of life and love that reflects the very life and love of God himself in the Blessed Trinity. But we also know that the everyday lives of families can be rather messy affairs. You don’t need me, or anybody for that matter, to name all the things that can make our family life bumpy and difficult. Each of us just has to think of our own family situation! Continue reading
A national month of prayer and fasting for marriage and families will be initiated in October 2016 by the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council.
‘The month of prayer and fasting is intended to be held in parishes across Australia during October 2016 as the nation prepares for a conversation on marriage,’ Bishop Michael Kennedy, the Bishops Delegate for Marriage and Family, said.
‘I encourage you to support your parish community to celebrate Mass, pray the Rosary and undertake Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during this time with the special intention of marriages and families in mind.’
The Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council have created a prayer resource to assist parishes during the month of prayer and fasting.
‘The resource includes prayers for people who are same-sex attracted or gender questioning and their families,’ Bishop Kennedy said. Continue reading
Bruce and Paulene Creenaune. Photography by: Daniel Hopper
What’s the secret to a happy and lasting marriage? Why not ask Bruce and Paulene Creenaune who are celebrating 65 years of marriage and will be honoured along with 71 other couples at the Diocese of Wollongong’s annual Marriage Anniversaries Mass this weekend at St John Vianney’s Catholic Church, Fairy Meadow.
When asked this question, Bruce and Paulene said, “Generally we’re not ones for giving advice out to others. Although the times have changed, the fundamentals are the same – marriage is about give and take, it’s about communicating with each other, respecting each other’s points of view and about being there for the other person.
“We both see ourselves very much within the context of our broader family and agree that it’s the bonds of the family we have that has kept us together. When times are tough or when big decisions need to be made, we always do it together and with our family’s love and support. Our faith has also been a big part of our lives. We grew up in the faith and continued to carry it into our marriage. Prayer in particular has been a great source of comfort in difficult times.” Continue reading