Family Celebrations

As we have slowly moved out of a period of isolation, we have welcomed opportunities to gather with family and friends. Recently two events within the Diocese have seen people come together to celebrate during the Easter season.

Daniel Lee Chun Wei is part of the Pastoral Placement Program, a PhD student studying at the University of Newcastle who is also from Malaysia. He approached me at the beginning of year with a vision of bringing people together from different cultural backgrounds to celebrate their diversity.

Daniel approached his parish priest Father Christian Onukwugha to discuss what could be done at a local level. Daniel soon learnt about Galilee Monday which is celebrated in different parts of the world including Africa on Easter Monday.  For many Christians around the world, Easter Monday is the day they go to meet 'Jesus in Galilee'. This celebration has been interpreted from Jesus’ message in the Gospel of Mark and Matthew, where after his resurrection, he told his disciples to go to Galilee where he will meet them.

The parishioners of Wallsend-Shortland gathered on Easter Monday as a community to foster and deepened their relationship and learn about each other’s culture. The day began with mass, followed by cultural performances by the various groups including Indian, Filipino, Samoan, Malaysian and Australian. A potluck lunch that included various dishes from various cultures was served. The day concluded with trivia and a song. It was truly a joyous celebration that the community shared and one they hope to continue in the future.

Another event which saw families come together was the Social Justice Exhibition held on Saturday 14 May at The Veritas Centre, San Clemente Mayfield. This year saw over 100 entries to the prize now its third year. This is the first year the exhibition has been held face to face and we were delighted to see many families come along to view the artwork and listen to Dr Sandie Cornish speak about the 2021-2022 Social Justice Statement- Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor. The artworks were powerful and reflected the variety of issues and concerns raised in the statement. It was fitting that the show date was held very close to Laudato si week and National Families Week.

To view images from both events, please see the event gallery below. 

This year our universal Church is celebrating the World Meeting of Families. The 10th World Meeting of Families (WMOF) is intended to highlight family love as a vocation and as a way of holiness, to understand and share the profound and salvific meaning of family relationships in daily life. This event is organised by Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life along with the Diocese of Rome. After being postponed for a year due to the pandemic, Pope Francis has asked dioceses around the world to make it possible for every family to participate in the WMOF. While Rome will be the main venue for the event on 22–26 June 2022, each diocese around the world will promote local events for its own families and communities based on the theme: “Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness.”

The WMOF is a great opportunity for Catholics on the local level to renew their commitment to family ministry in solidarity with diocesan communities from around the world and the Diocese of Rome. There will be a number of local events, reflections and moments of prayer to coincide with the gathering in Rome. To find out what is happening in our Diocese go to:

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