Hundreds of families across the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle came together last month in celebration of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF).
Rather than host one Diocesan-centric event, several WMOF activities were held across the Hunter-Manning regions, with parish communities encouraged to hold their own events to support people to come together and reconnect to family ministry.
One highlight of the week was a Community Market Day at Our Lady of Victories Primary School, Shortland.
After hearing Pope Francis’ invitation to celebrate, the Wallsend-Shortland Young Adult group made a plan.
They set up the school to host the market and created a prayer space for Peace at Our Lady of Victories Church.
Teacher and mother, Tina Tohi shared an inspiring talk about keeping the faith through difficult times when her healthy 15-year-old son was diagnosed with an incurable brain disease.
The event also gave the group an opportunity to raise funds for local charities and a Parish Youth hub.
Another event at St Joseph’s Merewether provided a welcome surprise – after three years away, a set of grandparents from Katoomba were able to visit their family and meet their three-month old grandchild for the first time.
Across the Diocese, a highlight for many parishioners was seeing the church full of families and children.
After two difficult years full of COVID lockdowns and restrictions, last month’s events are a great sign that people are ready to connect with others and return to Diocesan and community events.