Celebration calls faithful to pray for families

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Celebration calls faithful to pray for families

Drawing a small crowd of the faithful ranging from newborn babies to the elderly, the Celebration of Families held at the St Mary’s Cathedral parish centre recently was an opportunity to connect with Ireland’s World Meeting of Families (WMOF), view Tasmania’s WMOF icon, and pray for family life.

Speaking at the event, Ben Smith, Director of the Office of Life, Marriage and Family for the Archdiocese of Hobart, said that the recent addresses of Pope Francis have recalled the central importance of family life and has called for a ‘revolution of love’ and a ‘revolution of tenderness’ in families.

“He’s really calling families to step up to the plate and for family homes to become a place where faith is lived, is an active thing, is something that inspires the family, that radiates the love of God in our community and really draws people into a relationship with God.”

After joining in singing the official WMOF hymn, Archbishop Julian spoke to the gathering about the founder of WMOF St John Paul II’s vision of family and marriage.

“At the heart of marriage, of family, is love,” His Grace said.

“These meetings of families are essentially celebrations of the beauty of God’s plan for marriage and family.”

Archbishop Julian blessed the icon, which features images of the archangels Michael and Gabriel, as well as the Holy Family seated at a table, the wedding feast at Cana and Jesus’ raising of Jairus’ daughter, before the group prayed a ‘family rosary’ based on the images on the icon.

Archbishop Julian said he hoped the icon – which is a copy of the official WMOF icon – will be an encouragement and an inspiration for families as it tours communities around Tasmania.

“May those who pray before this icon find the comfort of your grace and your help in their every need,” he prayed during the blessing.

16 year old Josie from Rosny attended with her parents and younger siblings. She said her favourite part of the day had been praying the family rosary before the icon.

“Seeing all the families there and all the kids praying in front of the icon and just praying together as a family, and all in unity because we’re all there for the same reason,” she said.

Charles Watts, 83, from Mt Stuart attended because he wanted to pray for families.

“Although my wife has died, I still have my children, so I do still have a family, although it’s not complete at the moment. But I thought, well, there are younger families and I thought, I want to contribute towards it and pray for families,” he said.