Danny and Leila Abdallah prepare to address the Church in Rome
June 24, 2022
Jude Hennessy, Family and life
Report by Jude Hennessy
The story of Danny and Leila Abdallah and their profound embracing of mercy and forgiveness after three of their children were tragically killed by a reckless driver is a highly anticipated talk at the World Meeting of Families 2022 (WMOF).
Danny and Leila’s story has captured the heart of our entire nation of Australia and has been a source of great interest with the secular media and society more broadly. Most have been left completely astounded by their willingness and ability to immediately forgive the driver who killed their children while speeding and under the influence of drugs in their neighbourhood.
The whole family have been incredible witnesses to the power of mercy and forgiveness that comes from their faith, with numerous media outlets from around the world now most eager to share their story, and their message to embrace forgiveness.
Their presence in Rome with their four children, including newborn baby Selina, has been supported by the former prime minister, Scott Morrison, and current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, both of whom have encouraged them to spread their movement of mercy
around the world.
Danny and Leila have commenced the establishment of a national day of mercy called I Forgive. This movement is quickly being picked up across Australia, such is the love and trust in the authenticity of the Abdallah family, and they hope to spread it around the globe.
Leila and Danny, in reflecting on Pope Francis’ opening address to the WMOF believe, “That despite the tragedy and suffering that remains very real for us, forgiveness is the narrow path, but the only path that leads to healing, to new life, the life of freedom and hope that God wants for all of his children. We want to bring to reality in practical ways the sort of radical forgiveness that Jesus asks of us and that Pope Francis is asking believers to model in family life.”
Danny and Leila spoke to EWTN in the lead up to their speech at the WMOF this Saturday, and discussed how their married love has grown and deepened in the midst of the ongoing suffering. They have an attitude of having seven children, three of whom are now ahead of them, preparing a place for the rest of the family. You can watch their ETWN below.
You will also be able to watch the Abdallah’s speaking live on Day 4 of WMOF (Saturday 25 June) from 12pm Rome time/8pm Australian Eastern Standard time on EWTN: https://www.youtube.com/hashtag/wmof22
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.