Diocesan representative leads prayer at St Peter’s Basilica
June 25, 2022
Jude Hennessy, Family and life
Report by Jude Hennessy
Delegates from around the world gathered for day two of the World Meeting of Families 2022 (WMOF), commencing with Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated with great joy by those assembled with celebrant Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, vicar general of His Holiness and grand chancellor of the Pontifical Lateran University, with over 150 concelebrating clergy.
Our very own Kerrie Hennessy—representative of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Life Marriage and Family Council and teacher at Good Samaritan Catholic Primary School Fairy Meadow—represented the English-speaking nations at the Mass, joining a diverse group of languages and nations during the Prayers of Intercession that focussed on the importance of nurturing family life.
Kerrie described the experience and the WMOF content, saying: “[It has] has driven home to me the richness of our Universal Church with all of its diversity, but also our unity in Jesus. It was an honour to be asked to represent the Australian Church in this way.”
Delegates left Mass to dive into a long day of sessions that would focus largely on marriage, formation and enrichment programs offered by the Church around the world, before afternoon visits to local parishes in Rome.
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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.