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A blessing for mums and mums-to-be

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Archdiocese of Sydney’s annual Mass for Expectant Mothers was celebrated at St Mary's Cathedral on 10 December. Photo: Patrick J Lee
Archdiocese of Sydney’s annual Mass for Expectant Mothers was celebrated at St Mary’s Cathedral on 10 December. Photo: Patrick J Lee

While shoppers swiped and griped their way through the Christmas madness of the Sydney CBD, inside the hallowed walls of St Mary’s Cathedral 200 glowing expectant mums and hopeful mums-to-be took a rare pause at the Archdiocese of Sydney’s annual Mass for Expectant Mothers.

On 10 December, Catholic mothers and women hoping to conceive were invited by the Life, Marriage and Family team from the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation for Mass and to receive blessing from Bishop Richard Umbers.

Hazel Lim, organiser with the Life Marriage and Family team, said that the annual archdiocesan Mass is an opportunity during the season of Advent to celebrate the incalculable gift of expecting a child.

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“There’s something so impactful seeing a lot of pregnant bellies! In our world where we talk about busy-ness of life and people holding out and not wanting children—there really is something to celebrate when you see all these women bearing life and gathered all in one place!” said Hazel.

In attendance too were young parents who are wanting to start their families but have, so far, been unable to conceive.

For Hazel, their attendance bore the most impact for her and the LMF team.

“Some of them have been suffering for a while,” she said.

“That hope that they still shared, I think, assured myself and the LMF team of why we hold events like these, and why the Mass and celebration were beautiful.

“There’s something about parents who are wanting to give life and grow their families, but you also see examples of the waiting.”

In his homily, Bishop Richard addressed those couples “waiting” and hoping for the greatest gift of all.

He spoke about the example of Elizabeth, mother of St John the Baptist and sister of Our Blessed Mother, who herself waited so long to have a child.

He said that in that waiting there is holiness. Here was someone who mothers could turn to for intercession.

After the Mass, a celebration was held in the church hall with a morning tea where the gathered couples and families could meet Bishop Richard and receive nourishment from the shared experiences of those in attendance.

As we enter the second week of Advent in our preparations for the birth of our Lord, Hazel believes there’s something mums can draw from the experience of our Blessed Mother.

“Mary was anxious just like our pregnant mums who are fearful about bringing a life into the world,” she said.

“But there’s also the excitement of this new season in their life. Especially new mums—they know their lives will change but there is that love no one else can give and that is the connection between a parent and a child.”

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