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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Lay life in all its wonder

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Families gather at St Mary’s Cathedral hall during the World Meeting of Families celebration. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

By David Harrison

The Life Marriage and Family team facilitated local celebrations of the World Meeting of Families which included a self-directed pilgrimage where families were able to connect with various saints through veneration of relics, catechesis, prayer and worship at eight parishes around the Archdiocese. Over 600 attended the Mass and Festival of Families on the Sunday following!

The Marriage Course held at St Joseph’s Moorebank, in collaboration with the Somascans and the SCE Life, Marriage and Family Team, finished in August. The pilot program included 11 couples attending seven weekly sessions. This course is being promoted as a way of raising up married couple leaders for parish based marriage ministries.

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Humanae Vitae Month sparked vital conversations around sexual ethics and reproductive health care and conveyed the beauty of the Church’s teaching on Marriage with young people, medical professionals and families alike.

Two RCIA Certification Courses were run this year, with over 120 attendants receiving formation in the RCIA program. The next course will begin during the 2023 Easter season.

This year we produced The Catholic Mass booklet, with over 4,500 copies sold, an accompaniment resource that assists in explaining the Mass. Order copies for your parish through the Mustard Seed Bookshop on 02 9307 8350 or through

The Camino of St Joseph saw 200 men of all ages gather, starting with Mass at St Jerome’s, Punchbowl, with Bishop Richard Umbers and finishing at St Michael’s, Meadowbank with Mass and breakfast after a 23 km overnight pilgrimage on foot with several stops for prayer and reflection.

‘Raising Fathers’ Evenings were held at three different venues, inviting fathers connected with schools to hear and absorb some practical wisdom about raising children.

The Catholic Men’s Gathering at the Benedict XVI Retreat Centre involved a collaboration with menAlive for a weekend gathering of men to deepen their faith in fellowship, encounter and worship. Bishops Richard Umbers and Daniel Meagher celebrated the Masses.

The monthly Men’s Rosary Crusade on the First Saturday of the Month has seen an increasing number of men at St Mary’s Cathedral Forecourt gather after Mass to pray the rosary. This event will continue in 2023 following the Cathedral’s regular Saturday 11am Confessions and 12pm Mass. To keep updated view the live calendar of upcoming events for men near you, check out resources and register to receive the monthly Maximus E-news at

David Harrison is the team leader of the Life, Marriage & Family Office at the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation.


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