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Marian devotions on the rise in Sydney

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Hundreds of Catholics joined a procession of a statue of Our Lady at St Joachim’s Lidcombe. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Hundreds of Catholics joined a procession of a statue of Our Lady at St Joachim’s Lidcombe. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Sydney may be known as Australia’s “sin city” but it is also a place where Our Lady is increasingly known and loved, and where God’s answers to prayers flow from her gracious hands. 

A culture of prayer and public devotions is growing in the archdiocese. There is already a monthly men’s rosary crusade at St Mary’s Cathedral College and dozens of First Friday, Divine Mercy and other devotions in parishes, schools, university ministries and online prayer groups. 

In the latest show of faith, 600 people turned their worries about broken marriages, sick children, finances and the challenge of raising Catholic families in a faithless world over to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Good Success with Mass and a public procession on her feast day. 

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Two thousand people joined a novena, nine days of prayer, in the lead up to the day which inspired groups to join from as far as a parish in Burma and a convent in Italy. 

So successful was the event that organiser Bridget Sakr hopes it will become a permanent fixture on the city’s Catholic calendar. The next one is already being planned. 

Dozens of people from different parishes came together offering time and talents to build a bier, decorate and carry a specially-commissioned statue of Our Lady of Good Success from St Joachim’s Church in Lidcombe to Lidcombe train station and St Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church. 

Praying the rosary as they went, they drew smiles from curious onlookers, with many clearly pleased to see a sign of God’s gracious presence in the neighbourhood on an otherwise typical Friday night. 

Bridget said she is grateful for the support of Bishop Richard Umbers for the initiative and the several priests who concelebrated Mass on the day including Fr Epeli Qimaqima, Fr Ronnie Maree and Fr Sheldon Burke CRS. 

She’s convinced providence inspired her to make the Our Lady of Good Success devotion and annual procession of her statue better known in Sydney, as for the first time it was not held in its native Quito, in Equador. 

“Once I learned about the visions of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres and the devotion to Our Lady under the title of Our Lady of Good Success I was immediately inspired to make her known and honoured,” she said. 

“I am so passionate about the promise in her prophecy about the restoration of the Catholic Church, which today is under so much attack in our secular world. 

“Our Lady said at the right time ‘I will make myself known,’ and I have asked her to allow me to help make her known. 

“People are telling me that the things they prayed about during the novena or on the feast day have improved so I know the Holy Spirit is working through this.” 

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