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Tying the knot with the Tyburn nuns

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Jacinta and Alan on their wedding day with the Tyburn nuns. PHOTOS: GIOVANNI PORTELLI

Jacinta and Alan Yousif bless their friends with a special visit to their convent, and receive a blessing in turn

Jacinta and Alan Yousif knew their friends, Sydney’s Tyburn nuns, were unable to attend their wedding—so they took the wedding to them.

The couple visited the Riverstone priory for a blessing straight after their nuptial Mass at St Madeleine’s church, Kenthurst, in early July.

Meeting them were the prioress, Reverend Mother Marie-Pierre and her community of cloistered nuns, who dedicate themselves to prayer and Eucharistic adoration.

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Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2023

The nuns had handmade more than 200 rosaries for the couple to give as gifts to their guests and Jacinta, a former primary school teacher, was determined to make space for the 40-minute visit in a busy day.

The couple also received a blessing from the priory’s chaplain Fr John Rizzo, who introduced them to the nuns last year.

“I just thought it would be the least we could do and so beautiful for us to say thank you by visiting them, because they are constantly praying for all of us and have given up everything to stay with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament,” Mrs Yousif said.

Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2023

“My gift is of myself to my spouse. Both vocations are so important and both need the sacraments.

“So it means everything to Alan and myself to know that we come up in their prayers and there’s no better way to start a sacramental marriage and hope to begin a family than to surround it with prayer.

“The nuns are always so happy and it was one of my favourite parts of the day because we were able to slow down and just receive their love and their joy.”

The happy couple have kept the nuns up to date throughout their engagement, wedding preparations and honeymoon.

They also offered financial support for the nuns’ plan to move to a new home in Kurmond, which will require funds for renovations, a chapel and permanent monastery.

“From our first meeting Alan and Jacinta showed a great appreciation of our contemplative life centred on the Holy Eucharist,” Mother Marie-Pierre said.

“They have been a wonderful help to us when we have needed it.

“It is a joy for us to know such a beautiful couple who love God so much and have made him the centre of their lives.”

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