Jude and Kerrie Hennessy can’t wait to get to Rome to learn from others about promoting and nurturing Catholic family life – and a summer in Rome isn’t too bad a prospect, either.
They are excited about an audience with Pope Francis, and the chance to return to Australia with a mission to renew married life.
Mr Hennessy is Director of Renewal and Evangelisation in the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong, and his wife Kerrie teaches at Good Samaritan Catholic Primary in Fairy Meadow.
Passionate about thriving marriages and families
Both have been members of the Australian Catholic Life, Marriage and Family Council for the last three years and were selected by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference to attend the World Meeting of Families.
“It is a real honour to be asked, humbling and a little bit daunting,” Mr Hennessy said.
“In saying that, we are passionate about thriving marriages and family life and are eager to hear the experience of families from around the world who are living out their faith.”
Mr and Mrs Hennessy celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary earlier this year, have two adult daughters and a grandchild on the way.
Family the first place where people are loved
They were raised in the same parish of Our Lady of Fatima in Caringbah, and have belonged to St Michael’s, Thirroul, for the last 25 years.
They have also been short-term foster carers and have felt blessed to welcome children in need into their home. “For us, family is the place where we are loved and nurtured, where foundations are laid and where we are formed into being the person God calls each one of us to be,” Mr Hennessy said.
“However, there are so many societal pressures that conflict with this vision for family life causing it to go unheard by so many both inside and outside the Church.”