Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Kellyville

Western Sydney families begin their pilgrimage to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia


The Wilkinson family after they were commissioned last Saturday night
The Wilkinson family after they were commissioned last Saturday night


By Ben Smith

Today, two families from our Diocese will be embarking on a pilgrimage to the 8th World Meeting of Families Congress in Philadelphia, USA. The Wilkinson family of seven from Padre Pio Parish, Glenmore Park, and the McLaughlin family of six from St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook, will represent the Diocese at this important international gathering.

They will be part of a pilgrimage group of 44 Australians, made up of families, married couples, Bishop Michael Kennedy (Diocese of Armidale) and Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP (Archdiocese of Sydney).

The Wilkinson and McLaughlin families have been preparing for the pilgrimage over the last six months and they were commissioned last Saturday by the Diocesan Administrator, Fr Peter Williams. As part of the commissioning ceremony, they were presented with the official icon of the World Meeting of Families, depicting the Holy Family.

On their return back to Australia, the Wilkinson and McLaughlin families will share their experiences of the World Meeting of Families with other families throughout the Diocese. Their first engagement is at the Diocesan Family Sunday Afternoon to be held at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, St Marys on 18 October, 2015, from 2.30pm to 6pm.

This is a free event and all families are invited to attend, with activities for the children available.

The World Meeting of Families gathering was founded by St John Paul II and is held every three years.  The gathering in Philadelphia will run from 22 September to 27 September, 2015. From 22 September to 25 September, 2015, the pilgrims will attend a Congress with international speakers addressing the theme, “Love is our Mission.”

Pope Francis will attend the final two days of the gathering. On Saturday, 26 September, 2015, a Festival of Families has been organised outside Philadelphia's Museum of Art, made famous in the movie Rocky when actor Sylvester Stallone raced up the Museum's 72 stone steps. During the Festival, which will include testimonies from families and performances by opera great, Andrea Bocelli, Pope Francis will address the anticipated huge crowd from the top of what are now known as the "Rocky Steps." The gathering will conclude on Sunday, 27 September, 2015 with a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.

To pray for the success of this event, follow this link to get a copy of the official prayer of the 8th World Meeting of Families in multiple languages:



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