World Meeting of Families: Parramatta Seminarian meets Holy Father
With Rome Reports
|Jack Green proudly displays the handwritten menu embossed with the Papal insignia.|
Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Seminarian Jack Green and his family have had the honour of meeting the Holy Father after the Closing Mass of 7th World Meeting of Families in Milan, Italy.
Jack, parents Stuart and Donna and sister Anna represented the Diocese at the Conference, along with CatholicCare Social Services - Diocese of Parramatta Senior Manager Ann O’Brien and her husband Peter.
The Greens were chosen to represent families from Oceania in sharing lunch with the Pope. Along with an extended group of just 14 other families and a small number of Cardinals - including Cardinal George Pell - the Greens were whisked by police escort after the Closing Mass to the Cardinal of Milan’s residence near the Cathedral.
“That was the first time I’ve has ever had a police escort to lunch,” Stuart later said.
Donna said that she felt very touched by the opportunity to be in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI.
Once His Holiness was told Jack was studying at Holy Spirit Seminary, he referred to Anna as ‘Sister Anna’. The Parramatta delegates were quick to assure Anna that there was ‘no pressure’!
Following lunch with the Pope, Jack later proudly displayed the handwritten menu embossed with the Papal insignia.
An affirming and revitalising experience
The Parramatta delegates were joined by families from more than 153 countries for the World Meeting of Families from 30 May to 3 June.
|Ann O'Brien with Jack, Stuart, Donna and Anna Green. Photo: Peter O'Brien|
“All of us agree the Conference was an affirming and revitalising experience,” Ann O’Brien said.
“Each of us hope to take the important messages back to our homes, communities, parishes, schools and workplaces.”
The O’Briens and the Greens were joined by nearly one million people for the Conference’s Closing Mass with the Holy Father.
During the Closing Mass, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of finding the balance between family, work and celebrations.
“Harmonising work time and the demands of family, a career and parenthood, work and celebration are important to build a society with a human face,” the Holy Father said.
To the married couples present, the Pope encouraged them to renew their love every day, saying it was precisely through love that was the only way to change the world.“Live it with courage, confident that to the extent that, with the help of divine grace, and you live reciprocal love towards all, you will become a living Gospel, in a true domestic Church.”
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