Seasons Of Mercy: Confronting Cancer

Jennifer Byrne

Jennifer Byrne | Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

A loving daughter shares a story of life and hope, unwittingly echoing Pope Francis’ call for mercy.

On October 7, 2015, my Mum, Lauranne Byrne, became one of seven women in Australia who die of breast cancer every day. I want to put an absolutely beautiful face to the statistic to inspire women who, like me, are overwhelmed and frightened, to be more like her: positive and courageous, intelligent and strong, right to the end. She knew her body so well, she knew herself so well. She was always vigilant and aware of what was happening to her and determined to be in control, to do everything in her power to overcome her health issues. She battled them with vitamins and minerals and healthy eating, with (albeit moderate) exercise, with enthusiasm and optimism and with her unwavering faith in a loving God. She always ate the 'right' things and stayed away from the 'wrong' things. Even guilty indulgences were kept at moderation. She was the poster child for health and wellbeing − except she had breast cancer.

Seasons Of Mercy: Keeping Our Spirits Bright

Keeping our spirits bright

Author: Anonymous | Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

This story, remarkable for its honesty and insight, remains anonymous at the request of the writer.

I was born into a family with a strong Catholic faith and my childhood was filled with love, laughter and happiness. I was a gentle, kind and caring young girl with a spirit that burned bright from the joy that I had for life and the love that I had for those around me. In my early twenties I met a handsome, adventurous and fun young man who enjoyed the company of his friends and family and loved to explore the world, as I did. He had a good sense of humour and was confident and knowledgeable, traits that I admired.  So when he eventually asked me to marry him, I was filled with excitement, anticipating all that our future together would hold.

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