Wasting Time and Learning to Love

9 October 2015

By Bishop Michael Kennedy, Australian Catholic Bishop Delegate for Marriage

“Waste time with families” was the fatherly advice Pope Francis gave to bishops, and by extension to all priests, on the final day of the World Meeting of Families held recently in Philadelphia. For many years “wasting time with God” has been my own approach to God and time with him in prayer so I was delighted to hear the Holy Father say we must approach families and the time we spend with them in the same way.

When in the presence of those we love we are happy just to be with them; we don’t have to be doing anything in particular, we simply ‘hang out’ and spend time with each other. From this “quantity time” as opposed to “quality time” there emerges a deepening of relationships, mutual understanding and appreciation, and growth in love. It also provides the opportunity to accompany and support each other through difficulties. We know from experience that simply “being there” for somebody is often all that’s needed. “Wasting time with families” is not just good advice for bishops and priests; it’s good advice for everybody.

Aussie pilgrims inspired by World Meeting of Families experience

9 October 2015

World Meeting of Families wrap-up

Children, parents and bishops returned to Australia feeling inspired and spiritually energised following their experience at the 8th World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, United States from 22nd to 27th September 2015.

‘The kids summarised their experience as “Awesome” and they want to do it all over again,’ said Cathy Bourke, mother of four children whose family represented the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference at the gathering.

From the Diocese of Darwin, Cathy and Matt Bourke travelled with their four children: Michael (12), Joel (11), Trinity (9) and Sebastian (5) to the States.

‘The children loved the music and witness given everyday and learning about the American saints.

National Family Pilgrimage off to Philadelphia

17 September 2015
Wilkinson-Family-&-Yili-&-Salome-LiWilkinson Family & Yili & Salome Li

Bishop Michael Kennedy departs with representatives from many Australian dioceses today to join with 150 other nations at the World Meeting of Families in America later this month.

The World Meeting of Families will take place at Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from 22-25 September 2015.

Pope Francis will attend the gathering that centres on the theme, ‘Love is our mission: The family fully alive’.

The Family Fully Alive

16 September 2015 | Philadelphia, United States
Interview with the Bourke family, ACBC delegates attending the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia this month
Bourke family 2015Matt and Cathy Bourke with their four children Michael, Joel, Trinity and Sebastian.

We believe it takes a village to raise a child and so much of our village is the Catholic Church, Cathy and Matt Bourke told the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) recently.

‘Raising families is an extremely vulnerable time of life and possibly the hardest job to get right. It is the most important vocation in manifesting the domestic church’, the couple explained.

Matt and Cathy believe a vibrant Catholic family community is also vital in the faith journey to share values and life’s challenges with other families.

Healing Families for a Fully Human World

14 September 2015
Opinion editorial by Bishop Michael Kennedy, Bishop Delegate for Marriage and Family
Healing Families for a Fully Human WorldBishop Kennedy, Bishop Delegate for Marriage & Family, will lead the Australian Pilgrimage to the World Meeting of Families with Mavis and Ron Pirola, Chair Couple of the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council.

From 22-27 September, thousands of families from around the world will gather in Philadelphia with Pope Francis for the eighth World Meeting of Families. Events such as this would have been frowned upon by the likes of Karl Marx and Fredreich Engels who advocated for the ‘abolition of the family’ in their 1848 Communist Manifesto. Thank goodness the family has not been abolished but is still going strong even if under huge pressures: economic, social, and moral. All families feel the strain of these pressures, some tragically so.

Aldoux Huxley imagined an inhumane futuristic one world state with no families in his 1932 novel Brave New World. In this imaginary world natural procreation has been abolished and all human life is produced through reproductive technologies; genetic engineering is used to breed workers of differing abilities in a strict caste system; embryos are raised in hatcheries; children are raised and educated, or rather indoctrinated, in large state-run nurseries; and euthanasia is compulsory. This vision has not become reality either, not yet anyway!

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