The Virgin Mary is a unifying force.
Life in Australia has been particularly difficult during the pandemic, with extended shutdowns and strict restrictions in place. However, as is often the case in difficult times, people come together to help each other.
The long lockdowns have left many families feeling the pressure when it comes to putting food on the table. In response to this dilemma, parishes in Sydney have launched a volunteer service bringing home cooked meals to those in need.
Thanks to Food for Friends, set up by St Peter Chanel and St Joseph parishes, and St Peter Chanel Catholic Primary School in Berala, parishes match volunteers with those in need of a meal.
“We wanted to find a way for parishioners to feel that they were always doing something to reach out to others while helping people who might have difficulty during the lockdown,” said Amanda Gahan, acting deputy director of the lockdown. primary. school, with Catholic Weekly.
As Gahan explained, the food program gives parishioners a â€œpurpose in the lives of othersâ€. And it’s a wonderful way to live their faith when COVID makes it so difficult.
Interestingly, Australians also found a way to practice their faith and honor Mary on the Feast of the Assumption. In the parish of Saint Gertrude in Smithfield, deprived of going to mass, the faithful attached images of the Blessed Virgin and bouquets of flowers to the gates of the church.
From there, the idea germinated. “We invited parishioners to place images of their national and cultural shrines and it exploded from there,” Deputy Parish Priest Fr. Wojtek Sliwa OSPPE explained with Catholic Weekly.
And what a beautiful declaration of faith this initiative has created.
â€œIt’s about unity. Whatever image we have of Mary, it is the same that unifies us all, the one mother we all have.
As parts of Australia remain stranded until October, it will be interesting to see how Catholics continue to help others and display their faith in the weeks to come.