A priest’s story of grace and sacrifice in a Catholic community
A priest has shared his story of overcoming illness and faith in a faith-based community, which he called a “gospel of hope” that is helping to save lives.
Key points:Archbishop Michael Jackson’s story touched hearts and touched heartside in the Philippines and AustraliaArchbishop Jackson’s family came to Australia for the serviceFathers and mothers of the parish in the Philippine city of Pagaripan told the ABC they were “devastated”Archbishop Anthony Smith, the Anglican Church in Australia’s Diocese of Sydney, said he was “devoted” to his parish in PagaripsanFathers from a local parish, including one of his own children, have expressed their grief on social mediaArchbishop Joseph Cardinal O’Connor, the Bishop of Sydney and the Archbishop of the Catholic Church in the Commonwealth, said his thoughts and prayers are with the church and all those affected by the outbreakFathers of the Australian community have come to visit the church, including those who came for the meetingFathers who came to pay their respects at the church have been “devout” about their faithFathers have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, the Archbishop saidFathers “wonderfully and joyfully” have responded to the calls to come to the churchFathers’ stories are now being shared on social networksArchbishop Peter McLeod, who served as Australia’s former ambassador to the Holy See, said the Archbishop’s experience has touched the hearts of Australians.
Archbishop McLeod spoke of his “fierce gratitude” to Father Peter and his mother, Sister Mary, who he said are “so grateful to the Church for their extraordinary hospitality”Archbishops of Australia and Papua New Guinea are in contact with each other and are “taking all the necessary steps” to ensure “everyone has a safe and secure environment”, Bishop McLeod said.
Archbishop McLeod thanked the church for “its immense support” and for the prayers of the community, who “are at this very difficult time and are overwhelmed”.
“They have been so gracious to all of us,” he said.
“The response to our service has been overwhelming.”
He said the Pope and Pope Francis have been in touch with the families of the people who have been affected by this pandemic.
He also praised the Pope’s recent visit to Australia, where he was greeted by families of those who have died.
“It is a wonderful experience, it’s very inspiring,” he told the audience.
“We are so grateful for all of the prayers that we are receiving.”
To all of those people who are still alive, they are truly at this difficult time.
“I have no doubt they are going to be touched by the messages of grace that we hear and the stories that we share, and they are the best people we can possibly be.”
The Catholic Church was rocked by the pandemic in November, when the virus infected more than 7,000 people in Australia.
It is one of the deadliest outbreaks in modern times, with more than 800 Australians confirmed cases.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said in a statement that the bishops of Australia were “deeply saddened” by the “distress and loss” of the families and communities affected by last week’s virus outbreak.
The conference said the Bishops were working with their dioceses and community partners to “strengthen the relationship and support that already exists between Australia and the Church in its response to this crisis”.
Topics:human-interest,religion-and-beliefs,health,australia,papua-new-guinea,paraguay,pacific,arizona-federationMore stories from Australia