The 10th World Meeting of Families (WMOF) is taking place in Rome this week, from Wednesday June 22 until Sunday June 26.
Throughout the four days of the meeting, we’ve been publishing personal stories from people in our diocese who have different experiences of family.
Today we hear from Barbara Jameson, from St Leonard’s and St Mary’s Parish, Malton…
Can you give a brief description of your family and explain what makes them tick?
I am a woman in my 60s living in North Yorkshire. I am semi-retired and have worked in health care for more than 45 years. My closest family consists of three brothers and their partners in their 50s and 60s. I am also a proud aunt to four nephews and nieces. Our family live throughout the UK ?including Suffolk, Berkshire, Somerset and County Durham.
How do you demonstrate “family love” in your family?
In the absence of the “physical presence” of the family, demonstrating family love can be challenging. In our family it is perhaps best seen in that unwritten understanding that although time between contacts may sometimes be long – we are still able pick up from where we left off.
What are the challenges and the rewards/high points in your family??
Perhaps the biggest challenge we face as a family is the maintenance and growth of our relationships when being geographically distanced. This has been particularly difficult in the last couple of years, for example, when a family wedding was postponed due to Covid 19 restrictions and one of my brothers was receiving treatment for a life-threatening illness. It was therefore a very joyous and happy occasion when we were able to come together in person to celebrate my nephew’s special day.
How does God’s love show itself in your family and what helps you get through the difficult times??
One of the great strengths of our family is our ability to pull together as a team. This invariably manifests itself in difficult times. Somehow whatever needs to be done happens – a very practical demonstration of God’s love in action.
?In what ways do you think family life is a vocation??
To describe family life as a vocation is probably quite accurate. As with any vocation however it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. There are inevitably ups and downs along the way. However, with perseverance, tolerance and most importantly enduring love much can be achieved.
We will mark the end of WMOF with a Mass at the cathedral at 5pm on Sunday June 26, with Bishop Terry presiding.We recognise that travelling all the way to Middlesbrough may not be feasible for everyone, but we hope as many of you as possible will be able to come along to celebrate family life.
We hope each parish can send a “representative” family to reflect the diverse mix of families across our diocese.
Each family will be encouraged to bring a symbol to represent their experience of family life, and these will form part of the offertory procession.