September 2022: Editorial

The Beauty of the Extended Family

The World Meeting of Families which took place in Rome in June and reported for this month’s Intercom by Brenda Drumm reminds us that the universal Church with its connections in every land and island on earth is also a universal and extended family for all of us.

When I was growing up I had two elderly cousins, Maureen and Peggy, two sisters who never married and remained together throughout their lives. At a time when things were very tough in Ireland for families in the 1960s and 70s these sisters both worked but the little house they shared was never filled with the latest furniture or mod cons. Instead, they seemed to endlessly invite family members for tea, especially if there were lots of children in the family. They always had a lovely meal and were given clothes and sometimes even a little money was quietly slipped in a pocket to help a mother by. One of their great gifts as family members were their memories of earlier times and family characters. They also had a little dog that Peggy was sure was the reincarnation of her grandfather! Their only weakness was a bet on the Grand National every year and a bottle of Buckfast tonic wine at Christmas and Easter when they laughed a little louder than usual. They have long gone to their reward but I’m sure all of us have had family members like them; aunts and uncles, cousins and others who, as the Gospel encouraged stored up their treasure in heaven and gave generously to their families. Many of our aunts and uncles – and that includes in great measure, priests and nuns have left warm and loving memories behind them. May we truly celebrate ALL of the family.