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Kidman wedding in Australia seen as spiritual homecoming

By Dan McAloon
June 9th, 2006
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

SYDNEY, Australia Preparation for actress Nicole Kidman and country singer Keith Urban's June 25 wedding has helped guide her back to the Catholic Church, said a priest who knows her.

"For Nicole, you know this is a spiritual homecoming, coming back to the church and her faith in her old parish," said Jesuit Father Paul Coleman, a longtime friend of the Kidman family who advised them on the annulment of Kidman's marriage with Tom Cruise.

Father Coleman is chaplain at Mary Mackillop Chapel in North Sydney, one of two Jesuit-run parishes in the Sydney Archdiocese. The Kidman family lives nearby, and the parish is where Nicole and her sister, Antonia, went to school. Kidman, accompanied by her parents, Anthony and Janelle, attended Good Friday and Easter Sunday services there.

Born in Hawaii to Australian parents, Kidman grew up Catholic in Australia and was taught by the Sisters of Mercy.

In 1990, she married Cruise and dabbled for years with Scientology. Unlike Cruise, who renounced his own Catholicism, Kidman's attraction to Scientology seems never to have undermined her core beliefs, though she spiritually wandered, describing herself by 1999 as "a mishmash of religions... a little Buddhism, a little Scientology," and finally conceding, "I was raised Catholic and a big part of me is still a Catholic girl."

In recent months, it has been reported that she has studied theology at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., as "a return to her Catholic roots."

"Catholicism guides me. I certainly have a strong belief. I try to go to church regularly, and I try to go to confession," she told the Philippine Daily Enquirer.

A UNICEF ambassador, Kidman has said her social conscience is inspired by her faith and her parents' example. Her mother's survival of breast cancer, she said, inspires her fundraising activities for ovarian cancer research.

"If you're in a position like I'm in, it's your duty to try, in some small way, to help the world," she said.

She has revealed that in lieu of wedding gifts the couple has requested that their guests make cash donations to Sydney Children's Hospital.

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