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Triple murder in church-going family shocks parishioners

Parishioners in Sydney have been shocked by the murder of three members of a Ryde family.

When 20-year-old Sef Gonzales returned to his family home after a night out with friends, he discovered the bodies of his mother Loiva, his father Teddy and sister Clodine, 18. All had been brutally stabbed.

The Catholic Weekly reports that Gonzales family, who had migrated from the Philippines 10 years ago, were well known for their devout faith.

Mr Teddy Gonzales, who had a law practice in Blacktown, attended Mass with his wife before work, up to three or four times a week at St Michael's Church, Blacktown. Mrs Gonzales, also qualified in law, worked with her husband as a secretary at his legal practice.

Parish priest Fr Kevin Dadswell, said he knew the family quite well, as they had lived in Blacktown before moving to their new home in Ryde just before Christmas last year.

"They were a very devout family, a very close knit family," Fr Dadswell said. "He (Teddy) certainly had the faith, in fact they all did.

"They were a really nice family."

Locals in the family's new parish of the Holy Spirit, North Ryde, were "absolutely shocked", said parish worker Nadia Caravello.

Ms Caravello said all the local Christian churches had been very supportive.

Although they hadn't lived in the area long, the Gonzales family were active in the parish and would regularly attend Mass on Saturday as a family.

Holy Spirit parish priest, Fr Janusz Bieniek, who had blessed the family's new home when they moved in, recently blessed the couple on their 25th wedding anniversary.

Fr Bieniek was away at the time of the murders. Sef Gonzales and his uncle called on Fr Mark Okarma soon after the murders.

Catholic Weekly