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The Power of Family Groups

Early in August Father Peter McGrath ran a Sunday for family groups. He asked me along with others to make a presentation on how family groups had influenced my life.

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Report from the PFGM NSW Co-ordinators’ and Leaders’ Day 2010

An inspiring and ‘Spirit-filled’ day was enjoyed by over 80 Family Group Co-ordinators from parishes across NSW. Fr Peter McGrath, founder of the Passionist Family Group Movement, led this annual review at St. Anthony in the Fields where Family Groups began in 1972. A recent recruit to Fr Peter’s team, Peter Kennedy, added additional insights, support and direction to the development of the movement. So why was this day so special to me? It touched my heart. It renewed my…

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Father Peter McGrath cp turns 70

It’s all in the fingers … Turning 70, there is no way I can count that many years on my fingers any more than I can count all the blessings that I have received over the years. I want to say a big Thank You to all of you who prayed for me, sent best wishes, came to our Mass and party and, in so doing, not only honoured yours truly but in particular my family and my beloved Mother…

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Fr Peter McGrath visits St Joseph’s Passionist Family Groups

On a cold winter’s night, Monday June 8th, 2009, over 40 of St Joseph’s parishioners came to the supper room to meet Fr Peter McGrath the founder of the Passionist Family Group Movement. He is friendly, humble, gregarious, energetic, even outrageous but he touched our hearts and urged us to consider one simple request – how could any Christian ignore it? His question “will you support others in your parish?” With a classic back to the basics attitude he grouped…

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The 50th Anniversary of Fr Peter’s Ordination

Fr Peter McGrath, who celebrated his 50th anniversary of Profession as a Passion­ist, wishes to convey the following sentiments and share this reflection: When Tony Egar and myself celebrated 40 years of Ordination at St. Anthony in the Fields, Terrey Hills, we both wrote very similar comments on a little book mark that was printed for the occasion. I would like to update that bookmark and instead of beginning with 40 years, now have 50 years. “Fifty years is a millimetre for…

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Report from the PFGM NSW Co-ordinators’ and Leaders’ Day 2009

The day started with our Parish Mass at St. Anthony’s at which 84 extra people as well as our usual congregation were present. These extra people were representatives of about 40 of our FG parishes across Sydney and were from Broken Bay, Parramatta, Sydney, Wollongong , Newcastle and Wagga diocese. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Peter McGrath and was not only celebrating Family Groups but also part of the day of mourning for the victims of the bushfires in…

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Black Saturday Bushfires, Victoria, 2009

 Green Leaves – Resurrection Hope Even while the terrible fires were still burning and great columns of ash and smoke were billowing into the sky, help was being offered from far away in Vermont USA. It’s amazing how human hearts are open by tragedy and grief. It’s as if it was Good Friday all over again. The loss and the devastation was conveyed across the world. So our Family Group Coordinator, Tammy White, from the First Congregational Church in Manchester,…

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A Second Farewell for Fr. Tom McDonough

It seems only yesterday that our Passionist Pastor, Fr. Tom McDonough, was farewelled in a very fitting ceremonial style from St. Anthony’s. Can you believe that was some eight years ago? Who could ever forget his departure from the outdoor altar on his first razor scooter down the purpose build ramp into the midst of the congregation? With vestments flying and the scooter more than flying, he was well on his way, UNTIL the ramp ended and poor Tom’s new…

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25th Anniversary of a Family Group

Amid a cool and slightly damp Sunday the spirit of Family Groups shone brightly at St Anthony’s on Sunday 26 July. The original Lunnon Family Group celebrated its 25th anniversary, attracting over 70 of its members from three generations. Original members, some of whom have moved on from the parish, children who grew up and are now making their own life, and recent additions in the shape of grandchildren, all responded to the call to gather, catch up and reminisce…

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Blessings from Ballina

I have just returned home from a beautiful autumn day spent with our Sandpiper Family Group at Ballina. We were blessed, this week, with having a visit to our parish of a group of young sisters from Canberra who are in the community for the Missionaries of God’s Love. They have been working with the youth of the parish in preparation for WYD 2008 and they came to our family group barbeque before heading home. by Maureen  Murphy

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