From the pen of Fr Peter McGrath cp – January 2012
Second Spring in the middle of Winter in England
This title may cause confusion in the rest of the world but with our Sydney weather Down Under, we are having our second Winter in the middle of Summer!!
Our Passionist Family Group Movement is now flying under the flag of the Marriage and Family Life Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
This happened when Gwen Winterscheidt, PFGM Director Queensland and I were invited to attend the 211th annual Marriage and Family Life (MFL) Conference attended by some 80 Coordinators throughout the Dioceses of England and Wales.
With our local helpers we were able to tell of the Formation of the Family Groups
in another two pilot parishes, Hatfield, London and Northwich, Cheshire.
Hannah Maruzzi, an executive member of the MFL, is a great source of strength and guidance for us. She writes, “We of the MFL are enormously supportive of the PFGM. We have and will continue to do what we can to help develop a family life movement in England and Wales.”
Now and then, unexpectedly, you get an extraordinary moment of Grace. You feel uplifted, encouraged and affirmed.
Elizabeth Davies, Director of the MFL, gave us such a moment when she stood before all her Coordinators and said the following:
“If you only were able to do one thing for families, in my view you could do nothing better than set up Family Groups. From Family Groups all other initiatives of pastoral care for families will flow, as families get to know one another, share their strengths and challenges, joys and sorrows, see what needs to be done and get on doing it themselves together. Family Groups are the fertile soil in which everything else you hope to offer in parishes can take root and flourish.”
So I head off to the UK for six weeks to visit 9 Dioceses and 13 Parishes to present and plan the Formation of the Family Groups in these parishes come the Spring