An extraordinary affirmation comes to us from Fr Peter Bickley, PP of St. Michael’s Traralgon, Victoria.
“Twenty years ago the then Parish Pastors enquired of how they could bring families together. They learnt that there was a Movement that offered families a sense of belonging. An Apostolate so simple, yet so profound, built on Christian principles that could meet the needs of many families in our parish.
They looked at the Passionist Family Group model and entered into discussions with the Passionists.
The Pastors learned:
Of the Movement’s ethos – MEETING THE HEART NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE.
Its motto – A FAMILY FOR ALL.
Its goals –TO BE CHIRST FOR OTHERS
· TO SHARE CHRISTIAN LIFE TOGETHER
· TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER IN TIMES OF NEED AND TO CELEBRATE IMPORTANT EVENTS
· TO GIVE GOOD EXAMPLE AND TO INVOLVE CHILDREN IN CHRISTIAN SHARING
· TO PROMOTE A COMMUNITY SPIRIT IN THE PARISH.
It’s no wonder that these two very fine priests, with genuine pastoral outreach gathered a few key people together. They excitedly presented this wonderful way of outreach. It offered so much to enrich parishioner’s sense of belonging through the giving of support.
Movements come and go in the history of parishes. Not many parishes would see a Movement still remain just as enthusiastic and owning its motto, goal and aims 20 years from when it started.
There is outstanding evidence in our parish of the wonderful influence and apostolate the Passionist Family Group Movement has brought to our parish. Our Parish applauds its presence and its mission. We express genuine thanks to all the Leaders who have come and gone, and to the present Leaders.
Our Leaders’ focus has been the motto, goal and aims of the Movement. Because of this, each group enjoys a closeness of an extended family. This comes about through their sharing in events that are fun-filled and supportive in good times and in down times. What an invaluable presence in the life of the parish this Movement is.
I hope more of our parishioners will join so that this atmosphere that offers no judgment but is the heart of love and the hand of friendship will grow even more in our parish.
Every group has compiled wonderful memories of its members – past and present. Every group remembers prayerfully those members who have died; members are still in contact with former members who have relocated around the country, (some of whom are here today) and every group welcomes new members at any time.
This is the image of God our Loving Father
telling us all to go out to the whole world and tell the Good News.”