Over 50 people attended the formation morning held in Hastings. The number of Hastings people who did not belong to a family group, but came along because Brian was taking the morning, was a direct result of his gift of preaching. Many had heard a homily given by Brian the weekend following the Christchurch shootings and wanted to hear more.
Belonging – believe – behave was a relevant and challenging session. Are we really ensuring all people who come into our parishes are feeling welcome and empowered to feel they ‘belong’? What can we do better? Brian told us of Peter McGrath’s parishioners who knew that once a year Peter was going to ask them all to turn around and greet the person behind them by name…..if they were unable to do this they had to pay them $2!
The session was relevant and thought provoking. It is up to us to take up the challenge and call on the Holy Spirit and “DO” something about promoting family groups, ensuring family groups are meeting and caring for their members and getting our parishes to provide opportunities outside of Mass for people to meet each other. We all want to Belong.
The second session talking team leadership raised the importance of PFG Aims & Goals being shared at appropriate times with leaders and group members. Whatever was talked about, the outcome of the session was 4 couples coming forward to take on leadership roles in our region – and I for one am excited about the additions to the Regional team. Great result!
Our recent Formation Day gathering again reminded us how enjoyable it is mixing with like-minded people, many of us who having been involved in PFG for 20+ years. Our Passionist Family Groups provide that sense of belonging and similar support to that of our immediate families who often do not live nearby.
Brian’s presentation for us noted the changes and new demands in society that have occurred over recent years, and particularly the challenges on our own Catholic Church membership. PFG play a significant role in those communities. We should not overlook social media’s impact too.
While we may be involved in our Parish ministries our challenge is also to reach out to others in our daily lives too.
The value in attending our Formation Days has to continually be encouraged within our family groups despite experiencing a reluctance of people to attend.
We look forward to being a part of the new HBPFG team to support Norma in the regional role.
A very enjoyable gathering and thought provoking presentation allowing us to again consider our own efforts in our community.
Pat and Rod Carson