3O YEARS OF PASSIONIST FAMILY GROUPS IN THE PARISH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA, HOWICK, AUCKLAND
On Sunday 15th May 2022 at the 9.30am Mass we celebrated this wonderful milestone. Although in 1992 our actual set-up was in March, for various reasons including Covid we were not able to celebrate then.
We advertised this celebratory Mass among our 4 existing groups over the preceding weeks as well as to the wider parish by means of the weekly parish newsletter. At the other Masses over that weekend, our parish priest, Father John Fitzmaurice, spoke warmly about the PFG movement in a parish and the benefits of being part of a group. We are very grateful for his ongoing support of and interest in Passionist Family Groups. He and our priest in residence, Father Terry Montgomery, are regular attendees at our various Family Group activities.
We invited the Paul Traynor to celebrate with us, as well as the NZ Trustees and Colin and Lindsay Brand – the other Auckland Diocese co-ordinators. We were delighted that Paul in hs capacity as national Corodinator of Passionist Family Groups Aotearoa was able to join us. He spoke briefly after Mass – thanking Father John for his words of encouragement and encouraging parishioners to find out more about the movement and/or think of joining a group.
We were also delighted that John and Rosie Crawford were able to join us. John and Rosie are currently Trustee’s of the Pssionist Family Group Movement in NZ and previous Auckland Diocese co-ordinators and they were a great support to the Howick group co-ordinators when the then parish co-ordinators left Auckland. John and Rosie are still regulars attendees when the Howick group co-ordinators enjoy a meal out together.
We started with 8 groups in Howick 30 years ago and we now have 4 active groups. The group co-ordinators of these 4 groups are a strong group who meet regularly every 6 weeks to chat about what has been happening/is going to be happening in the groups. From time to time groups get together for a monthly activity and we have at least 2 combined group events over the year. All parishioners are invited to join any of the groups’ activities which are advertised in our weekly newsletters.
All in all, we have enjoyed 30 years of many fun filled hours at our various family group activities. We have supported each other, laughed and cried with each other. We hope to do this for many more years to come.
Libby Giddey – Co- Parish Coordinator of Howick Parish