Morena/ Passionist Family Group members and friends,

It has been good to be back home except it has been a busy week as I have our Men’s Group retreat this weekend which I am coordinating – they are a great lot and all contributing which makes. For an easy process. Please find attached two article from Catholic newspaper for Wellington and Palmerston North dioceses called ‘Welcom’. Written by Michael Fitzsimons. 

Something that continues to be shared among parish and group coordinators on my journey’s – is how many are struggling to get people to lead an activity or organise one. It is imperative like any family that we all ‘pitch in’ where we can – the monthly activities are a vehicle to link in with one another and at the start of each year it is important to sit down and plan ahead for the following twelve months. It give the group structure and that is important for ‘community’. If you don’t plan energy fades and so does the life of the group. It happens too often. As Mary McKillop said, “never see a need without doing something about it”

So, at a planning session each family chooses an activity and contacts the members as to when and where the activity is taking place. This means 1. Members get to talk to one another and 2. the group coordinator gets a break and can enjoy the get together as a member. Many parish and group coordinators are frustrated and tired just from this over responsibility. Therefore, it is on each of us to ‘join’ and be active in our support of our Passionist Family Group. It is also important to keep connected and this is what gels the group the what we do in-between the functions. It’s not a numbers game! Rather, invitation like Eucharist – we are invited and it is up to us to respond. Like family who come we share, support, encourage and be ‘a family for all’.

The other thing that has been a learning for me on the road is the impact of members who have died. There is a genuine loss and grief especially with groups that have been going for a long time. There are ways to acknowledge these people and to remember them I’ll address this via a proposed outline of a liturgy that groups could use.

I am so encouraged by the good will among so many groups and the great work of our parish coordinators. Some are tired and worn out and it is important to share this rather than just abandoning the group. Allow others to support and be honest to the group members about where you are at – ask for help.

In moving around the country I can in a small way understand some of St Paul’s reason for writing his letters. Always messages to challenge, invoke a gospel response, affirmation, thanks and appreciation. Thanks to each of you for what you do to contribute to being a family to and for others; welcoming, forgiving, having fun, having a laugh, a cry, a shoulder to lean on. We are in difficult times across the planet and our efforts do not go unnoticed and as a community we breathe hope in the world.

Have a great week – God go with you – Paul

Scripture reflection: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, 20 August 2023.

My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples   pastedGraphic.png  pastedGraphic_1.png


O God, who have prepared for those who love you good things which no eye can see, fill our hearts, we pray, with the warmth of your love, so that, loving you in all things and above all things, we may attain your promises, which surpass every human desire. 

First reading: 
Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
Responsorial psalm: Ps 66(67):2-3, 5-6, 8
Second reading: Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28
Link to readings – click here

God’s love, mercy and salvation are for everyone. Although the Israelites were known as God’s chosen people, the story of their beginning, their time in exile, slavery and rejection is also a story of God’s love for the whole of humanity. Each of our readings this Sunday approaches this truth from a different perspective.

The prophet Isaiah (First Reading) exhorts us to act with justice and integrity. He foresees a time when anyone who loves and follows the way of the Lord will be part of the salvation covenant. The Psalm is a song of praise ringing with this truth, telling of a time when all nations will share in the loving light of God. Paul, writing to the early Gentile church in Rome, describes his conviction that their personal conversion and belief in God will help to fulfil God’s promise to bring salvation to everyone, and not just to the chosen people. (Second Reading)

Today’s Gospel presents an uncharacteristically abrupt Jesus initially rejecting the pleas of a desperate Canaanite woman. And yet it is this woman’s determined faith and sense of humour that challenges Jesus to step beyond the boundaries of his initial mission, thus revealing the truth that his salvation and healing is for all people – no exceptions.

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Our Passionist Family Group Name:                                                        
Our Family Group in Orewa had been going for about 8 months and we never had a name for it.   Lynne, our co-ordinator, didn’t want to use her surname for it, so at our recent planning meeting there was a lot of discussion about what our name should be.    We couldn’t come up with anything that we all agreed on and then someone said what about Friends Family Group, which we thought sounded a bit funny.   So our lovely Korean lady was asked what the Korean name for friends was.

The Korean word  ‘chingu’ translates to “friend,” but usage is a little bit different in Korean than it is in English. This is because Koreans generally only use the word for people of the same age or to refer to their close friends.

So hence we are now the ‘Chingu’ Family Group.  …… from Judy Quinney


Reminder: 5 Aims and Goals 


  • share & celebrate life & faith 
  • support one another (especially in need)                            
  • reaching out to & include others
  • build community/extended family
  • show example to children                                                                                    

    Pease remember in your thoughts and prayer: 


  • Please keep Richard and Sue  Gibbs in your prayers -He has been up and down and in and out of hospital. Very unwell but they still cannot work out what is going on. Tough on them both.
  • Please keep Debbie and her husband Bryan in your prayer. Deb is battling with thyroid cancer has started Radiation treatment
  • Please keep Bernie Metcalfe and family in your prayers
  • Please keep in mind Merrilyn Barron who is still unwell 
  • Please remember Martin van der Wetering in your prayers as his health is not good currently.
  • Please remember Phil Drew a former Passionist who has had a massive stroke. Please remember his wife Anne and family
  • Please keep in your prayers those who continue to  deal with the after effects of Cyclone Gabrielle and other weather events. 
  • Keep in prayer the people of Ukraine
  • Please keep Somalia and the surrounding countries dealing with their sixth year in a row of drought.
  • Please keep Nick and Leah and daughter Heidi Darbyshire along with Paul and Linda in your thoughts and prayer.
  • Please pray for Dot and Neill Wilson (Invercargill) – their son-in-law Mark married to Dot’s daughter Anita has been diagnosed with aggressive brain tumour, Please keep in mind their daughter Bailey and son Taylor.
  • Remember Pat and Rod Carson 
  • Aidan son of Josie and Phil McIntyre –his parents are his caregivers.
  • Your own intentions


  • How do you cook an alligator? With a croc-pot.
  • What did the earthquake say when it was done? Sorry, my fault!
  • Why did the computer go to bed? It needed to crash.
  • What do you give the dentist of the year? A little plaque.
  • What should you do to prevent dry skin? Use a towel.
  • How can you tell when a comic passes gas? Something smells funny.
  • What kind of bug can tell time? A clock-roach.
  • What do you call a can opener that doesn’t work? A can’t opener.
  • What do pigs use to clean up? Hogwash.
  • What’s a pirate’s favourite letter? You’d think it’s the “R,” but it’s really the “C.”

The following was supplied by Rosie Crawford.