Palmerston North region which incorporates 2 parishes in Palmerston North, and 1 each from the Feilding, Dannevirke and Wanganui Parishes was treated to another excellent  annual training day in early May.  We were blessed with Fr Brian Traynor’s presence and leadership

There were 26 people attending and that included 2 who travelled from Wanganui and the balance were from the Palmerston North/Feilding area.

The main subject matters this year covering Passionist Charism, Multiculturalism and Grief and Loss were very well received.

As for a number of those attending it was their first training day, the Passionist Charism segment filled in a lot of background and explained why we are called “Passionist”.

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The segment on Multicultures in parishes is extremely relevant in the PN region as two of the parishes involved have had Mass times changed and have become a Parish Area community. This has changed the dynamic of the Mass attendees and there appears to be a huge influx of Asian, Indian and African parishioners  who appreciate later mass times and make their Sunday very much a full day of community involvement.  The challenge for us as a group is to work out the best way to integrate and involve those who are new to New Zealand and the area.  For our city Massey University is a big drawcard for overseas students and staff.


This promoted lots of questions and ideas to consider going forward this year.

After a shared lunch, the topics covered Grief and Loss and also the resources available to Family Groups.  It is always good to look at the stages of grief and loss as many find themselves in this situation without the tools to cope.  Loss covers a lot of life’s trials and the current world economic state is part of it and affects many.

Technology is an ongoing process and Fr Brian touched briefly on this re social networking etc.

It was great to have young people there who are involved in leading a new group which is all under 40 years.  Their community is benefitting greatly from this movement and enhances parish life.

Many thanks to all who attended and gave up their time to further their spiritual journey and inform themselves about PFG.  Thanks also to Fr Brian for another inspiring, encouraging and thought provoking day and his input and vision for our church life is always very heartening.

Rose and Terry Comber
Palmerston North