Where did Passionist Family Groups come from?
The Passionist Family Group Movement was founded by Fr Peter McGrath CP in 1972 in the (then) small parish of Terry Hills in Sydney, Australia. This small parish, gradually grew, and with it so did the Family Groups, and today Terry Hills has around 26 groups, involving about 350 families.
The spread of the PFGM around Australia under the direction of the Passionists began slowly in 1982. by early 1992 they had spread to over 180 parishes in Australia . Today Passionist Family Groups can be found throughout Australia, New Zealand, U.S.A, U.K., Ireland and Scotland
Passionist Family Groups began in New Zealand in June 1988. They are well established, with effective leaders across each diocese. Working with them is Templestowe based Fr Brian Traynor CP. Over many years he has worked with partners in developing healthy leadership models with the movement.
What is a Passionist Family Group?
Each group has somewhere between 24-40 people including children. In forming the groups we try match children of a similar age, and a cross section of adults so that it resembles an extended family.
In recent years, new family groups have emerged supporting young families. At the same time, groups have formed to support a variety of cultures in our diverse parishes.
What do Groups Do?
The emphasis is on building relationships, so the groups are about 'being' rather than 'doing'. Each group is encouraged to get together once a month for a low cost or no cost activity.
These gatherings allow people to get to know one another, and then in natural ways, group members begin to create bonds with others. With the building of bonds comes the opportunity to form friendships, have fun, extend acceptance and support, and quite simply and joyfully experience Christian life with others. The emphasis is on allowing everyone to be part of the 'family'.
How do Passionist Family Groups help the parish?
The networking of families has immediate effects on parish liturgy and within a few months more people are keen to become involved in the life of the parish.
Many pastoral needs such as visiting one another, or helping each other in practical ways in special times of need, build parish life and help people understand what belonging to a church really means.
Family groups support and encourage the life of the family as well as provide an important sense of belonging for many who have lost it, through death or breakdown,
Can anyone join?
The simple answer is 'yes'. The family group motto is 'a family for all'
For further information contact the National Directors. Their contact details can be found under the Contact Us section.