Group marks decade enriching lives through faith, fun and friendship

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Home > Media > News > Group marks decade enriching lives through faith, fun and friendship
Group marks decade enriching lives through faith, fun and friendship

A group dedicated to outreach, friendship and spirituality is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary later this year.
Maureen Saunders, of Waverley in northern Tasmania, set up the Life Ascending group which has a well-deserved reputation for faith, fun and fellowship.

Laughter and joy fill the air as members of the group arrive for the monthly meeting at the Launceston Catholic Pastoral Centre in Margaret Street. The group is for older people who share reflection time, hope and faith.

Mrs Saunders, who is a parishioner at Sacred Heart Church at Newstead, explained how the group started.

“I had read about the Melbourne Life Ascending, and the person who introduced it to Australia, [Dominican nun] Sr Patricia Nichols,” Mrs Saunders said.

“She learned of Life Ascending in England, although it is worldwide.

“We felt the need for it for older people in the parish. At that time, all the concentration was on young people, yet older people have so much to offer.

“There are about 20 groups in Australia mostly in the Sydney and Melbourne areas.”

Groups gather to reflect together on Christ’s message in the Gospels as they journey through their later years.

Mrs Saunders explained Life Ascending’s focus on outreach, friendship and spirituality.

“As an older group, some of us might find it difficult to get out in the community and do practical things to assist others, so as part of our outreach, we have monthly collections and raffles and the money we raise goes to charity, especially St Vincent de Paul,” Mrs Saunders said.

“Friendship just develops naturally in a group like ours. There is a great degree of love and trust, and many members have been attending meetings since the group’s inception.

“Spirituality is an important part of our meetings. We have a Gospel reading that we discuss and we have opening and closing prayers.

“We have lots of laughs – we are just a group of lovely, ordinary everyday Catholics.”

Mrs Saunders is keen to see more Life Ascending groups start in Tasmania and is happy to provide assistance. In the meantime, the Launceston group warmly welcomes new and existing members to its meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at the Launceston Pastoral Centre at 2pm.

“It would be wonderful if more Life Ascending groups started in Tasmania,” Mrs Saunders said.

“In our group, every one of us absolutely love it.

“This group provides that little extra to nourish our faith. It reminds us, as we go along, that there is more to our faith than just going to Mass on Sundays.”

Launceston’s Life Ascending has 14 members. The group turns 10 in October. For further information about Life Ascending, please email Mrs Saunders here.

Caption: A warm welcome awaits from Launceston Life Ascending group members (from left): Maree Porter, Frank Wood, Diane Wood, Bernard Saunders, Maureen Saunders, Christina Bernhard, Mona Martin and Shelley Sexton. Photo: Wendy Shaw.