Family Ministries

The Family Ministry office seeks to support families through their faith journey and strengthen parents’ own faith, through providing resources, workshops and formation programmes to equip parents to pass the faith on to their children and bring them up in the love of Christ. 

Formation in faith is an ongoing part of the lifelong human journey. Every Christian at every stage of life is challenged to continue to grow and learn more about what it means to be an authentic, contemporary disciple of Jesus Christ. The Archdiocese of Wellington is committed to the fostering of locally driven and delivered programmes of adult faith formation covering the lifespan. Faith formation, however, begins in the family and, if it is to be effective, it is essential that parents are equipped with the faith tools and confidence to make their homes centres of lived faith.

Read more about our two programmes coordinated by Family Ministries – Building Families of Faith and Sacramental Preparation.

‘Building Families of Faith’ formation programme

The Building Families of Faith programme is offered as a journey taken in the first 3 years of a child’s schooling, leading into the Sacramental Programme in Year 4. Sessions involve warmly welcoming parents of new entrants, encouraging them to connect with the local faith community and to lead and accompany their child on his/her journey in faith. Prayer in the home and an open approach to discussion of issues of faith are strongly encouraged while parents are able to peruse a wide range of Catholic print resources aimed at parents, families and young children. The point of the sessions is to normalize for parents aspects of faith community inclusion, conversation about faith issues in everyday language, everyday prayer and the expectation of adult faith formation in the months and years to come.

For more information or to see if Building Families of Faith has started in your school or parish, contact Lucienne Hensel at  – 04 496 1715 / 021 164 5800

Sacramental Preparation programme

A programme that guides children and their families through the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Eucharist was recently launched by the Archdiocesan Family Ministry Team.  The programme is based on the understanding that parents / caregivers are a child’s ‘first educators in faith’.  Each Sacrament includes four facilitated interactive gatherings of parents and children (simultaneous but separate) as well as joint activities for parent and child at home between sessions. Children’s worksheets and short parent handouts emphasizing key themes are provided. The programme includes an interactive PowerPoint presentation which offers parents an opportunity for adult faith formation and discussion.

Our Family Ministry team are offering training sessions to equip Sacramental Programme Leaders with the tools necessary to run the new programme.  They have already worked with several parishes which have now started using the new programme. If your parish is ready for a fresh, dynamic Sacramental Programme this year, please get in touch with us soon. Contact Lucienne Hensel at 04 496 1715 / 021 164 5800.

Upcoming events and workshops

For more information or to see if one of our programmes has started in your school or parish, contact Lucienne Hensel at or 04 496 1715 / 021 164 5800.

A full list of events happening across the Archdiocese that your family may also be interested in can be found here.

Relevant articles

  • 2022: Family love is a vocation and way to holiness – World Meeting of Families. Read more.
  • 2021: Accompanying families on the journey – Amoris Laetitia Family Year. Read more.
  • 2021: With a Father’s Heart – a reflection on fatherhood in the Year of St Joseph. Read more.
  • 2020: Faith at home while in lockdown. Read more.

Introducing Lucienne Hensel,
Pastoral Ministry Advisor

“If a family is centered on Christ, he will unify and illumine its entire life” – Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia 317

As Catholic parents, our vocation is to be the first and best teachers of the faith to our young ones.  The Family Ministry office seeks to strengthen parents’ own faith, equipping them to pass the faith to their children and bring them up in the love of Christ. 

I grew up in Malta, and arrived in New Zealand with my husband Rainer in 1996.  We have two young adult sons and a younger one who is at college.  As a family we served as full-time missionaries with the ICPE Mission, based at St Gerard’s Monastery, until 2012.  I am a graduate of the Launch Out Lay Pastoral Leader formation program and worked in Wellington South Parish for eight years as part of the administrative team.   I have always enjoyed being involved in pastoral ministry with families and young people, and am thrilled to be part of the Archdiocesan Church Mission Team.

If you would like to know more about Family Ministries in the Archdiocese, please contact me.  I would love to hear from you!

To contact Lucienne:; 04 496 1715; 021 164 5800