:whistle:Hope you can help…i’m starting a mom’s group in my parish. It’s the first one we’ve ever had. I’m looking for ideas as to what actually goes on in a moms group, plus I’d love some suggestions for a good name for the group. With the blessing of our priest, i’m writing a bulletin announcement to inquire about interest and need something that will really catch their eye! thanks-twk
The group at my church was called “ministry of mothers” or MOMs for short. It was open to any mother, regardless of the age of the child, and included spiritual, social and service aspects. They met about once a month, and talk about the stuff mom’s face daily. Sometimes there would be a guest speaker.
I only made one meeting before the group (which had been well established before I had kids) disbanded. I wonder if those two things are related…
“Arms of St. Ann”
I think some questions that will help you work out what you are doing and what to name the group would include:
Is this a mother’s only group? What about fathers who do a lot of the parenting during the daytime? Do you want to invite them, keep it a moms group but let any specific dads who inquire know that they are welcome, or exclude them? There can be good reasons to go with any of these choices, depending on your parish culture and your goals for this group. If you want to include fathers, a reference to the Holy Family or maybe a Latin phrase about family might be good . . .
Is this a SAHM’s oriented group? What about employed mothers? I think “Sts. Mary and Gianna” would be a great name for a group for both “types” of mothers, reminding us of the Mother of our Lord who truly shows a beautiful and ideal motherhood, and also reminding us that employed mothers have paths to sainthood as well (St. Gianna is known in part for her saintly ability to balance her role as mother and her professional role as a medical doctor). If it’s primarily for SAHMs, then any reference to our blessed Mother, St. Anne, St. Elizabeth, etc. would be wonderful. I like “Arms of St. Anne”
Do you want children to come, or is this “mother’s time out”? (If the latter, schedule in the evenings so Dads can care for the kids).
If there are children, what will they be doing during the meeting? How will they get snacks / drinks / potty breaks? You might want to encourage moms to bring potluck snacks when they are in the mood.
As for what to do, here’s what I’ve seen:
- Informal meet-and-greet playdate meetings with snacks, with an opening prayer - this is what I see most often
- Prayer - opening prayer, or a prayer group that prays the Rosary or other lengthy prayer sessions, possibly as an optional thing before the “real” meeting gets going, and possibly as the focus of the group (I’m in a “Rosary Group” like this)
- Spending 30 minutes or so on discussion topics, like “frugality”, “new baby”, “time management”, “potty training”, and so on, and then free discussion and socializing
- Consider making an email list for members to use for prayer requests, new baby announcements, and so on.
- Consider organizing a “meal brigade” to help mothers of newborns - just send out an email letting people know where and when they can drop off meals for the family
- Occasional “swaps” for used family goods that are no longer needed, like children’s clothing or baby furniture, or garage sales as a group, or charity gifts for other parish programs to help mothers in need
- Encourage moms to form “satalite” groups that meet outside of the group for specific events - e.g., a mothers’ prayer group, or a Tuesday playdate, or a Saturday coffee break, or a full-family get-together meeting that includes the dads, or a homeschooling group, and so on. These seem to form naturally after a year or two, from what I see.
There are my brainstormy thoughts
I started a group in one parish called MOPITS Mothers of pre-schoolers, infants and toddlers. We often read an article a week and discussed it, or had a topic or speaker. We never ran out of things to talk about. We started with prayer. We had a nice room where the kids had lots of toys. The moms took turns watching the kids so the moms could talk. In another parish I lived at we had sitters, but the kids could come and stay with the moms if need be.