Seasons for Growth

Seasons for Growth empowers professionals to support people through change and grief.

Seasons for Growth has been running successfully in New Zealand for over 20 years, and the licence is with Archbishop Paul Martin SM.

It works on the peer support principal and reflects St Mary MacKillop’s call: “Never see a need without trying to do something about it.” 

Our evidence-based programs equip professionals with the tools to create a safe environment for children, young people, and adults. These programs foster the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to understand and navigate experiences of change, loss, and grief. We are dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing and resilience of schools and communities in the face of adversity.

The programs use the power of sharing in a supportive peer group setting, where participants can safely explore their experiences and uncover their own strengths in the grief process. The Seasons for Growth programs helps people navigate life's challenges, including:

  • The loss of a loved one
  • Family transitions
  • Separation and divorce
  • Changes in friendships
  • Impact of illness
  • Relocation
  • Moving to a new school or home
  • Natural disasters

Mackillop Seasons Programs available

Children and Young Persons' Programme (16-18 years of age)

  • Level 1 (ages 6-8 years)
  • Level 2 (ages 9-10 years)
  • Level 3 (ages 11-12 years)
  • Level 4 (ages 13-18 years)
    eight formal sessions; one celebration session; and one optional reconnector session

Parent Programmes

(supporting children who are participating in the Children and Young Persons’ Programme)

  • Supporting your child following separation and divorce:
    2 sessions (2 hours) or 1 session (4 hours)
  • Supporting your child following the death of someone they love
    1 session (2.5 hours)

Adult Understanding Change, Loss and Grief seminar

  • 3 hour seminar

 Adult Exploring the Seasons of Grief small group program

  • 4 x 2-hour sessions


  •   Level 1 (ages 6-10 years)
  •   Level 2 (ages 11-14 years)
  •    Four formal sessions; one celebration session; and one optional reconnector session 

Plans for 2024:

Upcoming Companion Training:

  • Children and Young People's Programme Companion Training: Monday 17th and Tuesday 8th June (VIRTUAL) – Targeting the South Island
  • Adult TrainingTentative Dates: Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th August
  • Parent TrainingTentative Dates: Monday 16th September
  • Children and Young People's Programme Companion TrainingTentative Dates: Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th October.

If you wish to train as a companion or would like more information on a session listed above, please send Jess Ferroni an email at or call/text her on 021 374 405 

Facilitated Programs for community members:

  • Children and Young People's program
    8 sessions in agreement with schools and youth groups on application
  • Parent program
    For parents supporting children through crisis aligned with when a Children and Young Persons’ Program is being run 
  • Adult small group programme
    6 afternoon / evenings for up to 8 adults as expressions of interest arise
  • Adult seminar
    5 hour workshop for up to 20 participants on application

 If you are interested in attending a program or would like one run in your community or school, please email Jess at or call/text her on 021 374 405

Getting involved

Seasons for Growth offers much satisfaction in “accompanying one other” (Call No 10, ADW Synod 2017) for participants and for companions.

Catholic Social Services is looking for volunteers to help as Companions. For further information, please email Jess at or call/text her on 021 374 405


  “Having other people with the same problem to talk to has really helped” (participant, 12 yrs)
  “The Seasons for Growth training has helped me to realise the impact that change and loss can have on kids’ behaviour at school” (Teacher)
  “It was such a relief to know I wasn’t going mad, I was grieving, and that that is normal.” (adult participant)
  “I love the course! I think it will be excellent to enhance our students’ wellbeing.” (Learning Support Coordinator, training participants)


Therapeutic Social Work


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