Meet the Team
National Director, Family Life International NZ
Colleen established Family Life International NZ in 1992. Inspired by the late Fr Paul Marx
(the great Apostle of Life, she realised the need for a pro-life, pro-family organisation in
New Zealand which addressed all the life issues from natural conception through to
natural death, was unashamedly Catholic, and would open its arms wide to every pregnant
mother facing a crisis pregnancy, as well as the sick, disabled and elderly who` may find
themselves a target for euthanasia-type practices.
Colleen has been married to her husband Terry for 40 years. Together the have five children (four adopted, three of whom have special needs), and ten grandchildren. For many years Colleen and Terry have fostered and provided respite for 27 children with various special needs, truly opening their hearts and their home to those who are most vulnerable in society today. In the 20 years prior to establishing Family Life International, Colleen was actively involved in SPUC, Operation Rescue, and praying outside the abortion clinics.
Prior to his resignation, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI named Colleen a Dame in the Order of St Gregory the Great, an honour for her pro-life work with mothers and babies in New Zealand.
Colleen has her hand in every aspect of the organisation, directly working with the mothers that come into the John Paul II Centres for Life, as well as ensuring that the mission of Family Life International NZ is carried out faithfully.
The daughter of Colleen and Terry Bayer, Michelle has been immersed in the pro-life,
pro-family apostolate all of her life. However, it was at the age of 14 that her real
passion to be actively involved took hold. Michelle has been with Family Life
International NZ since its very first days and has experience working throughout the
organisation. With a primary teaching background, Michelle is passionate about educating
on the various life issues and motivating people to action. Her articles can be found on Family Life International NZ's blog A Culture of Life as well as LifeSiteNews.com and NZ Catholic.
Michelle is married to Brendan, who manages Family Life Catholic Gifts. Together, they have seven children.
Co-Ordinator of Family Life International NZ's John Paul II Centre for Life, Wellington
Clare credits her initial interest in life, faith and family to the example of her pro-life parents and, also, the enlightening explanation of Humanae Vitae she heard from Fr. Tom O'Connor S.M. in her youth. Later, as a parent she became more aware of the indifference and opposition to life throughout society. Discovering the relatively new group Family Life International in the mid 1990s brought her joy, hope and a way to be involved in promoting the sanctity of life.
While home-schooling her youngest daughter, she began volunteering for Family Life International in Wellington. Then, in October 2011 the John Paul II Centre for Life, Wellington was opened by Archbishop John Dew. Since then, the work has intensified and grown. Clare particularly enjoys the contact with the mothers and also the opportunities to share God's plan for love and life with young people.
Clare is married to Ian, has three children and seven gorgeous grandchildren. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from Massey University and has been actively involved in her parish and community for many years.
In addition to running the Crisis Pregnancy Centre in Wellington, Clare also runs Theology of the Body classes for teens, a Divine Mercy Cenacle prayer group, Prayer Vigils outside Wellington Hospital and other events as needed. Clare works very closely with Frank in Dunedin and with the Auckland team.