Archbishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa, C.P.

13 February, 2021

Pope Francis on Thursday 11th February 2021 appointed a Passionist Bishop serving in a strife-torn diocese in Mozambique to lead a diocese in his native Brazil.

The Pope named Bishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa, C.P., who has overseen the Diocese of Pemba since 2013, to guide the Diocese of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim in the Southeast Region of Brazil. The Holy See Press Office said on Feb. 11 that Pope Francis had given the 65-year-old bishop, who belongs to the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (Passionists), the title of “Archbishop ad personam.” “Archbishop ad personam” is a rank which the pope confers on certain bishops who are not ordinaries of archdioceses. Thus, the title of archbishop is given to them individually rather than because of the dioceses they govern.

Following news of Lisboa’s transfer and elevation, Catholic bishops in Mozambique expressed appreciation for his ministry among the people of God in the southern African country. In a statement, the members of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique said: “We are very grateful to the Holy Father for having given us, since 2013 until very recently, this great missionary from Brazil as bishop of our beloved Diocese of Pemba.” “We thank His Excellency Dom Luís Fernando Lisboa for the selfless pastoral work done among us, in the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique and in the country, even in such difficult times and situations.” As Bishop of Pemba, Lisboa was an outspoken defender of the population of the troubled region of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique, a target of violence by Islamist terrorist groups.

Lisboa was born in 1955 in Barão de Japarana, Brazil. He made his religious profession in 1977 and was ordained a priest in 1983. In 2001, he was sent as a missionary to the Diocese of Pemba, where he served as parish vicar, parish priest and formator at the Passionist seminary. He was appointed Bishop of Pemba in June 2013 and ordained a bishop in August that year. In 2018, Lisboa served as secretary general of Mozambique’s bishops’ conference and coordinator of the bishops’ social department.

Speaking to Radio Itapemirim shortly after his new appointment, Lisboa said: “I am a missionary and I went to Africa and worked there for almost 20 years; I will continue as a missionary, now here in Brazilian lands and in this beloved Diocese of Cachoeira de Itapemirim.” “I am very happy with this new beginning, because our life is just like that, always a new beginning. And I am willing to learn, because I know I will learn.” He continued: “The experience of working in Africa is very strong and deep. I always had the will, the desire, to go beyond the borders.” “I prayed a lot for that in my youth, and God heard my prayer. I went there at the beginning of 2001 as a missionary, after a nine-year experience there, I came back to Brazil to stay for a year and ended up staying four years in the Archdiocese of Curitiba.” Last December, Lisboa said that exploitation of natural resources was the cause of the crisis in Cabo Delgado province. “The conflicts in the Cabo Delgado region have their origins in the costs of exploiting natural resources,” he said during a webinar promoted by Catholic organizations in Portugal.

Source: Catholic News Agency

Solemn Commemoration of the Passion

11 February, 2021

On the Friday before Ash Wednesday (Friday 12 February 2021) Passionists celebrate the titular feast of the Congregation – the Solemn Commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

This feast, which was instituted by St. Paul of the Cross, is a joyful celebration of the mystery of Good Friday focussing on the Passion as “the most overwhelming sign of God’s love” (St. Paul of the Cross).

Passionist Bishop Vincent Strambi writes, “Happy is the person who reflects on the life giving passion of our Lord. He will be humble, trustful, thankful and loving towards Jesus who is our justice, our sanctification and our redemption” . (From the book ‘The Treasures Which We Have in Jesus Christ,’ Volume III, p. 14)

May the Passion of Jesus be always in our hearts!


God of compassion, our creator and redeemer, you sent your son into this world to die that we might live, and to restore us to your friendship, lost by the sin of Adam. Keep before our eyes the mystery of Christ crucified, so that we may preach to the world the redeeming love of your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Titular Feast of our Congregation

St. Paul of the Cross, by means of a letter of 27 September 1758, asked several religious to compose the Office of the Solemnity of the Passion. Fr. Tommaso Struzzieri re-edited the text. The wish of Pope Clement XIV to extend this office to the entire Church delayed the final approval, which was granted on 10 January 1776, several months after the death of our Holy Founder. As the titular feast of our Congregation, it was always celebrated with great solemnity as an expression of our charism and our mission in the Church.
The Passion, in its widest sense, begins with the Incarnation and ends with the ignominy of the Cross (Phil.2:6-8; cfr. Heb. 13:13). It is the work of the Trinity– the Father, who “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son” (John 3:16); the Son, who, “having loved his own who were in the world, loved them to the end” (Jn. 13:1); the Holy Spirit, which the Son sends from the Father (John 15:26), at the hour of his glorification (Jn.7:39; 19:30). Each time, then, that we eat the bread and drink the chalice, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes (1Cor.11:26). To remember the Passion of the Lord means “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.” (2Cor.4:10).

All-powerful and ever-living God,
in obedience to your will,
our saviour became man and died upon the cross and
so became for us
the great example of humility.
On this solemnity in honor of his Passion, help
us to be united with him in his suffering,
so that we may be one with him in
the glory of his resurrection.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


6 February, 2021

“When Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandise the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” Barbara Bloom

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. Every break is unique and instead of repairing an item like new, the 400-year-old technique actually highlights the “scars” as a part of the design. Using this as a metaphor for healing ourselves teaches us an important lesson: Sometimes in the process of repairing things that have broken, we actually create something more unique, beautiful and resilient.

Readings while at the Hermitage, Mittagong

6 February, 2021


“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior” (Christina Baldwin) It is so important to express how you feel, to release painful memories so we can freely move on with our lives. There are times we can write words we are incapable of saying aloud. Journaling can be a wonderful way to express these feelings and release them. I have frequently turned to my journal over the years as a vehicle to express what was going on in my life. Sometimes I’ve used it to record significant events, but most often I have journaled as a vehicle to help me through difficult times. At various times it has served as a bridge, allowing me to leave pain behind so that I can move on; it has been a safe container for my feelings. To express how we feel, whether to another person or to the pages of our journal, helps us along to path of healing. Let the words and feelings come out without concern for grammar or form, or even if your thoughts don’t make any sense. Let your pages serve as a safe container for your thoughts and feelings. You never have to share these words with anyone. It is up to you.

My journal carries me from one place to another, moves me, help me become unstuck. At various times it has served as a bridge, allowing me to leave my pain behind so that I could move on; and it has been a safe container for my feelings. It gave me great comfort and was a wonderful release.

“Journal keeping requires courage and sweaters. Courage because it’s often hard and painful to see your life before you in black and white; sweaters because we all need something to cozy up to.” (Richard Solly)


It is wonderful to take time to listen, to stop and hear the birds singing or the waves crashing, the barely audible sound of the grasshopper jumping, or the rustle of the leaves being lifted by the breeze. It you can, take a walk and listen to the sounds of nature. Walk in a field of wild flowers or along the shore. Climb up a mountain or down into a valley. You can picture scenes like this when listening to Julie Andrews singing with such joy the immortal lyrics: “The hills are alive with the sound of music.” If you can’t get outside open your window and listen to see if you can hear the birds amidst the sound of traffic, perhaps a dog barking, or leaves rustling, or a bumblebee flying by. And if it’s too cold to open your window, simply listen to the sound of your breath going in and going out as you meditate. Stopping to listen is a meditation in itself. It’s a way of slowing ourselves down, going deeper inside ourselves and finding that special place where wisdom sometimes hides.


“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” (Author Unknown) Worry is not problem solving. Worry is not looking for a solution. We know worry does not help anything to improve. We know worry drains us and creates stress in our lives. We know that worry leads to many forms of illness. And worry ages us! So why do many of us worry? Because that’s typical of human nature. One person told me, “Of course I worry! I love my children! I wouldn’t be a good mother if I didn’t worry.” She thinks she’s accomplishing something, although she isn’t. Worry is fear based. We worry we are not going to get what we want when we want it. We worry we are not good enough. We worry if it’s going to rain on our picnic. And all of this gets us nowhere. Instead of going over and over the same problem, why not ask yourself if there is something you can do about it? Bring your awareness to your breath and breathe in and out three times. Let yourself relax. You will be much freer to find a solution, if there is one, when you are not filled with stress; and if there isn’t one, pray for acceptance. This isn’t easy if you have been a worrier all your life, but it is important if you want to be healthy as you age.

During the month of February 2021

31 January, 2021

4th February 1710 – birthday of Anthony Daneo, brother of St. Paul of the Cross and Ven. John Baptist Daneo

7th February 1796 – death of Fr. John Mary Cioni, C.P. After the death of St. Paul of the Cross’ brother, Ven. John Baptist, Fr. John Mary was confessor for St. Paul of the Cross until his death in 1775. He was the third Superior General of the Passionists (1784-1790).

12th February – Feast of the Solemn Commemoration of the Passion, Titular Feast of the Passionist Congregation

16th February 1727 – St. Paul of the Cross and Ven. John Baptist Daneo receive the tonsure from Bishop Baccari, Vicar of Rome

17th February – Ash Wednesday

18th February 1821 – decree on the virtues of Fr. Paul of the Cross proclaimed

23rd February 1727 – St. Paul of the Cross and Ven. John Baptist Daneo receive first minor orders of porter and lector from Bishop Baccari, Vicar of Rome

23rd February 1731 – St. Paul of the Cross and Ven. John Baptist Daneo request Pope Clement XII to grant them the canonical title “of the missions”

24th February 1727 – St. Paul of the Cross and Ven. John Baptist Daneo receive second minor orders of acolyte and exorcist from Bishop Baccari, Vicar of Rome

27th February – Passionist Feast of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows