9 December – Blessed Bernard Silvestrelli CP

8 December, 2018

Silvestrelli02On December 9th Passionists celebrate the feast of Blessed Bernard Mary Silvestrelli, C.P.

It was the Superior General, Father Bernard Mary Silvestrelli, C.P., who accepted the request of Cardinal Moran, Archbishop of Sydney, for the Passionists to come to Sydney, Australia, in 1887.

Now a member of the Holy Spirit Province (Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam) serves in the office of Superior General of the Passionists that was previously held by Blessed Mary Silvestrelli! – the current Superior General is Fr. Joachim Rego, C.P.

  • Blessed Bernard Mary Silvestrelli, C.P., was born Caesar Peter Silvestrelli on 7th November 1831 in the house at number 38, Minerva Place in Rome
  • He was baptised the same day in the Church of Santa Maria in Minerva, Rome. The Silvestrelli family tomb is in this Church
  • Caesar was 17 years old when his mother died and 22 years old when his father died. At his father’s funeral there were 120 Franciscans, 40 Dominicians and 80 Capuchins
  • From 1840 to 1847 he attended the Roman College of the Jesuits
  • In 1853, the year after his father’s death, St. Paul of the Cross was Beatified
  • On 21st February 1854 he entered the Passionists at Sts. John and Paul in Rome
  • On 21st March 1854 he departed Sts. John and Paul for his novitiate in Monte Argentario
  • On 7th April 1854 he received the Passionist habit at Monte Argentario
  • Before long the Novitiate records read: “Silvestrelli left on 3rd May 1854 because this life was totally wearisome for him and he was overcome with sadness”
  • He asked to be allowed to remain as a guest of the community in Presentation Retreat, Monte Argentario, while he continued his studies for the priesthood. He studied under Father Pacifico of St. Joseph and wore the ecclesiastical habit
  • From 31st June to 24th August 1855 he lived in the retreatants wing at Sts. John and Paul in Rome
  • On 22nd December 1855 he was ordained a priest by Bishop Molajoni
  • As an expression of his gratitude for their hospitality Bernard, at his own expense, restored the Chapel of the Crucified in the Church of the Presentation, Monte Argentario and built a new chapel in honour of St. Paul of the Cross
  • Bernard rejoined the Passionists and went to Morrovale for a Novitiate in 1856
  • On 27th April 1856 he received the habit again for the second time and became Bernard Mary of Jesus
  • He was professed a Passionist on 28th April 1857
  • As a sign of gratitude to the community which had welcomed him and helped him to happily succeed in his desire, Bernard presented the sacristy at Morrovale with two valuable copes, one in cloth of silver and the otherin cloth of gold
  • In January 1865 Bernard was chosen as Master of Novices at Scala Santa in Rome
  • On 20 September 1867 his brother, Luigi, died with Bernard present.  On 23rd September his brother’s body was transferred to the family tomb in the Church of Santa Maria in Minerva, Rome
  • On 27th May 1869 Bernard was elected Superior of Scala Santa. He was confirmed for another three years on 14th April 1872
  • He was elected First Consultor on 7th June 1875 and moved to Vetralla which at that time was the Provincial Residence
  • At the death of the Provincial, Father Pier Giovanni, C.P.,  in July 1876 Bernard became Provincial
  • On 4th May 1878 Bernard was elected Superior General of the Passionists. At the time the Passionists had been in existence for 158 years and were present in 8 nations
  • Bernard Silvestrelli, C.P. as Superior General accepted the request of the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Moran, for the Passionists to start a foundation in the Archdiocese of Sydney in 1887
  • The Passionist General Chapter in 1884 re elected Bernard by acclamation
  • In 1888 Bernard resigns as Superior General – “he finds himself weakened in health and weary in spirit and therefore in need of quiet and peace
  • On 2nd January 1889 he communicates his resignation as Superior General to the Congregation
  • In August 1890, he went to Monte Argentario to the Retreat of of the Presentation. He chose one of the smallest cells on the Brothers’ corridor and “passed long hours in the church, praying before the Blessed Sacrament
  • On 3rd May 1893 he was elected Superior General once again
  • The General Chapter of 1899 confirms Bernard once again on the first vote
  • In 1905 he convoked the General Chapter with the imagery of a ship. He considered the Congregation voyaging towards port (the Chapter) in order to take on the supplies it needs for its subsequent voyage and take on a new pilot. The Chapter is a time in port to be refreshed, change pilot and resume its voyage with greater energy
  • He reminded Passionists that “love for the institute should be creative
  • On 8th May 1905 the General Chapter re elects him Superior General in the first ballot
  • Bernard develops arthrosis of the spine preventing him from freely moving his neck and legs.  He becomes psychologically weary of being so many years caught up in annoyances, troubles and frictions of the Congregation.
  • On 7th July 1907 Pope Pius X accepts Bernard’s resignation and assigned him the title of Honorary General as a sign of his great esteem
  • On 20th May 1908 the Pope nominated Bernard as President of the General Chapter beginning on 24th May
  • Bernard leaves Sts. John and Paul in Rome on 4th June 1908 for the last time
  • He died on 9th December 1911 at the Passionist Monastery at Morricone.

– Notes taken from the book “Bernard Mary Silvestrelli” by Fabiano Giorgini, C.P.

8 December – The Immaculate Conception

8 December, 2018

immaculate-conception-magnet-574MGIn today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38) we witness gutsy faith. Mary makes herself available to the ways and workings of God. We are taken to a remote village in Galilee. It takes us to an encounter between an angel sent by God to a girl no longer a child and not yet an adult. In this scene the divine comes crashing into the earth. Mary’s reaction to the news of the angel is to be frightened and perplexed. It is such a human moment. Mary’s fear does not have the last word. Mary cooperates with the grace of God. We witness an extraordinary partnership between God and Mary. As we listen to this Gospel today, we hear a story of Mary’s availability to the ways and workings of God. Let’s pray that like this young teenage girl we will be available to the ways and workings of God in our world each day.

 

The Season of Advent

3 December, 2018

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Prayer

God of time;
Time came from the words shaped by your mouth
and then you came into time
in the body of a child:
with a mouth, ears, eyes, legs, arms,
a heart beating,
a stomach aching for food,
and a brain aching for integrity.
In our own time,
give us the wisdom to discern
the signs of the times,
so that we can respond
to the things that will make
life flourish
more and more.
Because you are the one
from whom all life comes
and with whom all life flourishes
more and more.
Amen.

Love, adore, delight, follow and enjoy!

22 November, 2018

St-Ambrose-Quote

21 November 1887 Passionists arrive in Australia

21 November, 2018

The first Passionists from the Anglo Hibernian Province arrived in Australia on 21st November 1887.

They were  Father Alphonsus O’Neill, C.P., Father Marcellus Wright, C.P., Father Patrick Fagan, C.P., Father Colman Noonan, C.P. and Brother Lawrence Carr, C.P.

Father Marcellus Wright, C.P.

Father Marcellus was a business man when he joined the Passionists at the age of twenty two. When he arrived in Australia he was five years a priest. After ordination, he spent twelve months in the Paris House at Avenue Hoche. Here the English Irish Passionists had served the English-speaking people of Paris since 1863.

After that, he had gone to live at St. Mungo’s in Glasgow. His ministry was taken up with the giving of parish missions and his preaching was described as “all fire and earnestness.”

In the course of his years in Australia, Fr. Marcellus was superior at New Town in Tasmania and at St. Brigid’s, Marrickville and he was the first Novice Master when the Novitiate was established at Mary’s Mount in Goulburn, New South Wales.