Archive for January, 2008

Ever a Missionary … Paul Michael Boyle C.P.

11 January, 2008

The Blog Whispers in the Loggia writes of the death of Bishop Paul Michael Boyle, C.P. on 10th January, 2008.

And also Father Paul Francis C.P., from St. Mungo’s, Glasgow, writes of his death at Laus Crucis.

Bishop Paul Boyle was also founder of the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate in Mandeville WI.

Death of Bishop Paul Michael Boyle C.P.

11 January, 2008

Bishop Paul Michael Boyle, C.P., former Superior General of the Passionists, died in Louisville, Kentucky on 10th January 2008.

Paul Michael Boyle, C.P., was born in Michigan USA on 28th March 1926. He was professed a Passionist on 9th July 1946. He was a lector, provincial and for six years President of the Union of Major Superiors in USA. He was elected Superior General of the Passionists at the General Chapter of 14 September – 16 October 1976 and re-elected in the Chapter of 20 September – 1 November 1982.

From 16-29 October 1977 he presided at the meeting of the Major Superiors in Lima to assist him in becoming aware of the situation of the Congregation in that hemisphere. He presided at the Third General Synod of the Passionists (15-22 September 1987 in Rome), the fourth (14-20 September 1980 in Corella, Spain), the fifth (1984 in Tanzania) and the sixth (7-21 September 1986 in Rome).

In 1981 the Passionists entered the Diocese of Cochin, India, under his guidance. 

At the 1982 Passionist General Chapter the revision of the text of the Passionist Constitutions and of the General Regulations were completed.

Various study meetings on the spirituality and history of the Passionist Congregation were begun in 1978.

During his term as Superior General the Congregation was encouraged by the beatification of Brother Isidore of St. Joseph (1984), Confrater Pio Campidelli (1985) and Father Bernard Mary Silvestrelli (1988) and Father Charles of Mount Argus (1988).

On 15th April 1991 he was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Mandeville West Indies and Titular Bishop of Canapium. On 21st November 1997 he was appointed Bishop of Mandeville. 

He retired as Bishop on 6th July 2004 and since that time has been living in the Passionist Community at Louisville, Kentucky.

Goodbye Paul and thank you!

7th January – In History

7 January, 2008

Orbetello, 7th January, 1741

Letter to Sister Maria Cherubina Bresciani

J.M.J.

My Daughter in Jesus Christ,

Last evening I received your letter, in which I see that testing from God has come. I want my daughter to be very faithful in suffering it with great annihilation of herself, from which comes a loving silence and a great abandonment to the Divine Good Pleasure, and a resultion not to come down from the holy cross without permission of her sweet Crucified Spouse. I recommend to her fidelity in the practice of virtue in accord with our established rules, for there will come a time when her spirit will swim in a sea of consolations and drink the rivers of the fire of Holy Love.

I came back from Rome on the day before the Vigil of Christmas, and I left our affairs in an excellent beginning. They examined the Constitutions before I left, and we wait only the execution of the brief. If my sins do not block that, it will be sent this month, as our Cardinal Protector promised me. And, I hope, I will see myself clothed with all the members of our least Congregation. I see God wishes to send holy workers, and it is necessary to pray God that he remove the forces who are persecuting us, that is, the devil and human beings who are acting with good intentions, as I believe. I will try, either on going to or coming from Longone, to see you for a conference.

I am writing in haste, for I am leaving for Farnese to conduct a retreat for a convent. I will return on January 22. I am not able to come to your convent. Thank Mother Abbess and let all continue to pray for our work and for me. Jesus inflame you with love and bless you. Amen.

Your true servant,

Paul of the Cross

[Sister Maria Cherubina Bresciana was a Poor Clare of the St. Anastatius Monastery in Piombino. She met St. Paul of the Cross in 1733. His spiritual daughter for 42 years. There are 46 letters to her from St. Paul of the Cross. She made the first Passionist Sign for him] (Source: St. Paul of the Cross,  A Source/Workbook for Paulacrucian Studies, Jude Mead, C.P., p. 117)

To Heal the Broken Hearted – The Life of Saint Charles of Mount Argus

5 January, 2008

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Fr. Paul Francis Spencer, C.P., of Laus Crucis has written the life of Saint Charles of Mount Argus.

Entitled TO HEAL THE BROKEN HEARTED – It is available online here

Saint Charles of Mount Argus (Charles Houben)

5 January, 2008

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Fr. Charles of St. Andrew, known in secular life as John Andrew Houben, was born on 11 December 1821 in Munstergeleen, in the diocese of Ruremond (Holland), the fourth of eleven children. He was baptised the same day with the name John Andrew. He received his First Communion on 26 April 1835 and the sacrament of Confirmation on 28 June in the same year. He began his formal education in Sittard and then in Broeksittard.

In 1840 he had to interrupt his studies to enter the military. It was during this latter period that he first heard about the Congregation of the Passion. At the end of his military service he completed his studies and requested to be admitted to the Congregation. He was received by Blessed Dominic Barberi, Passionist, and he entered the novitiate in the Belgium city of Ere, near Tournai on 5 November 1845. In December of that same year he was vested with the Passionist religious Habit and was given the name of Charles of St. Andrew. Having completed the canonical year of novitiate he professed First Vows on 10 December 1850. At the conclusion of his studies he was ordained a priest by Bishop Labis, the ordinary of Tournai.

Immediately he was sent to England where the Passionists had founded three monasteries and it was here that, for a period of time, he undertook the ministry of vice-master of novices in the monastery of Broadway. He also did parochial ministry in the parish of St. Wilfred and neighboring areas until 1856 when he was transferred to the newly established monastery of Mount Argus, on the outskirts of Dublin.

Blessed Charles Houben lived almost the remainder of his life in this retreat and was greatly loved by the Irish people to point that they referred to him ­ a native of Holland ­ as Father Charles of Mount Argus. He was a particularly pious priest. He was outstanding in exercising obedience, in the practice of poverty, humility and simplicity and to an even greater degree, to devotion to the Passion of the Lord.

Due to his poor mastery of the English language, he was never a formal preacher and he never preached missions. Rather he very successfully dedicated himself to spiritual direction, especially through the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).

The fame of his virtue was such that great crowds of people would gather at the monastery to seek his blessing. There are also numerous testimonies to the outstanding miraculous cures that he worked to the extent that even during his lifetime he was known as a miracle worker.

Precisely because of this fame that extended throughout all of Great Britain as well as in America and Australia that in 1866, in order to afford him some rest, he was transferred to England where he lived for a time in the communities at Broadway, Sutton and London. There he ministered as usual and there too, inside and outside the monastery, he was sought by the faithful, both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

He returned to Dublin in 1874 where he remained until his death that took place at dawn on 5 January 1893.

During his very solemn funeral that was attended by people from all of Ireland there was definite proof of the popular devotion that had surrounded him throughout his life. In a newspaper of the time we read: “Never before has the memory of any man sparked an explosion of religious sentiment and profound veneration as that which we observed in the presence of the mortal remains of Father Charles.” The Superior of the monastery wrote to his family: “The people have already declared him a saint.”

The cause of his Beatification and Canonization was introduced on 13 November 1935, and on 16 October 1988, His Holiness John Paul II proceeded with the beatification of the one whom everyone called the saint of Mount Argus.

The miracle that led to his canonization was obtained through his intercession on behalf of Mr. Adolf Dormans of Munstergeleen, the birthplace of the Blessed. The diocesan inquiry super miro was also undertaken in the diocese of Roermond (Holland) from 6 November 2002 until 19 February 2003 at which time the validity of the miracle was recognized by a Decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 7 November 2003.

The medical consulta was convoked on 24 November 2005 and following the investigation of the matter, the members unanimously expressed that the cure of Mr. Dormans of “perforated, gangrenous appendicitis with generalized peritonitis that was multi-organically compromising and included extenuating and prolonged agony” was “not scientifically explainable”.

The theologian consultors, in the particular Congress of 21 February 2006 and the Ordinary Congregation of Cardinals and Bishops of 12 December 2006 also gave their unanimous approval of the supernatural aspect of the said healing.

The Decree concerning the miracle was given in the presence of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI on 21 December 2006.

He was canonised in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI on 3rd June 2007.