Archive for February, 2008

2008 Procession in honour of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows at Marrickville

24 February, 2008

This morning at the Passionist Church at Marrickville (Sydney, Australia) prior to the 10.00 a.m. Italian Mass Father Raffaele Trecsca, C.P., Fr. Paul Mercieca, C.P., and Provincial Fr. Joachim Rego, C.P., led a Procession in honour of St. Gabriel whose feast day is celebrated on 27th February.

View the photos of the Procession here

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Rediscover The Original Charism

20 February, 2008

The Vatican Information Service reports on an address delivered by Pope Benedict XVI to Superiors General  on 18th February 2008 –

“Made public today was the address Benedict XVI delivered yesterday to members of the executive committee of the International Union of Superiors General, who were meeting in the Vatican to reflect on “some particularly relevant and important aspects of consecrated life”.

“We are all aware how, in modern globalised society, it is becoming ever more difficult to announce and bear witness to the Gospel”, said the Pope. “The process of secularisation which is advancing in contemporary culture does not, unfortunately, spare even religious communities.

“Nonetheless”, he added, “we must not be discouraged, because if (as has been said) many clouds are gathering on the horizon of religious life today, there also exist (indeed they are constantly growing) signs of a providential reawakening which gives rise to consolation and hope.

“The Holy Spirit blows powerfully throughout the Church, creating a new commitment to faithfulness, both in the historical institutes and, at the same time, in new forms of religious consecration that reflect the needs of the times. … What characterises these new forms of consecrated life is a shared desire … for a radical form of evangelical poverty, for faithful love of the Church, and for generous dedication to the needy with particular attention to that spiritual poverty which so markedly characterises the modern age”.

The Pope subsequently went on to refer to “the orders and congregations with a long tradition in the Church”, noting how they have suffered a “difficult crisis due to the ageing of members, a more or less accentuated fall in vocations and, sometimes, a spiritual and charismatic ‘weariness'”.

Although describing this crisis as “worrying”, Benedict XVI highlighted certain positive signs, “especially when communities have chosen to return to the origins and live in a way more in keeping with the spirit of the founder. In almost all recent general chapters of religious institutes the recurring theme has been precisely that of rediscovering the original charism, to then incarnate it and renew it in the present”.

Such rediscovery “has helped give institutes a promising new ascetic, apostolic and missionary impulse”, said the Pope and he concluded: “It is along this road that we must continue, praying to the Lord to bring to full fruition the work He began”.

Read the speech (in Italian)  here

A New Statue of St. Gabriel at Marrickville

17 February, 2008

Father Raffaele and the Italian Community at Marrickville are preparing for the Feast of St. Gabriel on 27th February. One of the community, Luigi (second from right next to Father Raffaele) has made a new statue of St. Gabriel for the procession.

We need to create spaces of silence ….

11 February, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI said on 7th February 2008 when speaking to priests of the Diocese of Rome “It seems to me that the time of Lent should be a time of fasting from words and images, because we need a little silence, a little space, without being constantly bombarded with images. We need to create spaces of silence … to open our hearts to the true image, the true word”.

February 5th – Passionist Memorial of the Prayer of Our Lord in the Garden

6 February, 2008

FROM THE WRITINGS OF PASSIONIST ST. VINCENT STRAMBI

“Having before us Christ’s own example, we should be ashamed not to be able to find time to converse with God. We cannot be faithful disciples, good Christians, unless we are generously dedicated to prayer. The Lord himself taught us this, and in the garden repeated his teaching, when he said to his disciples, “Stay here, while I go over there and pray”, and “Pray that you may not succumb to the test.”

“Sons and daughters of the Father and of this Jesus who suffered so much for you, study the way he prays. Humbly tell God about your difficulties, but do not be upset by them. Leave yourselves to God who loves you tenderly and sincerely wills your good. He knows how to accomplish all that is for your good and has infinite power to do so. Therefore, stay close to God and rest in him. Apart from him you will never have peace.”

INTERCESSIONS

By your prayer in the garden, you prepared for your passion and death – help us, your disciples, to realise that in intimate communion with God we should approach every event in life

In the garden, you were sad of heart and anxious in spirit – may we, by constant meditation on your passion, reflect all the sentiments of your soul

In the garden, you were disconsolate when the apostles left you alone in your agony – inspire all the faithful to be your steadfast companions in promoting the message of the Cross

PRAYER

Lord our God,
in his agony in the garden,
your Son taught us by word and example
how to pray in time of temptation.
Keep us always faithful to prayer,
that we may reap a rich harvest of grace.
Amen.