Archive for October, 2013

All Saints of the Passionist Congregation

31 October, 2013

CP Saints 3



Lord, may the prayers of all the saints of the Congregation of the Passion unite to help us. May we faithfully follow their example under the banner of the Cross and seek always to spread Christ’s kingdom by prayer and apostolic work. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Lord, pour out upon us the spirit of holiness that is your gift to so many saints, members of our Congregation. May we come to know the love of Christ that is beyond all knowing and be filled with the fullness of God. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Lord, you have given us new strength in this undying memorial of Christ’s Passion. May it unite us with you on earth until we join our saints, our brothers and sisters, as they sing your unending praise in heaven. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

[The Sacramentary: Congregation of the Passion, p. 43]

During the month of November

27 October, 2013


3rd November – Feast of Blessed Pio Campidelli

13th November – Feast of Blessed Eugene Bossilkov

16th November 1769 – Approval of the Revised Regulations by Clement XIV and proclamation of “Supremi Apostolatus”

18th November – Feast of Blessed Grimoaldo Santamaria

21st November – Feast of the Presentation of Mary

21st November 1887 – Arrival of the First Passionists from the Anglo-Hibernan Province in Australia

22nd November 1720 – St. Paul  of the Cross vested with the holy habit by Bishop Gattinara in Alessandria, Italy

20th November 1721 – Ven. John Baptist Danei vested with the holy habit by Bishop Gattinara in Alessandria, Italy

St. Paul of the Cross

27 October, 2013

Read the Studies in Passionist History and Spirituality Series Number 4, St. Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Passionists by Fr. Fabiano Giorgini, C.P.  St. Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Passionists


A Franciscan Benediction

27 October, 2013


May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.


He went to the Cross to find it ….

24 October, 2013

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The first time the World Youth Day Cross and Icon were taken to a prison in Australia was when they went to the Baxter Juvenile Detention Centre, just outside Gosford, on the New South Wales Central coast. As was to prove to be the case each time the Cross and Icon were taken to a prison, the response of those in the prison to the Cross and Icon was quite powerful for all those privileged to witness it. At Baxter, Jacs from the JCI team and I struck up a conversation with ‘Jason’, a young man who told us that he had been on remand for eighteen months and that he expected to be there for at least eighteen months more. He was not yet eighteen and he told us that he had been charged with committing an act of grievous bodily harm. He explained that he had been in a gang and, as the youngest, he had felt the need to go in harder than any of the others in order to prove himself.

When Jason went to the Cross he placed his forehead up against the wood and stayed there for a long time. He obviously didn’t mind now what his peers thought as he unashamedly prayed in front of them all. I asked him afterwards what he had been thinking while he was there. He told us that he had been thinking of his mother who had stuck by him and who was praying for him every day. He quietly stated that he was so sorry for what he had put her through. Then Jason said, ‘I prayed that I would have the strength to get through the rest of my sentence … and the strength to turn my life around when I get out. I don’t ever want to come back here’.

Jason was muscular and solidly built. He was though. But what struck me about his prayer was that he was looking for a different kind of strength, a strength that came from beyond. It seemed that he had come to a point where he knew he needed to live by a different kind of power. I am not exactly sure why he and many other prisoners around Australia found the visit of the Cross and Icon such a significant moment in their lives, but I have often had to pause to reflect upon their response to the Cross.

Maybe they have something to teach us, because not all of life’s prisons have physical bars. We don’t have to be in jail to be imprisoned by something or someone. Sometimes it can be the prison of what other people think, perhaps it is the prison of an addiction, or perhaps it’s the prison of greed or hatred. While they don’t impede our physical freedom, they can leave us captive, hostage to other people’s opinions or our own compulsions. Jason had got to the point of realising that he needed a different kind of power from the one he was used to, and he went to the Cross to find it. Maybe, in that action, Jason had something to tell the rest of us about the right sort of power to live by and where to find it. Maybe, in a funny sort of way, Jason was freer at the foot of the Cross than those of us who could leave the prison, but who carried our own ‘cells’ out with us. In saying that, I don’t want to minimise or disregard the harsh reality of life in a prison but, rather, point out the importance of acknowledging our need for God. Jason knew his need for God, because the power that he relied upon, the power of the clenched first, had brought him to jail. How often do I deny my need for God and think that the power of success, the power of my reputation or simply my own power will be enough?  This is the power that we really need – the power that Jason connected with the day the Cross and Icon came to Baxter.

[In the Light of the Cross, St. Paul’s Publications 2009, Fr. Chris Ryan, MGL]