In this issue
- Our Passionist Family: The Call of the Charism
- Why We May Actually be Preparing for Chapter 2027
- A Moment of Synodality
- Title 42: The Plight of Those Seeking Help
- A World Without Trash or Garbage
- Useful Words on Race, Gender, and Diversity
- Join us for Walk with Us Thursdays
- Prayer for the 36th Provincial Chapter
Our Passionist Family: The Call of the Charism
Our Passionist Charism knows no bounds, calls us to remember our interconnectedness and compels us beyond our comfort zones to seek justice with love.
Why We May Actually be Preparing for Chapter 2027
By Pat Brennan, CP
I would like to share with all of our Passionist Family, vowed and lay, a few thoughts that have been filling my mind and heart during these past months of preparation for the 36th Provincial Chapter. Much of our conversation has centered around very important and critical topics, all of which I admire and believe is the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. At the same time, I find myself struggling with some key questions and issues that I feel must be faced at this point in time in the life and history of Holy Cross Province.
To be sure, I have always thought of myself as being more of an idealist and a dreamer than a pragmatist or a hard-nosed realist. I suspect that those who know me well will agree. Yet, at this moment, I do believe there are a number of “realities” that simply cannot be ignored. These realities touch upon several things:
- Our proud history as a Province
- Our current membership of vowed members, and
- The work of the Holy Spirit who is guiding us as we continue to share our Passionist charism with lay Passionists and, consequently, all of God’s holy people.
“We stand on the shoulders of all those who have gone before us.” We vowed Passionists can and should be very proud of all that has been achieved in terms of community life and prayer, preaching ministry, and the deepening of the “memoria passionis” in the hearts and lives of the people of God through service and other ministries. We all vowed, prostrate at the altar, to do this with a special vow long ago and, by God’s grace, we can rightly take satisfaction with our collective history as a community of Passionist religious. And, even as we give thanks for the new life and growth in various parts of the Congregation worldwide, we can, without regret, look back and rejoice in all that has been done since the very founding of Holy Cross Province. We have a proud history and ample reason to be glad. However, the future will be shaped by others in new and different ways than what we have known and been familiar with in the past.
A Moment of Synodality
By Bob Choiniere, Chapter Facilitator
In just a few weeks, members of the Passionist Family will meet in Sierra Madre, California for the 36th Provincial Chapter meeting. Those gathered at the Chapter will engage in critical conversations about our charism, the call of the gospel and the signs of our times and the way we are being called to stand with the crucified in our world. But these conversations will not begin at the Chapter meeting. In fact, they have been occurring for many months. The Chapter will be the culminating moment of a much larger conversation that has been unfolding in the province for the past few years. Most recently, each Thursday this Spring, members of the Passionist Family have come together to listen and engage one another around future leaderships, migration, diversity, the environment and our Passionist Way.
On June 1 (12:00 p.m. PT, 2:00 p.m. CT, 3:00 p.m. ET), we will take a moment to savor and gather the graces of all of these conversations and together discern what the Holy Spirit might be calling us to as we move ever closer to Chapter.
The meeting on June 1 will be a time to name what continues to resonate with you as you reflect on the Thursday conversations and to name the way that the Holy Spirit might be calling us to respond as a community of faith. In a word, it will be a moment of Synodality. We believe that the Holy Spirit resides in the hearts of every member of the Passionist Family. When we come together to listen and reflect, we participate in a collaborative effort to articulate the Holy Spirit’s call. Every person, every prophetic voice, every listening ear is needed. Therefore, I would like to invite you to attend the culminating meeting on June 1 and be part of the journey to discern what God’s desire is for us as we seek to authentically respond to God’s call.
Title 42: The Plight of Those Seeking Help
Submitted by The Migration Commission
Title 42 has come and gone. Much hype was made about the chaos to come after the lifting of Title 42. The fact is that for many years agencies and refugee centers have been feeling the pressure to service all of God’s people who come seeking help. With so many desperate to escape the horrors in their own country they come here seeking a way to sustain their families. Below is an article that can give us a snapshot of the pressures and needs of a refugee center in Houston and their plight to service all that are seeking help. A reality I am sure all the agencies and refugee centers are currently experiencing.
Many Refugees, God’s People, Arriving in Houston – Help Needed
MAY 10, 2023 BY LOUISE ZWICK
Overwhelming numbers of migrants and refugees have been arriving at our doors—again. Several weeks before May 11, 2023, the date when thousands were expected at the border each day, more and more people have already been walking up to Casa Juan Diego asking for refuge.
We were already at capacity. We are over capacity. More people are arriving each day. People call from the border, from cities in other states to seek help for the relatively few of God’s people who have been able to enter the country.
Who Can Help With So Many Refugees Arriving?
A World Without Trash or Garbage
Submitted by The Laudato Si' Committee
How does the Ecological Conversion that Pope Francis calls us to play out in our mundane daily living? Like when we “take out the trash”?
What IS trash? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary “trash” is “things that are no longer useful or wanted, and that have been thrown away; or useless waste or rejected matter.” And “waste” is defined as “damaged, defective, or superfluous material produced by a manufacturing process, such as hazardous waste and nuclear waste.” Some synonyms are “garbage” and rubbish”.
The Creator made a world where there was no trash, no garbage, and no waste. Built into Creation are cycles of death and regeneration that lead into ever more complex forms of life, with nothing wasted. In God’s Creation everything and everyone belongs. Biological processes like composting transform animals and plants that have completed their lives, releasing their molecules to build new Life.
A Words Matter: Useful Words on Race, Gender, and Diversity
Submitted by The Cultural and Racial Diversity Committee
Our country is going through a transformation with vigorous, renewed calls for cultural and racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Churches, social justice groups, educational institutions, corporations, and individual citizens are being proactive and speaking up throughout the country. Holy Cross Province is actively engaged in the transformation. A commitment was made during the 2022 Assembly by the Passionist Family to learn to live into the principles in the Holy Cross Province Statement on Cultural and Racial Diversity. The Province supports that effort with ongoing conversations and by keeping the document in focus in all the efforts of the Province as it prepares for our June Chapter.
Words matter. Language can be used to exclude and, conversely, to elevate and empower people. Commonality of language facilitates conversation and enhances mutual understanding,
Click here for a list of some words we are hearing more and more in the daily dialogue in our country, and our Province. It is a starting point for anyone seeking to educate themselves on important words related to diversity, equity and inclusion. The list was adapted from one published by Marguerite Ward of Business Insider ([email protected]), and other online sources.
Join us for Walk with Us Thursdays!
The Chapter Planning Committee (CPC) invites you to join us for Walk With Us Thursdays to prepare for the communal discernment that will take place at our June 2023 Chapter. These conversations will be held via Zoom at 4:30 pm, PDT; 5:30 pm, MDT; 6:30 pm, CDT; 7:30 pm, EDT.
Walk with Us Thursdays Zoom Link
Our next Walk With Us Thursday will be May 4, and our topic will be Migration.
As baptized Christians, educated in the Catholic faith, we are called to reflect on and have a comprehensive understanding of the sacred scriptures and the principles of Catholic social teaching. Our Passionist charism and mission enables us to give a Christ-like compassionate response to our suffering sisters and brothers in the world today. The desperate and painful cry of suffering migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers calls us to be conscious of their human and spiritual needs and mercifully meet them where they are. We need to respond with the open mind and heart of the Good Samaritan, as we hear Christ saying to us: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, NABRE).
Please, join the Migration Commission as they help us reflect and have a conversation on the migration crisis event from the perspective of our gospel values and God-given call to serve our Crucified brothers and sisters. Be ready to share your faith experiences and discuss your community resources to help make this vision of our Passionist charism and mission come true.
Walk with Us Thursdays Zoom Link
We thank you, for You have led us
to grow together in the Passionist Way.
You have called us, not only as individuals,
but together as a Passionist Family,
juntos como hermanos y hermanas,
to recognize more and more the crucified of today.
We hold in our hearts and minds
all of crucified creation: migrants and refugees,
and those beset by poverty and violence, systemic racism,
injustice and oppression, pain and distress.
As we prepare for our upcoming Provincial Chapter,
keep us forever on the path we pray.
Help us to continue to hear the cries of the crucified,
as we work together as the visionaries You have called us to be.
Foster in us the leadership required to meet the needs of our times.
May whatever conclusions we draw, whatever actions we take,
be done en el amor de Cristo Crucificado, and in His name, we pray.
We Want to Hear from You!
As we prepare for Chapter 2023, please feel free to reach out to the members of the Chapter Planning Committee with any proposals, thoughts, questions or suggestions. You can reach all members of the Committee at any time by emailing [email protected].
The Chapter Planning Committee
Faith Offman, Chair
David Colhour, C.P.
Phil Paxton, C.P.
Jim Strommer C.P.
Robert Choiniere, Facilitator