The Passionist Charism

Sign
Recently, Father Joachim Rego, superior general of the Passionists, sent a letter to “the Passionist Family” commemorating the approval of the Passionist Rule 275 years ago, on June 11, 1741, by Pope Benedict XIV. Father Joachim addressed the letter to ‘brothers, sisters and friends in the Passionist Family.” He was writing not just to professed members of his community but to everyone attracted to its charism.

When Pope Benedict approved the Passionists as a religious family in the Catholic church 275 years ago, he was heard to say, “This is the last community to be called into the church; it should have been the first.” The pope, considered the greatest pope of the 18th century, was devoted to the Passion of Jesus. He renovated the Church of the Holy Cross in Rome, where the ancient relics of the passion, brought to the city by Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, were venerated. Still more, he wanted to rebuild faith in the mystery of the Passion of Jesus at a time when many were becoming forgetful of this great mystery.

In our times, too, many forget this mystery, as well. Let’s keep it in mind.

In his letter, Father Joachim calls attention to a “rescritto”, a special condition that was part of the pope’s letter of approval: “This ‘special condition’ required the Passionists to commit themselves to preach and serve in those areas and islands where, due to the unhealthy environmental conditions, the people are abandoned and forgotten.

“From our very beginnings, the Church has named our special vocation to show a preferential option for the suffering, the marginalized, and the “the crucified” of their times. As we remember this joyful moment for Paul of the Cross and his first companions on 11 June 1741, may we – his companions today ‐ also take the occasion to review and renew our commitment and vocation to keep alive the memory of the Passion of Jesus as the greatest act of God’s love and mercy, and to promote this memory in the lives and hearts of people today…” especially those who are poor and neglected; we seek to offer them comfort and to relieve the burden of their sorrow.” (Const.#3)

“Let us keep challenging ourselves as Passionists to ‘look back’ and appreciate with greater depth the SPIRIT of our Holy Founder, so that we may ‘look forward’ to live and practice with fidelity our Passionist vocation in the various contexts of the church and the world of today.”

I like Father Joachim’s call to look back to the spirit that brought the Passionists into the church and then ask how can we make it present today. A religious community’s rule is important, but charism precedes a rule and keeps it alive. How do we reach out to the suffering, the marginalized and the crucified today?

6 Comments

Filed under Passionists, Religion

6 responses to “The Passionist Charism

  1. Harry Warren

    Fr Victor, I have known and been involved with many priests and Religious Communities over my many long years. I agree with Pope Banadict at your Community Dedication. You should have been the first. My many experiences with your community have been the most rewarding of my life. Just to be witness to yourself and the others I have been with is most inspiring. Thank you for being my friend and example these many years.
    Harry Warren

  2. Anne Immaculate

    Fr. Victor, I appreciate the great Job of Evangelization you and your Community are doing. We can reach out to the suffering, marginalized and crucified through Acts of Mercy, prayers and encouragement to have Hope in the Living God.

  3. Each time I visit Bishop Molloy Retreat House, I am served a slice of the Passionist charism. Being there, for a day or a weekend, puts me in a sacred space and as the sign in the hall on the way to Chapel says, I can Expect Miracles. Thanks to you Father Victor and all the others who minister to us.

  4. Augie Ricciardi

    One thing is to preach Christ crucified but each of us have been challenged in our own to walk with Him in his passion and crucifixion while we walk in our own.
    Thank you for posting this Fr. Victor.
    May the passion of Jesus Christ be ever in our hearts, as we continue to share Him with the world.

  5. Augie Ricciardi

    One thing is to preach Christ crucified but each of us have been challenged in our own way to walk with Him in his passion and crucifixion while we walk in our own passion and crucifixion.

    Thank you for posting this Fr. Victor.

    May the passion of Jesus Christ be ever in our hearts, as we continue to share Him with the world.

  6. Karen

    Thank you   I try   

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