Blogging has been light for the past week because I´m away from home (and for the previous week because I was preparing to be away). I´m visiting the Passionists at Pasing, just outside Munich, giving the Passionists in Glasgow a rest. Saint Gabriel´s Retreat, Pasing, is a small retreat house and is also the residence of the Provincial, Father Gregor Lenzen c.p. They don´t have a website yet, so I can´t link you to it. However, encouraged by Father Gary´s recent visit, I have started taking digital photographs again and hope to let you see some of them when I return to my own community.
During the week, Father Gregor took me to Altötting. I had never been there before and really enjoyed the visit. I was very impressed by the devotion of the pilgrims, including a number of young people. It´s a real centre of faith, and is traditionally known as The Heart of Bavaria. The Pope will be going there in September. Photographs and more information to follow!
The Passionists here belong to the Bavarian-Austrian Vice-Province of the Five Wounds. Vice-Province means that there are too few of them to constitute a real province; they are only about fifteen members, but the majority are under sixty. They had a new priest ordained a few weeks ago and had another ordination last year. A new novice will receive the Passionist habit (minus the Sign, which is given at profession) in a few weeks time. So, although their numbers are small, they have probably the lowest average age of any of our provinces in northern Europe. In my own community I am the youngest, but everyone here (including the Provincial) is younger than me – so I´m feeling quite old at the moment!
For many years now, this Vice-Province has committed itself quite strongly to community prayer, with daily meditation in common as well as the Office, and to promoting our Passionist Spirituality, through emphasising the teaching of Saint Paul of the Cross and the lives of the Passionist Saints – it seems like a good recipe for survival in difficult times.