I’ll be away for the next few days, enjoying some silence and solitude.
Archive for August, 2007
Passio Christi reports the sad news of the death of Monsignor Jose Ramon Santos Iztueta Mendizabal C.P., Emeritus Bishop of Moyobamba, Peru, who died yesterday in Lima, Peru. He was seventy-eight years old and had retired from his Prelature just over a month ago. I met him in Rome last year at Saints John and Paul; he had been Rector there when I lived in Rome. He was one of the humblest people I ever met. May he rest in peace.
Today is Sunday. If it were another day of the week, we would be celebrating the feast of Blessed Dominic (Barberi) of the Mother of God, who brought the Passionists to England and later received John Henry Newman into the Catholic Church. Father Gary at The Passionist Charism has a series of posts on Blessed Dominic, one of which has a fine quotation from Cardinal Bourne, who was Archbishop of Westminster in the early years of the twentieth century:
Of all the preachers of the divine Word who have worked for the salvation of souls in England, there is no one – in our opinion – to whom we are more indebted than the Servant of God, Dominic of the Mother of God. I should consider myself happy if I had the power and right to dedicate this whole Diocese to his care and protection and be allowed to honour him as our Patron and Protector in England.
Perhaps Cardinal Bourne’s desire will be fulfilled when Dominic is canonised!
You can read some writings of Blessed Dominic and his saintly companion Father Ignatius Spencer here
Where would we be without meetings? As an example of a worthwhile meeting, here are some of our Young Adult Group last Sunday afternoon discussing the preparations for next year’s World Youth Day in Sydney. At present it looks like there will be about ten young people from Saint Mungo’s taking part in WYD2008. Last month, Pope Benedict issued his message to the young people of the world for next year’s World Youth Day, challenging each young believer to bring one other young person to Christ:
The difficulty that adults undoubtedly find in approaching the sphere of youth in a comprehensible and convincing way could be a sign with which the Spirit is urging you young people to take this task upon yourselves. You know the ideals, the language, and also the wounds, the expectations, and at the same time the desire for goodness felt by your contemporaries. This opens up the vast world of young people’s emotions, work, education, expectations, and suffering … Each one of you must have the courage to promise the Holy Spirit that you will bring one young person to Jesus Christ in the way you consider best, knowing how to “give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but to do it with gentleness and reverence” (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).
You can read the full text of the Pope’s message here
A member of our Province, Father Patrick Mphepo C.P., was ordained to the priesthood on July 21 at Limbe Cathedral, Blantyre, Malawi. Father Patrick is the first Malawian Passionist. He was deacon at the Mass of Thanksgiving for the Canonisation of Saint Charles of Mount Argus which was celebrated at the Basilica of Saints John and Paul, Rome, by Archbishop Martin of Dublin the day after the Canonisation in June (-which reminds me that I still have to post pictures of the Canonisation). The picture above shows Father Patrick visiting Saint Charles’ room at Mount Argus, before returning to Africa.
Meanwhile, in the (Bavarian/Austrian) Vice-Province of the Five Wounds, Confrater Gabriel of the Crucified Love made his first profession of vows at Holy Trinity Retreat, Schwarzenfeld, on 15 August. Here is his Provincial, Father Gregor, presenting the profession crucifix to the new Passionist, under the watchful eye of Father Klaus, the Novice Master. You can see some more photographs of Frater Gabriel’s profession here (scroll down to 15 August).
Yesterday Cardinal Jean-Marie (Aaron) Lustiger passed from this world to eternity. He was one of the most outstanding pastors of our time. Sometimes bishops are good theologians or politicians or financial directors or, occasionally, even good preachers. Cardinal Lustiger taught by word and example what it means to be a pastor. He had great courage and imagination as well as a profound understanding of the times in which he lived; all of these enabled him to challenge both the secular and the ecclesiastical culture of France with the new wine of the Gospel.
I was a parish priest in his diocese for seven years and was always encouraged in my faith when I listened to him preach. I remember well his homily at the Chrism Mass the year I left Paris (1996) at which he told us that the Diocese of Paris was now ordaining more priests per year than at any time since the French Revolution. A great promoter of vocations and supporter of young priests (-he ordained two hundred and thirty priests in his twenty four years as Archbishop of Paris), he went on in his homily to address the older priests of the diocese, reminding them that, when many of them had been young priests in the 1960s, the old parish priests had tolerated their ways of doing things and had allowed them the freedom to be priests of a different style; then he asked, “And will you not do the same for the young priests of today?”
May his great soul rest in peace.
My sincere thanks to all who have been praying for my mother. She is still in hospital, has recovered well from her fall and from an infection, but has not been sleeping well and is quite tired. My brother and I hope and pray that she will be discharged soon. Thanks for all your prayerful support.