Archive for April, 2008


Father Victor Hoagland has written a very fine reflection on one of my favourite saints. (Picture: Saint Catherine of Siena dictating the Dialogue)

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In paradisum

Father Fabiano Giorgini C.P., the man who knew more than anyone else in this world about the history of the Passionists and Saint Paul of the Cross, died today (28 April, formerly the Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross) at the age of seventy-nine. He wrote volumes 1 and 2/2 of the History of the Passionists, edited the first volume of the new edition of the Lettere di San Paolo della Croce (having established the critical version of the text of the letters working from the original manuscript sources), produced recently (in Italian) a new edition of the complete writings of Saint Gemma Galgani, and published numerous articles on Passionist history and spirituality. He was a Consultor for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, President of the Historical Commission of the Congregation of the Passion, and had been Provincial of the Province of the Pieta twice and Vicar General of the Passionist Congregation once. His doctoral thesis La Maremma toscana nel settecento is considered a classic work on the topic and is still cited by historians today, more than fifty years after it was written.

Generations of postgraduate students in Rome went to him for advice on their dissertations or theses, and he was always ready to encourage new research and provide helpful hints for developing a new line of thought. He was deeply committed to supporting the Passionist Contemplative Nuns in whatever way he thought was best, and travelled the world offering the Nuns opportunities for ongoing formation in our history and spirituality.

As well as putting himself at the service of his Passionist brothers, not just academically but in the everyday service that builds up community life, he also lived a very profound spiritual life and was recognised by those who lived with him as a man of deep prayer. He was a clear example of what it means to practice heroicity of virtue. May the Lord welcome him into the happiness of heaven.

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Provincial Chapter

Photograph of the new Passionist house in Lourdes, taken from passionews

I will be leaving early tomorrow morning for the Chapter of the Province of Saint Michael (France) which opens in Lourdes on Sunday. I hope to have a quiet retreat/pilgrimage day on Saturday before people begin to arrive for the Chapter at which I will be acting as moderator. I have not been to Lourdes since 1990, so I am looking forward to this opportunity, especially in the anniversary year.

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Profession in Bavaria

Father Anton of the Wounds of Christ (Anton Lässer) made his First Profession as a Passionist on April 4, 2008 at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Schwarzenfeld, Bavaria. Father Anton, who is 46 years old and holds a doctorate in theology, was a diocesan priest in Austria for some years but was always drawn to the saints and the spirituality of the Passionist community.

The first picture shows Father Anton making his profession of vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and the distinctive Passionist vow to contemplate and proclaim the Memory of the Passion of Jesus

The Provincial, Father Gregor, blesses the insignia of profession

Father Anton receives the Passionist sign which he will now wear on his habit

Congratulations – Ad multos annos!

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On 30 March, the first Passionist priest from the Ukraine was ordained for the Province of the Assumption (Poland, Ukraine and the Czech Republic). Father Vitaliy Slobodian was ordained in the chapel of the Passionist house in Warsaw by Bishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź of the Diocese of Warszawa-Praga. Here are some pictures from the ordination.

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Catching Up

This week, I will be posting on some things I’ve wanted to highlight over the past quiet days.

First: Father Victor Hoagland C.P. has a new website and blog. Father Victor is always interested in finding new ways of communicating the Gospel. He was editor of Compassion magazine for many years and has produced a number of religious films, some of which you may have seen on EWTN. I’m sure he would be glad to have visitors to his new site.

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Year of Vocation

Today the Catholic Church in Ireland launched a Year of Vocation which will run until the Fourth Sunday of Easter next year. The initiative is organised by a team representing Conference of Religious of Ireland, the Irish Bishops’ Conference, the Irish Missionary Union, St Joseph’s Young Priests Society, Vocations Ireland, the Knights of St Columbanus and lay personnel.

According to its website ( Your Vocation), the aim of the Year of Vocation is to raise awareness of the common vocation that we all share through baptism, as expressed through witness, love and service. Within each of these themes and throughout 2008-2009 the specific vocations of marriage, the religious life, the single life and priesthood will be highlighted and promoted.

A lot of the website seems to be still under construction (-well, whose isn’t?). In the Resources section, there are some very interesting statistics on priests and religious in Ireland. These are based on an extensive survey carried out for 2005. I was surprised to read that in 2005 (my Silver Jubilee year), there were eight religious order priests ordained in Ireland, whereas in 1980 we were seven ordained for the Passionists alone. You can find these statistics here

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Sitting down

We had a visitor from France today who said that she always looks forward to finding out what I’ve been doing during a blogging hiatus. This time, it’s not very exciting: I spent the first half moving around and the second half lying still. A series of Province-related meetings in Ireland was followed by a spell in bed, not through meeting-sickness but because of the return of whatever it was that I had earlier. This cold/hot/cold weather we’ve been having probably doesn’t help.

In the meantime, there has been the death of Father Conleth, the oldest member of our Province (aged 92) who was buried today at Crossgar, and the death of Mrs Gallagher (mother of Father Dermot cp and Brother Brendan cp) whose Funeral Mass will be celebrated here on Monday at 12.15.

Tomorrow we will welcome Father Denis Travers, our First General Consultor, who arrives to make General Visitation at Saint Mungo’s until Thursday, and members of our Charism Task Force who will be meeting here this week.

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