January 27, 2022

In this issue

A Rule of Life
By Tim O'Brien, Ph.D.
A Rule of Life is the means by which individuals establish an intentional pattern of spiritual discipline. The idea is that a Rule of Life will be robust enough to sustain your spiritual life over time but flexible enough to be reflected on, revised and deepened. You should feel some stretch but not excessive burden.

The concept of a rule, while not new, has become more prevalent in the Church. As a part of the Visioning Process, a Rule Committee was convened.  Early in the Committee's conversations, it was thought that rather than create a Rule, it was more appropriate to create a set of guidelines for the Passionist Family. These guidelines were adapted from the Passionist Rule and contain essential elements of that Rule.

The guidelines, while still in draft form, begins with the Mission Statement of the Province:
We Passionists proclaim God's love for the world revealed through the Passion of Jesus Christ.

We reach out with compassion to the crucified of today. We keep alive the memory of Christ's Passion through our commitment to community, prayer, ministries of the Word, and service to those who suffer. We welcome all who seek renewed life through the power of the Cross and the hope of the Resurrection.

This Mission Statement reflects the underlying spirituality or Charism of the Passionists and has guided efforts of the Passionist Family all through the pandemic. 
The introduction to the guidelines states:
"We in the Passionist Family of Holy Cross Province are deeply aware that the Passion of Christ continues in this world. We seek to nurture seeds planted in our hearts within the community and by a life that helps us live more deeply into what "keeping alive the memory of the Passion" means for each individual and all of us together as the Passionist Family. We chose to walk the path that Paul of the Cross did, with companions, prayerfully reflecting on how the Rule Paul wrote in 1721; and how in its current form, revised in 1984, the Rule can guide us and shape our lives as we come to understand more deeply what it means to be a Passionist today."

The guidelines utilize the Passionist Rule but interprets it in such a way to include both lay and vowed of the Passionist Family. The guidelines provide structure and insights that can be considered essential elements, i.e.:
  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Prayer 
  • Solitude
  • Poverty
  • Hospitality
  • A loving community
  • A commitment to formation and education
As we progress in the development of The Passionist Family, it is hoped that these guidelines will become foundational to continue the mission and ministry of the Province. Whether vowed, lay, men, women, staff or volunteer, allowing these guidelines to help direct our lives and ministries is important to the work of visioning and the future of Holy Cross Province, as well as a source of unity for all the Passionist Family. 

May the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in our hearts!
For Your Reflection: What does a Church That Values Diversity and Inclusion Look Like? 

Adadpted from the Catholic Leadership Roundtable

Participants at the Leadership Roundtable’s Catholic Partnership Summit in February 2020 were asked, "What does a thriving Church look like?" in a variety of contexts. We invite you, through an ongoing series of reflections, to consider the answer to this question. For today, consider:

               "What does a Church that values diversity and inclusion look like?"              

  • "A Church composed of all cultures, all generations, at the table together and, if they are not there, let’s ask ‘Who is not around the table?"
  • "One that recognizes that the Spirit gives gifts to both men and women and calls both men and women into leadership."
  • "A Church that holds up young people as leaders, inviting them to share in the visioning process and to help the Church be better."

What does a Church that values diversity and inclusion look like to you? Click here to let us know what you think. We may feature your response in a future Vision Fulfillment Newsletter

“The aversions which you experience, the ridicule, the scorn, the jokes, etc., should be received with great gratitude towards God.  These serve as the pyre of love on which the victim of love is burned.  Gently drive away all aversions and show yourself cordial to everyone.  I leave you free to do as God will show you.”
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