January 13, 2022

In this issue

Ponderings and Dreams
We have turned the page from 2021 and have begun 2022.  We remember that we are invited to step into the light and follow our vision – the light we awaited through the Season of Advent and celebrated through the Christmas Season! 
The ponderings and dreams of our Passionist Family are important to us. We invite you step into the light with us while we ponder and review 2021 and look at the glimmers of hope and shards of light that you have for the Passionist Family in 2022.

"In spite of the pandemic and political turmoil, The Passionists across the Province responded with resolute purpose and creativity to continue to fulfill the mission."
- Tim O'Brien
"I am grateful for the opportunities to pray, learn and share together as a family - celebrating Epiphany; gathering to remember the gift and grace amidst the struggle and confusion of COVID; E-learning through OME and CTU; dialogues on Race and Laudato Si'. Our visioning process continually refers to the sharing and connection of stories - these opportunities have begun to connect and deepen the stories within the Passionist Family."
- Faith Offman
"Receiving emails of events happening across the board.  Knowing what is happening at various locations & events."
- Thomas Conroy, III
"The Assembly in general, especially the ending proposal was like a ray of Grace."
Phil Jackson
"To participate in support of Haiti needs." 
Joe Blasko
"Looking back as a board member... we were graced through the ministry and leadership of Sandra Arnould's navigating through the sea of uncharted waters at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center. She was able to optimize business protocols, engage and motivate staff and maintain our sacred space for meetings and retreats while under the weight of COVID restrictions. We look forward to insights that will open our eyes and hearts as we proclaim, "Praise be to you, my Lord."  Believing in our Lord's goodness in the midst of turmoil is a sign of a Passionist.
Bob Salter
"The grace of 2021, as I see it, is the gift of creative adaptation to the health pandemic.  In many creative ways, we have continued to share and grow in our vocation as Passionists...a 'Zoomin-Zeitgeist'."
John Schork, CP
"When Mary Rita died in September, I was drowning in grief. So many members of our Passionist Family reached out and put their arms around me with love and support and still are doing so today. I am so thankful and filled with gratitude for all my sisters and brothers in the Passionist Family who embraced me with love and grace at the foot of the Cross!"
Terry McDevitt
"I think that the most powerful symbol was the willingness of so many to undertake such limitations for the sake of the 'common good' and the ultimate safety of others."
Denis Travers, CP
"For me it has been watching and being a part of the Passionist Family as we embrace the signs of the times and let ourselves be inspired by the Holy Spirit to try new realities, even when it makes us a little uncomfortable.  No matter the challenges and uncertainties that continue to circle our ministries and ourselves, we are still willing to say, Yes Lord here I am."
Joe Castro

"My glimmer of hope is that the Passionist Family will boldly continue to grow and evolve in inclusive diversity in how we express our shared Passionist Charism, and that the quality of inclusive community among all women and men who share this gift with the Church will make us the true Family we are called to become!"
- Terry McDevitt
"I hope that we continue to share our faith-based talents and experiences, to dream dreams and prophetically challenge the "values" of 21st Century/U.S. culture. I hope that we can continue to faithfully grow our family -- with both vowed and lay members who have great love for Jesus Crucified."
- John Schork, CP
"We can expect more difficulties ahead, but we can rely on the example of St. Paul of the Cross and the love of God to guide us."
- Tim O'Brien
"Hoping for courageous change for the Passionists. There are not just glimmers of hope, but an unshakable hope I feel for the Passionists."
- Phil Jackson
"I am inspired by the tenacity of the Passionist Family in continuing to come together to ask the hard questions that will help us face our evolving reality. "
- Joe Castro
"My hope is in the possibility - together we can step into it whatever "it" is - and that possibility can expand out from us as we continue to accompany the crucified of today."
- Faith Offman
"Maybe a list of who and where all the members are stationed, changes in staff and what goals are being set for each community in 2022."
- Thomas Conroy, III
"We look forward to having our eyes and hearts opened as we discover and proclaim, "Praise be to you, my Lord."
- Bob Salter
"In the early days of countries like Australia and USA and many new areas of Passionist activity and presence, the Church was founded on a very 'local' reality - in homes, amongst families and small communities. In those long periods of 'shut downs' and limited large-scale community activity, we reverted to being Church in very local ways. It was and still is a testimony to our resistance and capacity and can be a sign of hope for us."
- Denis Travers, CP

A story from the Abenaki, First Nation Community
The following was shared in a recent Proclaiming Our Passionist Story (POPS) committee meeting. We invite you to consider how you are hearing stories, collecting them and passing them on to others.

…(S)he listens to her grandmother and grandfather tell stories and wants to know where they come from.  They laugh and tell her that the stories come from them.  She says that’s not what she means: “Where did they come from before?”  And she is told that they come from the stones and that there have always been only a few who are patient enough to listen to the stones and learn their language.  There are really only a few who hear the stories, collect them and pass them on to all the others.

She listens and thinks about this and knows it is now time for her to say something (that is how you show you are listening and have heard so the teller will know to go on).  “But is that the whole story?”  She asks.  They look at each other and say, “No, there is more to it, because, you see, there are stories inside all of us and all around us.”

It is a cold, cold, night.  They send her to the door of the house and tell her to stand outside for a moment and come back and tell them what she sees.  She returns, shaking and rubbing her arms and dancing up and down and tells them that she saw the stars and the smoke from others’ fires and her own breath like smoke in the air.  They nod and remind her that this breath is born of the fire of life, that the stories, like our own breath, warm us and keep us alive.  They say, “Sometimes you can see the stories better than other times, like when it’s so cold your breath goes out visibly in the air.  Just like breath, air, life, water, all the gifts the Great Spirit gave us, stories too to help us live and show us how to change.  The stories are hiding everywhere in the world and sometimes inside us.  We must work at listening to the wind, to our own breath and to others’ words and then we will learn the stories”. 
“Do your best to rid yourself of every desire save that of pleasing God.  Eat, drink and sleep as your needs require, to give pleasure to God.  Abandon yourself entirely to his Most Holy Will, leaving all cares to him.  But do with diligence the work that each day requires.
If you would like to share your thoughts, ideas or reactions from anything in this newsletter, we would love to hear from you!

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