October 28, 2021

In this issue

Promoting Our Passionist Family

By Fr. John Schork, CP
Province Vocation Director
“We Are the Passionists!” 
In 2002, when we Passionists celebrated the 150th anniversary of our presence in the U.S., our General Superior at the time, Fr. Ottaviano D’Egidio, C.P., stated that all of us present were Passionists.  Today, as The Passionists of Holy Cross Province, we embrace our future and live the Passionist Charism, again proclaiming:  We are the Passionists!
We want to proudly promote our vocation as the Passionist Family, vowed and lay, and our call to witness God’s love in Jesus Crucified.  A special opportunity to promote our Passionist vocation is National Vocation Awareness Week, November 7 to 13, 2021.  Our Province Vocation Ministry is enhancing its website,, and is planning a variety of events and other resources to help, such as:
  • A Novena for Vocations pamphlet, to pray from November 7 to 15 – or anytime!
  • A live-streamed celebration of Mass for Passionist Vocations on Monday, November 15, 2021, at 1:00 p.m., EST, and available on YouTube.
  • Our website has links to vocation-related flyers, videos, prayers, vocation stories and suggested everyday activities to promote vocation awareness. Some examples include reaching out to younger women and men who show a growing faith and a spirit of love and service and providing a word of encouragement to the priests and religious you know.
A variety of updated printed materials are available to help in vocation promotion (flyers, posters, prayer cards in English and Spanish). Please contact me at or my cellphone, 502.544.7808.  We will ship the items you request ASAP.  We will also be promoting National Vocation Awareness Week via email and social media.
This is a special opportunity for us in light of our Jubilee Celebration of the 300th Anniversary of our founding by St. Paul of the Cross. Together, we pray in thanksgiving for our Passionist Family, and also “plant seeds” of the Passionist vocation for our continued service of God’s people today, especially today’s poor and the crucified. 
“May the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in our hearts!”
Fr. John Schork, CP
Passionist Vocations
The Transformative Community rooted in the intersection of Shared Leadership and the Learning Community (Part 3)
By Mark Clarke, Community Works, Inc.


According to Kouzes and Posner, “One of the most significant ingredients to cooperation and collaboration is a sense of interdependence, a condition by which people know that they cannot succeed unless everyone else succeeds, or at least that they cannot succeed unless they coordinate their efforts” (112).

The key to creating a healthy and robust commitment to interdependence is balancing the I and the We. The graphic below depicts how an organization must hold these two essential components in an intersecting tension.

When we reflect on interdependence, we must acknowledge that every person is a valued participant moving toward the transcendent North Star. Healthy interdependence of the group allows people to pursue their purpose as integral to the transcendent North Star.

We might ask each person three essential questions:

  • What motivates you?

  • What gives you personal meaning?

  • What influences you to continue to pursue the North Star?​

The answers often surprise the questioner. They open the window to ask how the community can support their aspirations as the collective pursues a bold vision. This concept became a reality for me when I consulted with a nonprofit that helps homeless women and children. Leading a focus group of homeless mothers, I asked what their vision of the future was. One woman responded: “I am the third generation living in poverty, and my hope is for my children to be successful and break the cycle.” Her response surprised me because I thought she would focus on life necessities, yet the depth of her desire was for a different future for her children. Her goal was also the North Star.

The understanding of each person's desires and wishes opens the doors for creating a collaborative organization. It establishes an appreciation of the system's interdependence. Thus, it widens its horizons to explore how the various areas intersect and impact the collective vision.

"Every member of a group has a pivotal role in achieving the larger purpose. A community is like a symphonic orchestra creating spellbinding music that stirs the soul.”

If one part is out of sync, it disrupts the harmonic sound.  Similarly, a collaborative group creates a symphony of services to serve others. When the parts are no longer aligned, distrust, blame, and other negative consequences impact achieving the desired direction. The creation of a harmonious path takes trust, learning, and perseverance over time.  These ingredients support synchronizing the various systemic parts to create a unified sound. Every person's integration of their creativity and passion makes that magic.

Shared Leadership transcends and complements positional leadership. Organizations, by their nature, are comprised of such various parts as administration, boards, committees, operations and service delivery, development, marketing, etc.  The simple graphic to the left offers a lens into the variety of expertise within the organizational ecosystem.

Organizational research has affirmed that many significant breakthroughs or changes happen through individual initiative rather than positional leadership. Each member and group has a vital stewardship role, whether serving on a committee, leading a department, volunteering, or performing their everyday functions. The unique lens of each organization allows it to examine its collective strengths and growth areas leading to ongoing prioritization to achieve its North Star.​

Three critical questions foster and maintain interdependence.

  • Does each part of the system and person understand its importance and critical role in achieving the purpose?

  • Is there freedom for cross-functional teams to collaborate?

  • Are there shared learning and growth opportunities to strengthen individual and organizational capacity?

Read the entirety of Mark Clarke's article here.
Works Cited
Kouzes, James M. and Barry Z. Posner. Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership.
      John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, 2021.
“The realization that God will bring us through all our trials to freedom, peace and joy is a help to me even when my trials are very slight.  Don’t even stop to think whether your trials are little or big, but simply love the Divine Will in them without examining them too closely.
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