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Greetings Passionist Family,

This first week of Lent, St. Paul of the Cross Province met virtually via Zoom for their Annual Assembly. The following statement, crafted by the Province to discuss Mission, describes the Emerging Charism of the Passionists, and seems so perfect for Lent:

"Who are today’s crucified?
  • They are a kaleidoscope of humanity and life who are marginalized, minimized and abused by society’s economic, educational, healthcare, and legal systems...
  • they are a Haitian child made homeless by natural disaster and political discord...
  • they are an American woman leaving prison in search of a new life...
  • they are a middle-class parent battling addiction, a young man struggling on New York City’s streets to find his way forward, and an elderly woman dying in isolation in a nursing home...
  • they are our black brothers and sisters fighting ingrained discrimination...hey are our suffering Earth as it sustains a continuous global ecological assault.
Most religious communities introduce themselves as ‘This is what we do.” They might educate young people, or feed the hungry, or house the homeless.

As Passionists, what we do is remember. We remember what was done to Jesus in his Passion, and we stand with every living being today who is experiencing their own crucifixion.

So while we cannot state that ‘This is what we do’, we can affirm that ‘This is what we believe’ - we are thinking, living, and praying into a future where we will meet the crucified in ways never imagined.

Ours is an emerging charism."

As always, you can contact me directly anytime via email or phone with ideas or feedback for the Newsletter.

In peace and solidarity, 



David Horvath
jpic@passionist.org
502-435-3265

CONTENTS:
  • Passionists With You - St. Paul of the Cross Province
  • Passionists embrace solar power
  • Crucified Earth by Martin Newell, CP
  • Churches and Climate Resilience
  • Webinar: Climate Justice on Sacred Ground
  • Mapping the Passionists:  Where in the World?
  • Sustaining Forests
  • Passion of the Earth:  Weekly Lenten Passionist Gatherings
  • Laudato Si' Corner:  
  • Justice and Peace in the Lectionary
St. Paul of the Cross Province -
The Passionists With You


The new website of St. Paul of the Cross province is full of good news.  The website coincides with the announcement of a major project that presents a creative and exciting movement for the province and its retreat center in Jamaica, NY.  On February 26th, ground was broken for Thomas Berry Place.  As the Passionists celebrate our 300th Anniversary year, the province reimagined the former Bishop Molloy Retreat House into a new Passionist Center that fulfills their re-focused mission, creates new partnerships, and offers new, mission-based utilization of the renovated physical spaces to meet the needs of our greater community. See more about Thomas Berry Place and the capital plan to fund it here. You can view the groundbreaking ceremony on that page as well.

Walking with the Crucified - Thomas Berry Place will include the Reconnect Brooklyn ministries founded in Brooklyn to engage young people looking for a positive life change, the program creates social enterprise business to employ youth and teach life skills as well as assisting with next steps in life. Reconnect now resides and is expanding into our Jamaica, NY retreat house located in the Passionist’s Thomas Berry Place in order to deepen the impact on young people’s lives. Here they will not only continue to expand their external business endeavors such as their printing and graphics shop, reopen the Reconnect Bakery but also be part of "fabric" of the renewed retreat house. Here they will tend to the organic and hydroponic gardens, help maintain the house and grounds and be part of live retreats. 


Justice for the Earth- The Assembly also featured a presentation about the Passionist Parish in Toronto. St. Gabriel’s Church is designed on the principles of Fr. Thomas Berry, C.P.  It was constructed in 2006, the church is the first in Canada to receive LEED Gold certification. The church has also created a community garden that supplies other ministries with fresh produce.  The Passionists in Toronto are also engaging in a Synodality process that will help define and grow the mission and work of the Passionist Family there, with focus on Laudato Si' and integral ecology.
Passionists embrace solar power

This fifth anniversary year of Laudato Si’ has been a time of reflection and accountability. Father Jim O’Shea, CP, provincial for the Passionists of the St. Paul of the Cross Province, and Page Gravely of Catholic Energies, recount their collaboration to plan and implement a series of major solar power installations at Passionist properties in the continental United States and Puerto Rico. Fr. Jim explains, “Our legacy will include the visual witness that we tried to do something about climate change. The Passionists have now created their own story about acting on our beliefs, a story we hope will only motivate others as well.” Read the full story here. 

Click here if you are interested in learning more about solar power and Catholic Energies, a program of the Catholic Climate Covenant that works with Catholic organizations to implement solar energy.

Thanks to CMSM Justice and Peace Office

Read the full article by Martin Newell CP, from St. Joseph Province (UK) part the most recent newsletter, Passio.
Churches and Climate Resilience

The climate crisis has arrived. Faith communities must not only react, but also prepare.  Creation Justice has announced a webinar to address Climate Justice on Sacred Ground: The Role of Church Lands in Resilience and Adaptation.

Over the last decade, hurricanes have intensified, wildfires have burnt stronger, and heat waves have baked our cities. These events can only be expected to get worse in the next decades. Most of our faith communities are not ready for these climate-driven disasters. Yet, the communities who will be most threatened by climate change also have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in building resilience in their towns and cities. We have seen this already in various Passionist Ministry sites (California, Texas, India, Australia and more). Whether a community has a large facility, land, social capital, or something else, those assets can be channeled into building climate resilience in preparation for the coming physical and spiritual storms of the climate crisis. (from CreationJustice.org)

Register Here
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Passionists:  Where in the World?


On the subject of new websites, the  international Congregation of the Passionists, as part of our Tercentenary Year has dramatically revised their website.  The Passiocristi website includes an interactive map showing Passionist ministry sites throughout the world. Zoom in and out and click on a Passionist symbol to get details for that location.  Check out the amazing map here.
Sustaining Forests



When we do home improvements, build a shed, buy paper or just think about trees and forests, are we thinking about trees as unique and irreplaceable?  There is nothing wrong with being a tree hugger and you're in good company.  But we can also appreciate forests and wood products because they are good and beautiful --AND be able to use those products wisely?  The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is an independent, non-profit organization, with a diverse network that provides solutions to local and global sustainability challenges. SFI works with the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, governments, and universities.

Read about their education and advocacy work here.  Use their comprehensive database to look for certified producers of wood and paper and wood products.  The database ensure easy access to relevant information about certificate holders, label use, and products.  The database is here.
You can still join in!  The Passion of the Earth:  
Weekly Lenten Gatherings for the Passionist Family

Wednesday, February 24
to Good Friday, April 2
11am-noon Pacific/1-2pm Central/2-3pm Eastern


Six sessions: the first five sessions will be every Wednesday, February 24 through Wednesday, March 24; our final session will be an Ecological Way of the Cross on Good Friday, April 2.

A series of weekly gatherings during Lent for the Passionist Family exploring Laudato Si’ and the Passion of the Earth as we journey together toward the Passion of our Lord.  Each meeting will be grounded in prayer and the Passionist charism, and will make use of a recent series of videos on climate feedback loops which we will connect to issues facing the communities in which Passionist entities are located (like the drought and fires in CA, the Flint water crisis for Detroit, etc.). Opportunities to live into Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving will be offered. In our final Holy Week gathering, we will accompany each other on an ecological Stations of the Cross.  The series is for the whole Passionist Family and will include individual and small group opportunities for reflection.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqcOisrD0iGtI6ne6znxncs7P7m-_ZkM-l 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Image:  Melanie Weidner, Passion of the Earth Series https://listenforjoy.com/ 
Laudato Si' Corner

"Merely technical solutions run the risk of addressing symptoms and not the more serious underlying problems. There is a need to respect the rights of peoples and cultures, and to appreciate that the development of a social group presupposes an historical process which takes place within a cultural context and demands the constant and active involvement of local people from within their proper culture. Nor can the notion of the quality of life be imposed from without, for quality of life must be understood within the world of symbols and customs proper to each human group.  Laudato Si',  Pope Francis, 2015, Chapter 4, #144.

Question: Are there connections between systemic racism and environmental threats and degradation?

Actions - Read "Lessons for Catholics from the life of Hazel Johnson,Mother of environmental justice."  National Catholic Reporter's EarthBeat marked the end of Black History Month with a profile of Hazel Johnson, a Black woman who left an indelible mark on national environmental policy while remaining deeply rooted in Altgeld Gardens, the southeast Chicago neighborhood where she spent her life fighting polluters.

Johnson, who died in January 2011, is considered the mother of the U.S. environmental justice movement. She is known for her relentless battle against the evil that surrounded her neighborhood in the form of toxic dumps, lead paint and other pollution that sickened her neighbors and shortened their lives.


Johnson stands outside the office of People for Community Recovery, the organization she founded in 1979. (Courtesy of People for Community Recovery)

Linking Justice and Peace in the Lectionary

The Passionist Solidarity Network collaborates with other community justice and peace offices and we would love to see homily resources coming from the Passionist charism. Contact the Passionist Solidarity Network office if you would like to contribute.

Shared by CMSM Justice and Peace Office:

Scripture reflections by Maryknoll missioners starting in the new liturgical year, beginning Nov. 29. Click here to subscribe.

The Holy Cross Passionist website features wonderful daily scripture reflections from the Passionist Family.  Three regular contributors are members of the Passionist Solidarity Network Advisory Board. 

The Catholic Climate Covenant has homily helps incorporating Laudato Si’ as well as weekly tip bulletin inserts (including Spanish). 
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