‘The Tablet’ has reported on the clerical situation in Ireland, which is mirrored here in Australia and in our own Province. New figures in Ireland show that a quarter of all priests currently serving in the Irish Church are expected to retire over the next 15 years. 547 priests of the 2,100 working priests in the Irish Church are aged between 61 and 75 and nearly 300 (15%) of working priests are aged 75 or over. They serve in 1,355 parishes and 2,652 churches or mass centres.
Across all 26 Irish dioceses, fewer than 2.5 per cent of working priests are younger than 40 and there are only 47 seminarians (representing an average maximum of 8 potential ordinations per year)
PROVINCE HISTORY: 9. REVIEWED STRATEGIC PLANNING (Part 1)
As outlined in Chapter Eight, the Province embarked on a ten-year Strategic Plan in 1997. Expert assistance was acquired and various surveys were undertaken. Some aspects of the Plan began immediately, while other elements were planned to take up to five years to begin and not reach their full implementation for up to ten years’. An attempt was made to describe the nature and purpose of each community and the number of professed men who might be living there when the plan was realized by 2006. These numbers for each community or ministry were proposed in light of the projected numerical strength of the Province.
The vision of the plan called us to see ourselves first as the one Province Community and not just separate local communities. The appointment of men to a local community was to be in light of each person's willingness to actively support the life and mission of that community, and support the wider mission of the Province. Underpinning the plan was that community life is the foundation of our mission and that our future would be tied to collaborative ministry with laity and other religious.Read More
The personality of Paul of the Cross
Paul was frequently described as an extremely robust and impressive person, yet for more than 40 years of his life, he was regularly incapacitated by sickness. He suffered from malaria, rheumatism, sciatica, debilitating headaches, frequent heart palpitations and he was forced to use a walking stick for thirty years, from the age of fifty-one. He was often bed-ridden and was a permanent invalid for the last ten years of his life. Several times he had illnesses that were assumed to be fatal, and given the Sacrament of the sick. He did however remain lucid in mind and robust in spirit, to the end.
His letters and writings reflect that in all his sufferings, his deepest desire was to be conformed to Jesus crucified and many people reported that despite his sickness or feebleness he still showed indomitable energy and passion. He spent incredible energy establishing and caring for the new Congregation and wrote numerous letters. He carried out many missions and retreats, founded twelve Passionist retreats and established the Cloistered Passionist Nuns.Read More
Fr Jim Elmore CP
7th October, 2022
Jim ba4led cancer for more than twenty years and finally succumbed on September 30th. Jim came from Ipswich in Brisbane and entered the Chris/an Brothers and was professed in 1965. AKer discernment of his voca/on, Jim applied for and was accepted to be professed as a Passionist and was ordained in 1991. He lived and ministered in Marrickville, Hobart, Brisbane, Bourke and at Holy Cross. May he rest in peace. Jim’s funeral will be next Monday.
To celebrate the Centenary of Holy Spirit Province, there will be a weekend Passionist Ins/tute (Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st) in late November. This will take place across all four countries of the Province (Vietnam, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Australia).
The session /mes in Melbourne will be Saturday 9.45am- 1.10pm and on Sunday, 1.30pm-5.30pm. On Saturday there will be two main 35
minute presenta/ons. The first by Jeff Foale who has been living with the Passionists for 76 of the 100 years we have been a Province. Jeff will share some of his insights and learnings from the history of the Province, from his perspec/ve and experience. Erick Niyiragira, from a much younger perspec/ve will share what he sees as the way forward in the light of our history.
Last Saturday evening around 11.10pm, Brett Daly returned to his home which he shared with two friends. Another friend dropped them off on the opposite side of the road to their home in Riversdale Road, Hawthorn East. Having got out of the vehicle, Brett waited for a car to go past and then started to walk across the road, but was almost immediately hit by a vehicle he obviously did not see. He was badly injured. The driver stopped to assist. Brett was taken to Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Melbourne and placed in ICU. His injuries were later described as ‘catastrophic’.
His parents, Gerard and Linda Daly were called and they rushed to the hospital. They are very active parishioners of ‘our’ parish, St Paul Apostle, Endeavour Hills and members of the Leadership Group for Passionist Companions, which Gerard coordinates.
John was diagnosed with bowel cancer and immediately hospitalised. Seven weeks later he passed away quietly at Caritas Christi.
His funeral will be at Holy Cross on Tuesday September 20th at 10.00am and he will be buried at Eltham cemetery.
We are really delighted to see Pastor again. He arrived in time to celebrate the feast of Holy Cross with us.
Kevie has been on the oval enjoying the sunshine this week.
Let the postulants take heart and come with good will, with a right intention, and with the right qualities, and they will find out from experience how sweet is the yoke of Christ, and how light his burden. They will experience true peace of heart, and, on their arrival, they will see this peace shining in the faces of their fellow-religious. They will see how kindly the leaders and formator treat them, how gently
they give corrections, and the mutual affection which exists among all the religious, who are all united as in one single heart in Christ Jesus”
(Paul’s letters 8/12/1720, in Let. I,8.)
On Friday September 8th, our three postulants Thăng, Dũng and Toàn were formally admitted to postulancy. This is a twelve month stage of formation prior to novitiate. Each of these men have been living with the Passionists for several years.
During the ritual they heard these words of advice from St Paul of the Cross.
“There is no need for the postulant to be fearful. Let him trust that all will be made easy with God’s help. This Congregation may seem frightening from a distance, but, seen from close up, it brings consolation and joy. This is evident from the fact that the Superiors are hard put to stop people doing too much, rather than too little. That would hardly be the case if it were as austere as some mistakenly believe and report it to be.
This weekend, the Catholic Church in Australia marks Safeguarding Sunday, during which we pray for those who have been abused, their families and supporters. We recognise and apologise for the harm done by priests, religious and lay people in Church settings and the systemic failure by leaders to respond appropriately and to have taken so long to listen to the pain of abuse survivors. Rebuilding trust and confidence in the Church requires constant work and vigilance. As part of the Passionist Family, we at Holy Cross seek to ensure that ‘Church’ will be a place where children and adults at risk feel safe and supported.Read More
New community members
Our Holy Cross community will increase by 50% on Friday afternoon with the arrival of three Vietnamese postulants who will spend eleven months here studying English at ELSPM (The Passionist sponsored English Language Studies for Pastoral Ministry). Obviously their early weeks will be a challenge for them as they adjust to a very different culture where people speak a language that they have been told is English. Questions like ‘jurreckun? And ‘did you come her to die?’ make it difficult to think we are making sense when we speak English. We also have to learn how to pronounce their names. Thăng (Twan),, Thang (Tung) and Dũng (Jung)