A MESSAGE FROM
OUR RETREAT DIRECTOR
Thank you to all of you for supporting the Passionist Community
in its ministries. Our ministry is all about keeping alive the memory of the
Passion and death of Jesus Christ, which our founder St. Paul of the Cross saw as the most outstanding sign of God’s
love for each of us: Which means that there is nothing that we have ever done, or that anyone can ever do to us, that can
separate us from the Love of God!
Although preaching has always been a primary
ministry for us, the modes, the means and the venues of this ministry continue to evolve. Today we find ourselves proclaiming
our message on the internet, working in collaboration with laity and with women religious, developing new interdependent relationships
with Passionists from around the world, and professing the implications of our spirituality at the United Nations through
our NGO – which represents Passionist men and women from at least 56 countries.
When a man or a woman joins the Passionists, he or she can be certain that in
some manner they will be confronted by the sufferings of Christ, both from within themselves and in the person of the brothers
and sisters of Christ to whom they are sent. I have been a professed Passionist for 46 years and a priest
for 39 years.
I have been privileged to preach from coast
to coast to coast, as we say in Canada, – from the subarctic to Newfoundland to Vancouver Island; and also from Maine
to the San Joaquin Valley, from San Francisco Bay to New York City; and from Kingston to Mandeville in Jamaica, WI.
Everywhere I have been sent I have seen
Carried by people living in third world conditions on a native reserve in the sub-arctic of
Northern Ontario; in the southern coal fields of West Virginia; and in the hills of Jamaica, West Indies;
Carried by a retired miner suffering from
black lung disease telling how wonderful God is for providing him with so much even as he was living in
a shack built around a disabled school bus and his developmentally challenged adult sons provided meat by hunting squirrels,
rabbits, and deer - in season and out of season;
Carried by affluent women in fur coats who
told stories of hiding in boxes in their suburban attics to avoid their abusive husbands; by inner city youth who received
no support or evidence of love from their overwhelmed parents;
Carried by a high school student who, struggling
with his homosexual orientation, told me, “You need to tell the students who are gay that God loves them!”
Intrigued that that would be the first thing he would ever say to me, I asked “Why?” And
he responded, “Maybe if they hear that they will trust that someone cares about them and they won’t be tempted
to go to the gay district where some unscrupulous people will take advantage of them”!
Carried by persons who have been scandalized, oppressed, or abused by representatives of the
church; and also carried by persons in deep grief and remorse over the things that they had done to others;
Carried by our wonderful Passionist Volunteers
International as they brought Communion to bedridden women and men living in dark, cramped quarters on the spine of the low
mountains outside Kingston, Jamaica, and by other volunteers testing the people for diabetes and high blood pressure;
Carried by the Jamaican women struggling up and down the steep mountainside to wash their laundry
in the only slightly polluted river below;
Carried by the 850 youth and adult volunteers who each summer travel to Preston County, WV
to improve the living conditions of hundreds of people incapacitated by age, injury, mental illness and depression;
Carried by a recent graduate from high school, who, after a month travelling in Europe with
his friend, told me that his volunteer stint was far better than the freewheeling trip. He said, “This is like being
Each Passionist Retreat House, Parish, overseas
mission, TV Mass, internet outreach, and each individual Passionist has a common experience: the Passion of Jesus continues
in the people – both in their suffering and in their service to one another.
In my three years at Bishop Molloy Retreat
House I have ministered to members of the NYPD and the FDNY; politicians; lawyers; alcoholics; drug addicts; and people with
other addictions; business men and women; abused women AND men; seminarians; religious sisters and brothers;
priests; deacons; college, high school, and middle school students; Protestant clergy and laity; mystics and repentant sinners. And
no Passionist I know would be surprised at that list! It is our call to be there to assist those who need
us. So thanks again for assisting us in our vocation - to carry the message of the
love of God expressed in the Cross to all who cross our path by serving the suffering Christ in our midst.
You can support Bishop Molloy Passionist Retreat House by spreading the word about our
programs and by donating to us at: Bishop Molloy Passionist Retreat House86-45 Edgerton Blvd.Jamaica, NY 11432 - 718-739-1229