Compassion Magazine

The Passionists: 150 years in America, continued

Sign MagazinePassionist Media
Gerald Laba, C.P. - introduction to article

The Sign

Publication of the Sign Magazine by the eastern province began during the summer of 1921. Sign EditorsReporting on various aspects of Catholic life and issues of social concern, the Sign attempted to present a solid guide to Christian living by examining topics from local, national, and international perspectives. Articles, photographs, and personal accounts sent by the missionaries in China provided something of a mission diary for American readers.

The Sign enthusiastically promoted the lay retreat movement during the 1920s, followed international developments prior to and during the second World War, reflected upon aspects of the 'cold war', presented issues of concern to American Catholics following the Second Vatican Council, and continued to comment upon developing social issues until publication was discontinued in 1982. Fr Ralph Gorman, C.P. (1897-1972), left, edited The Sign from July, 1943 thru December, 1966; Augustine Hennessy, C.P. (1914 - 2004), right, was editor from January 1967 through November 1975.

Religious Formation and Education

During this period, religious formation and education was an internal ministry of the community with personnel who had often completed university studies in Rome, Jerusalem, or at the Catholic University of America. A program of religious formation and professional training for brother candidates was developed under the direction of Brothers Daniel Smith and Simon West. Their initiative provided a foundation for future training in fields of increasing specialization.

Radio and Television

Fr Fidelis Rice, C.P.
Fr Fidelis Rice, C.P., preaching c. 1959 during The Chalice of Salvation, a televised Mass

Preparing for Television Mass
Fr Leo Gorman, C.P., preparing for The Sunday Mass about to be televised from Pelham, New York

During the 1950s the Passionists were able to extend their apostolate of the word through the media. A local radio program begun by Fidelis Rice in 1954 was later broadcast internationally and a TV ministry began to develop at West Springfield under the theme of "The Chalice of Salvation."


next: postwar years, toward the renewal of Vatican II


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