Compassion Magazine

The Passionists: 150 years in America, continued

1945-1970: Postwar Years - Toward the Renewal of Vatican II
First CommunionGerald Laba, C.P. - introduction to article

Following the war, there was increasing interest in the study of Passionist history and spirituality. The Passionist, published by Holy Cross Province, responded to this interest by printing letters of the Founder, articles relating to the spirituality of the congregation, and news from provinces around the world. This period also witnessed a remarkable development of and commitment to the lay retreat movement. By the late 1960s, retreat facilities were newly established at ten locations. Besides serving as centers for personal spiritual renewal, they offered formation in lay leadership prior to and following the Second Vatican Council.

In 1955, Passionists of the eastern province began a ministry among black Catholics in the diocese of Atlanta. While serving at the parish of St. Paul of the Cross, the community also envisioned a ministry of evangelization conducted within a wider geographical area. An elementary school was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden. (right: Fr Melvin Shorter, C.P. celebrates a 1995 First Communion Mass in Atlanta)

Celebrating PosadaPassionists from the American provinces had been involved in Spanish-speaking ministry at St. Joseph's Church, Tacubaya, Mexico (beginning in 1865), and in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. With the establishment of a foundation in California, however, Spanish missions, (begun by Casimir DiCristina and Isidore Dwyer) and retreats to the Spanish-speaking clergy of the Los Angeles diocese, were conducted regularly. This apostolate grew with the arrival of Edward Viti in 1939 and continued to develop in the 1950s with the ministry of Henry Vetter. From the latter's work, Passionists assumed the pastoral care of parishes in Tijuana and in the 1970's organized a volunteer program of apostolic outreach in Baja California and Mexico. (right: celebrating Posada in San Antonio, Texas, 2000)



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