Compassion Magazine

The Passionists: 150 years in America, continued

Reaching Beyond America
Gerald Laba, C.P. - introduction to article

Following the expulsion of the Passionists from China, new missions were established by Holy Cross Province (Japan, 1953; Korea, 1964) and by St. Paul of the Cross Province (Jamaica, West Indies, 1955; Philippines, 1958). As in previous mission endeavors, the religious would seek, as an integral part of their mission, to establish the congregation locally.

The arrival of five Passionists in Japan in 1953 was soon followed by the beginning of a retreat ministry. Within four years, the lay retreat movement, near Osaka had hosted more than one hundred groups, and a second retreat center was established: at Fukuoka. The parish at Ikeda, with a pastoral outreach to shut-ins, orphans, the elderly, and hospital patients, later included a day-care nursery, directed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita. A new foundation in Korea was begun by three Passionists in 1964; retreat centers were established at Kwangju (1969) and Seoul (1977). (above, Passionists in Korea, 1996 Christmas Assembly at Seoul Ui-Dong Retreat Center. From left to right: Louis YI Kim, Andrew PS Park, Paul YC Cho, Francis CH Kang, Pius IJ Chung and PH Joachim Lee)

At the invitation of John I. McEleny, S.J., V.A., the first Passionists departed for Jamaica in March 1955 to continue the missions begun by the Jesuits at Manchester, St. Elizabeth, and Kingston. The needs of the local Church, as outlined by the bishop, focused on the development of parishes and educational programs. From parish settings, the missionaries began to address these needs through religious instruction, hospital ministry and an outreach to the poor. A retreat center was established at Mandeville in 1973. In recent years, the Passionist sisters have become co-workers in these ministries. (right: five Passionist missionaries for Jamaica, 1955)

Since 1958, the Passionist mission in the Philippines (above in 2001) has extended to the territory of Mindanao and a large section of the diocese of Cotabato. Through parishes and special mission programs, assistance has been offered to some of the most poor and neglected people of the islands. At Calumpang, a retreat ministry has been developed at Holy Cross Spiritual Center.



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