Editor’s Corner: Change Makes the World Go-‘Round

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No one who is truly alive can grow without change. Institutions flourish best by responding to shifting needs with new ways of advancing their mission. Yet, fidelity to original values helps to support future changes with the valuable lessons of the past.

In this issue, we invite you to hear how some Passionists, and other people committed to the Church, are drawing on the experience of past decades to face new challenges and welcome new possibilities.

Readers of the Sign national Passionist magazine in its early days learned firsthand about China through the eyes of our courageous American Passionists evangelizing there in very difficult conditions. Fr. Robert Carbonneau, C.P. connects the dots between China then and now.

Passionists first sailed into Kingston Harbor in Jamaica on April 1, 1955. The parochial ministry entrusted to them continues. But along the way, something else happened. Retreat house ministry, education on the college level, and our new Passionist Bishop Neil Tiedemann attest to the change that has marked this half-century.

After the Second Vatican Council, the LatinAmerican Bishops’ Conference embraced the insight of the first generation of liberation theologians. Basic Christian Communities and the preferential option for the poor continue to inspire hope. But a Chicago Conference suggests more is needed.

Educational ministry in the United States once confined to parish school classrooms in elementary, high school and college institutions now has a broader focus. Two Sisters of Saint Joseph in Holyoke, MA have founded successful programs which mentor children during the critical after-school hours while parents are still at work.

There is cause for rejoicing here!

Paul Zilonka, C.P.

Compassion’s editor blogs at Zilonkaworld