Passionists around the world
From the editor
Increasingly, North American and European Catholics look with puzzled alarm at the diminishing number of priests and religious in their churches. Even if the situation soon changes, the future is not bright. Indeed, more priest-less parishes, empty convents and closed religious houses lie ahead.
How surprising, then, to see vocations growing in the churches of Africa, Asia and, to some extent, South America, as many young people embrace the priesthood and religious life. What's going on?
The Passionists, gathered for a General Chapter in Brazil this past August and September, reviewed the situation of diminishment and growth in their own community and found it reflecting the situation of the church itself. Something is ending and something is beginning.
One can't help but compare today to other times in church history. Would anyone suspect that Patrick in the 4th century, sowing seeds of the gospel among the wild Celts of Ireland rather than among the safer peoples of Roman Britain, or that Gregory the Great in the 6th century, sending a handful of missionary monks from the tired, devastated city of Rome to faraway England, were preparing for a new development of the church itself?
This issue of Compassion looks at some Passionists from Africa, Asia and South America. Like the rest of the church, the Passionists are becoming a global community. As we decline in the western world we have to keep an eye on where we are growing. God works in growing seed.
Publisher: Terence Kristofak, C.P., Provincial Eastern Province
Editor: Victor Hoagland, C.P. Co-Editor: Mary Ann Strain, C.P. Art Director: Sr. Mary Clement
CSAC Circulation: James Fitzgerald Web 'zine: Bread on the Waters E-Publishing