Spiritual renewal the focus of Passionist celebrations
The 300th anniversary of the founding of the Passionist Congregation is a call to spiritual renewal according to the community leader of the Passionists in Tasmania, Fr Peter Addicoat CP.
Fr Peter is parish priest at St Joseph’s Church in Hobart, where the community also includes Fr Gerald Quinn CP, Br Edward Braden CP and Fr Justin Durai Raj.
He said that the next 12 months – starting on October 21 – will be set aside for spiritual renewal and a celebration of the presence of the Passionists within the Church.
“It’s a call to the wider congregation for renewal. This includes all those groups who identify with St Paul of the Cross: priests and brothers, religious nuns and sisters, and the wide range of lay associates too.”
The Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (the Passionists) traces its origins back to St Paul of the Cross in Italy in 1720.
Fr Peter explained: “Paul had a strong calling to devotion to the Passion…
“The pillars of the congregation were solitude, prayer, contemplation, penance and proclamation. St Paul’s idea was that we are called to proclaim or to promote, not just devotion, but remembrance of the Passion.”
He added that the order was also called to support each other in a community, as was the case today with the Passionist priests at St Joseph’s.
With a presence now in 52 countries, the Passionists had a base in Hobart firstly in the 1800s at Sacred Heart Church, New Town, and since 1956 at St Joseph’s Church, the oldest Catholic church within Hobart.
“The promotion of the Passion is acknowledging the love of God made visible in the person of Jesus, and the extent to which the love of God was shown through His son,” Fr Addicoat said.
“The crucifixion is the pathway to understanding the love of God.
“The reason why I first joined was the whole sense of being a soldier for Christ and to show appreciation to the Lord for the presence of Jesus in our life.”
Fr Gerald Quinn CP, who has been ministering in Hobart for 31 years, hopes that more people will take the opportunity during the jubilaeum to learn of the history of the Passionists and of Passionist saints such as the inspiring St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
“The Passion is the greatest and most overwhelming proof of God’s love for us,” he added.
“I pray that our Passionist province will be blessed with many more vocations, because it would be a wonderful way of bringing many more people back to God.”
Image (L-R): Fr Peter Addicoat CP, Br Edward Braden CP, Fr Gerald Quinn CP and Fr Justin Durai Raj.