Dear Friend of the Passionists,
I hope you had a blessed Holy Week and a joyful Easter celebration. May the Risen Christ continue to walk with you! Thank you for being a generous supporter of the Passionists.
I am writing to you today to ask for your support of our elderly priests and brothers who reside at our monastery in Jamaica, NY.
Our elderly Passionists have contributed so much to the spiritual needs of the community. Although somewhat physically limited now, they remain steadfast in their mission to continue to bring the gospel message to the world and to help its people carry their crosses. I am eager to tell you about two of our elderly Passionists residing at the monastery. They continue to carry forward that mission, and constantly pray for you.
Father Bonaventure Moccia, C.P., was born in the Bronx, NY in 1925. He was ordained a Passionist in 1952. Father Bonaventure lived in Rome from 1956 to 1959, where he studied Italian for the missions. He worked in a parish outside Rome where he said Masses for an orphanage.
Father Bonaventure served as pastor of St. Gabriel’s Parish, Brighton, MA from 1959-1970. During this time, Vatican II had been convened by Pope John XXIII. The purpose of Vatican II was to review the Church’s role in a rapidly changing world. St. Gabriel’s Parish was one of 380 parishes chosen to educate the community about the upcoming changes within the Church.
Father Bonaventure spent endless hours reviewing documents and educating the community of these changes. In 1975, he went on sabbatical in Rome and studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University founded by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Father Bonaventure studied theology and philosophy. He currently resides at the Passionist Monastery in Jamaica, NY.
Our religious brothers also serve the Passionist Community in varied ways. Brother Michael Stomber, C.P., was born in Gardner, MA in 1928. His dream was to become a pilot, and he fulfilled his dream at the age of fifteen. Many years later, Brother Michael was called to the Passionist Missionaries. He was professed a Passionist brother in 1951, and his first assignment was at the Passionist Monastery in Pittsburgh.
He found great peace in domestic chores, which some brothers were assigned to do at that time. Later, he traveled to Guyana and was the pilot for the English Jesuits. He was a skilled “bush pilot,” bringing supplies to remote villages. He also spent time in Papua New Guinea, again flying to remote villages. After returning to the United States, Brother Michael lived in Birmingham, GA with the Passionists and spent one year in contemplative prayer. On his 25th anniversary of profession in 1976, he was gifted a trip to Rome, but asked if he could build a plane to visit his mother in Massachusetts.
Brother Michael travelled to India in the late 1980s on a six-month visa to train men to become Passionists. The government was anti-missionary, so he took the men to Africa where they spent nine months to complete the training.
When he was assigned to Jamaica, West Indies, he worked in the “Poor House.” This was an infirmary where the “poorest of the poor and the sickest” spent the last few days of their lives. It was known as the “Lord Me Done House.” Brother Michael prayed, preached, and gave comfort to those less fortunate individuals.
Brother Michael currently resides at the Passionist Monastery in Jamaica, NY.
We have many in infirm religious who receive assisted care at the monastery. We prefer caring for our own rather than sending them to other institutions. You help make this possible. With your help, we would like to continue to address the needs of our elderly priests and brothers. Your generosity will help the priests and brothers of the Immaculate Conception Monastery to continue to bring light to those in need — spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
We Passionists bless you for your kindness and friendship. Thank you for your continued generous and faithful support. Please fill out the form to the right to send us your prayerful intentions to be remembered for 30 days in all our Masses and prayers. Thank you again for your continued generosity.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Edward L. Beck, C.P.
Development and Treasurer