**PLEASE NOTE: The Development Office at Rye Brook has moved to The Passionists Provincial Office at the Immaculate Conception Monastery located at 86-45 Edgerton Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11432. Our new telephone number to reach Development & other Provincial Offices is now (929) 419-7500. Thank You!


Commission update website post 1.17.16

Commission on the Laity Update

January 17, 2017

Update from the:

St. Paul of the Cross Province

Commission on the Laity

January 2017

‘The Passion of Jesus is the greatest and most overwhelming work of God’s love.  It is the most outstanding miracle of God’s infinite love.”

St. Paul of the Cross

From the Chair:

          Many who read this know in our hearts of the insight St. Paul of the Cross (d. 1775), founder of the Passionists, proclaimed in the 18th century.  Its truth may have come to each of us uniquely through an experience of a Passionist religious, parish, retreat, mission or other means.  Yet, the depth of love we have found in our unique experiences and in the beautiful simplicity of Paul’s words, compels us to share that love with the world.  I have spent near a lifetime seeking ways to explore and express it.  The journey has been wonderful.  Paul’s insight has been a guiding blessing for me and for thousands of men and women over the centuries.

          For over three centuries the Passionist family has grown to include Passionist priests, brothers, nuns, sisters and laity.  More recently, laity have become connected as Passionist Associates, colleagues in ministry, International Volunteers and other ways.  The Commission on the Laity was established by St. Paul of the Cross Province (eastern U.S., Canada & missions) in mid-2014 to enhance the role of the laity, its interaction and communication with this Passionist Province.  Our twelve-member Commission has been seeking ways that will help all of us continue to embrace and explore the spiritual insights of the Passionist family and to express it more appropriately in our contemporary world.  We hope our work will be of help to you in your Passionist journey!

          In the months ahead, periodically, the Commission on the Laity will write more about our research, programs and those who can help us better understand and proclaim Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection today.  We hope the following three developments will assist you.

Resources for Formation:  The Commission and others are working to create a more comprehensive list of materials that can help anyone to explore Passionist life, spirituality and history more deeply.  Some basic listings can be found at the province website (www.thepassionists.org) under the “Resources” menu item.  Much more will be added and a helpful list of resources will be available at our June Convocation (see below).  These are great ways for individuals to explore or study particular areas of interest.

Webinars:  One of the goals of our Commission has been to offer occasional online webinars to assist people who wish to better understand the riches Passionists have to offer our world.  We are very pleased to announce the launch of our first webinar!  Scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on February 10, 2017, it will feature our Provincial, Fr. Robert Joerger, C.P., speaking on the topic of “Accompaniment.”  It is a great gift that lay and professed Passionists offer the world as we “accompany” the poor, suffering, marginalized and each other.  We hope to offer more webinars in the future!  Please join us on February 10th.  Information to register will be published on the Passionist website and Facebook pages on January 25th.

Convocation on the Laity:  June 9 – 11, 2017 at the Passionists’ retreat house in Jamaica, NY.  Our event is called, “We Are the Passionists: Walking Together in Mission,” and will be a celebration of both Lay and Professed Passionist life.  Registration to this province event open to all began in mid-November.  Registrations have already come in from New Mexico, Florida, Indiana, Pittsburgh and Massachusetts.  Space is limited and you are encouraged to take advantage of the lower registration rate which ends March 1, 2017.  You will be able to register after that but rates go up!

          Please know, some Scholarship funds are available.   If you are unable to afford some or even all of the event fee, just go to the Convocation event on this province webpage and fill out the very brief Scholarship request.  Anonymity will be carefully respected.  If you really would like to attend, we want to see you in New York!

          The Convocation on the Laity will be a wonderful way for us to grow in our understanding of and witness to the Passion today.  It promises to be a beautiful community event where laity and professed can sing, pray, learn and network.  We are very excited that the office of Passionist Bishop Neil Tiedemann, C.P. has just confirmed he will be able to preach and preside at our concluding liturgy!  Other keynotes Fr. Martin Coffey, C.P. from Rome, Sr. Joanne Fahey, C.P., Fr. Robert Joerger, C.P., and Shane Claiborne (passionate international Christian activist) from Philadelphia all are expressing their excitement about sharing faith with you.  Please feel welcome to join us by registering soon!

          The Commission on the Laity welcomes any questions or comments you have that may advance our work.  You are always welcome to send these to:

Commission on the Laity

40 Gage Lane

Shrewsbury, MA  01545

Or: ernest.rivard@gmail.com

          I am so excited that the laity today are being invited to greater proclamation of the Gospel.  Our dear Pope Francis has been very strong in encouraging us.

Crossing the threshold of faith is acting, trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit present in the Church and who also manifests himself in the signs of the times; it is accompanying the constant movement of life and of history without falling into the paralyzing defeatism that regards any time in the past as being better; it is a sense of urgency to think of something new, to contribute something new, to create something new, kneading into life “the new leaven of justice and holiness.”  -- Pope Francis

Let each of us, together and in our own ways, take up this Gospel call by witnessing to the Passion, the “…most overwhelming work of God’s love.”

May the Passion of Our Lord,

Jesus Christ be ever in our hearts!


Ernie Rivard

Chair – St. Paul of the Cross Province Commission on the Laity