By Passionist Associates Annette Packard and Ernie Rivard
The Passionist spirit continues
While it has been just over eight years since the Passionists closed Calvary Retreat Center and sold the property in Shrewsbury, MA, their charism has continued in the Diocese of Worcester through a group of 14 Passionist Associates who continue monthly gatherings.
Passionist milestones celebrated
The Calvary Passionist Associates of Massachusetts invited former retreatants and friends of the Passionists to a special celebration of two Passionist milestones. This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the canonization of St. Paul of the Cross (1694 – 1775), founder of the Passionists. It also is the 165th Anniversary Year of the Passionists’ first foundation in America (1852 – Pittsburgh).
The celebration took place on Sunday, September 24th at St. Rose of Lima Church, Northborough, MA. It began with the parish’s 11:30 Mass with Fr. Lucian Clark, C.P. as celebrant and homilist. Ernie Rivard, local Passionist Associate and parish Pastoral Assistant, delivered an introduction to the event and welcomed Fr. Lucian. Fr. Lucian was retreat director at Calvary Retreat for eight years in the 1980s. He spoke of St. Paul of the Cross calling his followers to find the presence of Christ in the small and weak. He commended all who continue to spread the story of God’s great love through the mystery of the Cross. Following the Mass was a light luncheon with the opportunity to meet old friends and the local Passionist Associates as well as Fr. Lucian. Brochures on the Passionist Associates and on retreat programs at Holy Family Passionist Retreat center in West Hartford, CT were available.
Besides the local Passionists, several former retreatants, employees and benefactors, as well as Brother Terrence Skorka, C.P. from the West Hartford community joined the celebration. Sr. Joanne Fahey, C.P., spiritual guide for the local Associate group, also was present. The sanctuary was beautifully decorated for the fall season and featured an image of St. Paul of the Cross and a large Passionist sign in front of the ambo.