Congratulations Sister Angela Daniels, C.P.

Sister Angela DanielsWe are proud of Passionist Sister Angela Daniels who was selected to be a recipient of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. The Jefferson Awards were established, in part, by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Sister Angela Daniels is the co-founder of the Genesis Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Each year, Genesis Center serves over 600 individuals in adult education and workforce development and over 100 children in its childcare program.

The award ceremony was held yesterday afternoon at the Rhode Island State House. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo honored Sister Angela Daniels for her achievement.

 

Sister Ellen Downes, C.P.

Ellen DownesSister Ellen Downes, C.P., formerly Sister deMontfort, a Sister of the Cross and Passion, died peacefully on Monday, March 23, 2015 at St. Mary’s Home, West Hartford.

Born in Jamaica, NY, she was the daughter of the late Edward Downes and Ellen (Keegan) Downes.

Sister entered her community on February 2, 1955 and professed her religious vows on August 8, 1957. She was a past Province leader and served in Education, Retreat ministry and Chaplaincy.

In addition to her religious family, Sister is survived by several cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at11:00 a.m. at St. Brigid Church, New Britain Avenue, West Hartford. Calling hours will be prior to the Mass from 9:00-10:30 a.m. at the Sheehan Hilborn Funeral Home, 1084 New Britain Ave., West Hartford.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sisters of the Cross and Passion Retirement Fund, One Wright Lane, North Kingstown, RI, 02852.

Online condolences may be made at Sheehan-Hilborn Breen Funeral Home.

Come Meet the Passionist Sisters!

Passionist SistersOpen House in Celebration of the Year for Consecrated Life

This event is cancelled because of weather predictions of more snow and will be rescheduled in the spring.

February 8, 2015 | 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Saint Gabriel House on the grounds of Our Lady of Calvary Retreat
31 Colton Street
Farmington, CT

Visit the convent. Meet and pray with the Sisters. Learn about the work of the Passionist Sisters around the world. Enjoy some refreshments.

Please R.S.V.P. below if you plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!

Click here: R.S.V.P.

Feast of Our Lady of Dolors

Alsace, Haut-Rhin, Colmar, Musée d'UnterLinden...

Alsace, Haut-Rhin, Colmar, Musée d’UnterLinden : la descente de Croix, les larmes de Marie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, the feast of Our Lady of Dolors, is our province feast day.

The North American Province of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion, Our Lady of Dolors Province, was erected by the General Council in 1950, twenty-six years after the first Passionist Sisters arrived in the United States. They elected Sister Pascal Grogan, C.P. as the first Provincial.

The late Sister Kathleen Mary Burke, C.P. recalled in her tape-recorded memoirs that the erection of the North American Province was unexpected by the sisters in North America. On the day the document arrived the sisters at the Assumption were enjoying a day out. (This meant that they took their meals out of the refectory and so did not have to keep silence while they ate.) At the end of the evening meal, Sister Pascal who was the local superior stood up and began to read the decree. Part of the way through she began to cry. Unable to continue she passed the document to Sister Arcadius who read as much as she could of it before she broke down and had to pass it on to the next person. By the end everyone was crying.” Why tears? The road to this moment had been long and hard. There hadn’t been in Sister Concepta’s words much “sunshine on Calvary.” Naming Our Lady of Dolors as the patron of our province was an appropriate choice.

Our Lady of DolorsDevotion to our Blessed Mother as Our Lady of Dolors has a long history in the Church and within the Passionist Community. St. Paul of the Cross wrote:

“My heart breaks when I think of the sorrows of the most holy Virgin. Oh tender Mother, unutterable was Thy grief in finding Thyself deprived of your dear Son, and then in beholding Him dead in Thy arms! Ah! who can realize the sadness of Mary when She returned to Bethany after the burial of her Son? Jesus expires on the cross! He is dead that we may have life. All creation mourns: the sun darkens, the earth trembles, the rocks burst, and the veil of the temple is rent in twain; my heart alone remains harder than a rock!

All I say to you now is, console the poor Mother of Jesus. It is a miracle that She does not die; She is absorbed in the sufferings of Jesus. Imitate Her, and ask the Magdalen and the beloved disciple St. John what are their sentiments.”

This feast day was originated by a provincial synod of Cologne in 1423. It was designated for the Friday after the third Sunday after Easter. Before the 16th century, the feast was celebrated only in parts of northern Europe. Over the centuries several devotions, and even orders, arose around meditation on Mary’s Sorrows in particular. In 1913, Pope Pius X moved the feast to September 15, the day after the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, another day of celebration for Passionists.

The Chaplet of the Seven Dolors is a traditional devotion of our community. The chapel windows at our retreat center, Our Lady of Calvary, depict the seven sorrows of Mary. Meditation on these sorrows not only unite us more closely with our Blessed Mother but also connect us with and fill us with compassion for our contemporaries, especially women, who suffer as she did.

O God, who in this season
give your Church the grace
to imitate devoutly the Blessed Virgin Mary
in contemplating the Passion of Christ,
grant, we pray, through her intercession,
that we may cling more firmly each day
to your Only Begotten Son
and come at last to the fullness of his grace.

Remembering September 11

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Pope Benedict’s September 11 Prayer

O God of love, compassion, and healing, look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,who gather today at this site,the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness to give eternal light and peace to all who died here—the heroic first-responders:our fire fighters, police officers,emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel, along with all the innocent men and womenwho were victims of this tragedy simply because their work or service brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion to bring healing to those who, because of their presence here that day, suffer from injuries and illness. Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy. Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well of those who suffered death, injury, and loss on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.Our hearts are one with theirs as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the earth.Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding, overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy, we seek your light and guidance as we confront such terrible events. Grant that those whose lives were spared may live so that the lives lost here may not have been lost in vain. Comfort and console us, strengthen us in hope,and give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world where true peace and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all.

Sister Kathleen Mary Burke, C.P. (1914-2014)

0001219582-01-1_20140206Sister Kathleen Mary Burke, C.P., formerly Sister Bertrand, 99, of the Cross and Passion, died peacefully on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at Scalabrini Villa in North Kingstown. She was born in Dublin, Ireland, the daughter of the late James and Evelyn (Bergin) Burke. Sister Kathleen came to the United States in 1931 and taught for several years at the Assumption School in Providence. She also taught at Corpus Christi School in Connecticut. Sister was the Religious Coordinator at St. Mary, Star of the Sea in Narragansett and for twenty years, she ministered in Jamaica, West Indies beginning at the age of seventy, returning to the U.S. in 2006 for health reasons.

In addition to her sisters and the Congregation, she is survived by her sister Rose and nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late Fr. Edmond Burke, C.P., Evelyn, Patrick and Austin Burke.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, February 7th at 9 a.m. in St. Bernard’s Church, 275 Tower Hill Rd., North Kingstown, followed by burial at St. Francis Cemetery, Wakefield. VISITING HOURS ARE THURSDAY (TODAY) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the NARDOLILLO FUNERAL HOME & Crematory-SOUTH COUNTY CHAPEL, 1111 Boston Neck Rd. (Rt. 1A) Narragansett.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made payable to: Catholic College of Mandeville and sent to Sister Aideen Langan, C.P., One Wright Lane, North Kingstown, RI 02852.

Good Friday with the Sisters and Associates of the Cross &Passion

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Sister Eileen and Sister Anna Marie Becker have created a shared tradition for the Associates here in their home on the grounds of Our Lady Queen of Peace Retreat Center in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, Dancyville, Tennessee. It could not be an overstatement for most of us to say this tradition has come to serve as our Holy Week holiday gathering no less important to us than the homecoming we all feel when we go forth to celebrate the rest of the Easter weekend with our immediate families of origin. Coming to Sisters’ home we gather around the table as brothers and sisters in a family where Sister Eileen is our “Mother” and Sr. Anna Marie, our “Grandmother”. And, no less than ‘real’ brothers and sisters coming home for the holidays, we bring all our baggage along with heartfelt gladness to see each other for a sacred event.

We gather in the Retreat Center for Good Friday Stations of the Cross and the Passion of the Lord services. Afterwards we ascend to Sisters’ home up the hill. The Associates, the retreat center staff, Good Fridays’ Presiders, Fr. Mickey & Deacon Bill, and our significant others have all been invited to participate.

As they greet us with delight, hugs and kisses, the Sisters have an intoxicating, contagious joy that seems to dance through the house.Our somber liturgy is replaced with the highest sense of celebration. The paradox of the Passionist charism is in full play.

Much in advance, Sisters and Alma have been planning and preparing a banquet meal in the kitchen, the aroma of which fills the air. The house is spic and span. Egypt and Asia are checking out who is going to be playful and give them some petting.

The very first order of business, after Sister Eileen takes off her shoes and hustles everyone into a circle in the den, is the Sisters of the Cross and Passion Traditional & Ultimate Toast of the year, always with a glass (or two) of  smooth Sherry. And soon we are all the merrier.

After our toast this year, Fr. Mickey gave Sr. Anna Marie the Anointing of the Sick, because she’s been very ill. It was powerfully healing and blessed us all to participate in the Sacrament with her. It also made me cry to think there will come days when we will gather there with her in Spirit only. However, the fact is, she will be there much as are the Associates who have passed on, or are inhibited from being with us due to work, distance, illness, or life circumstances.

Not long and the hors’dourves are being passed around and the wine glasses are being filled. Things are bustling in the kitchen. We can’t wait to taste the Italian cuisine because we know the marvelous cooks we have, as much as any good mother and her elder daughter, are in full charge of the kitchen.

Sisters recall the old days in the convent when Holy Week was a week of fasting and ultimate ‘spring cleaning’. They describe how after a week of fasting, prayer and hard, detailed work this toast would take their Spirits into ecstasy! They talk about how this feast is the pinnacle that exemplifies their charism and the Order.

They explain what this celebration has been like and meant to them in the course of their Religious life. For Sister Anna Marie this year was her 60th Jubilee! We find this captivating ~because all our life have we not wondered to our core, what is it really like to be a nun? And more specifically, what is it like to be a Sister within this order whose charism lives inside and draws each of us. For them to share their personal reflections with us is like peering through the window of something we’ve at one time or another imagined, been drawn to, perhaps even coveted. Many of us are perplexed. How is it that they honor us with these intimacies? We are certainly not deserving of this privilege.

Of course, like all good children, then we clean up! Everyone joins in clearing the table, putting food away with leftovers parceled out, washing, drying and putting up the dishes ,sharing more conversation, prayers, hugs and kisses, saying goodbye and making plans for next gathering.

The spiritual growth and fellowship, the heartaches and joys, we’ve shared at each of our regular monthly meetings reaches a peak on that evening, and must be a glimpse of what life is for the Order of the Sisters of the Cross & Passion. We feel kindred in mind, heart and spirit and it feels where each of us in our strengths and weaknesses are accepted for who we are, where we belong, by who we have come to love.We feel grateful and loved. We want to come back. It feels we’ve been home.   

- Kathryn Barnoud – Tennessee Associate