We are privileged to be hosting these dear brothers in Christ who arrived from Jamaica last Thursday after 36 hours of travel! (usually it doesn’t take this long but there were those blessed flight delays due to thunderstorms just before the Fourth of July weekend) They are an international community with two from the States, including our Brother Brad who is a son of this diocese. Having known Brother Brad Smith and Msgr. Michael Palud for some time it has been a great blessing to FINALLY meet the entire community for whom we have been praying so ardently over many years. It has been such a grace for us Sisters to have these holy men in our retreat house, praying with them in chapel and visiting with them in the parlor. They have made a retreat and are currently having their General Chapter with the guidance of Fr. Victor Hoagland, CP., holding their elections yesterday on the Passionist feast of the Mother of Holy Hope.
Most of them have been religious since the ’80’s and ’90’s. God called them to leave their communities and led them to found this Society of Apostolic Life under the direction of Passionist Bishop Paul Boyle (RIP) and they are courageously responding. Currently they study in Rome to prepare for ordination to the priesthood, living at our Passionist generalate – Sts. John & Paul (near the coliseum). They are based in Mandeville, Jamaica and bring the love of Christ to the poor through their work in parishes, a school and an orphanage. Plus they work in the diocesan chancellery, a retreat house and whatever other duties the Bishop asks of them!
These men are valiant and self-sacrificing. Please keep them and their wonderful work in your prayers. They love our Holy Mother Church and have truly laid down their lives for her in more ways that one can imagine! They wear the Schoenstatt crucifix (incorporates Mary standing beside Jesus Crucified catching the blood flowing from His pierced heart) which beautifully symbolizes their Marian and Passionist spirituality. If you know of any young men out there discerning a call to the priesthood and/or religious life please tell them about this new society. You can see more photos of them and learn about their spirituality at their website. They are busy pouring out their lives for their people but they hope to update their website soon. They are truly sons of Saint Paul of the Cross!
Eating their meals in silence in our retreat house dining room.
P.S. We are so grateful for the help of our friends and Passionist Oblates who are generously giving of their time, talent and treasure to make it possible that we can freely host these poor missionaries.