Chicago Community Prepares for the Fall

Chicago Community Meeting
Chicago Community Meeting

For their July meeting and in preparation for covenanting this October, the Chicago Community will share their reflections on how they involve themselves in the charism, life and mission of the Passionist Congregation. In preparation for this, Father Sebastian passed out notes from the 46th General Chapter on the same. Members might want to look at four possible levels: life, action, theological exchange and religious experience.

Last night seven Chicago Partners met at their usual spot, Cucina Biagio in Harwood heights for their June meeting. After a meal together each shared what has been happening in their lives since they last met. Dan presented on “Meetup” and this community blog hoping to answer any questions members had and to encourage more usage of both. “These are two ways of letting people know we exist and are meeting” Dan said.

Dan encourage members to think about a meeting this Fall, where we would collaborate with other Meetup or similarly concerned groups regarding caring for the earth. He suggested Fr. Joe Mitchell C.P. presenting a session on cosmology or environmental concerns that we could podcast for use by other partners’ communities.

Fr. Peter wondered if we were in contact with a group of former seminarians who have been meeting over the years and who he thought were planning a meeting in Louisville this coming Fall. “We aren’t” Dan said, “but hope through the blog to make a connection with them in the future and hopefully join together to further the work and mission of the Partners.”

Penny asked all members to raise their hands while she prayed a blessing over Father Peter as he prepares to leave us and join the Passionist Community in Detroit, his home town. “We wish you gods speed and promise our continued prayers and support” Penny prayed. “Detroit is a lucky to be getting such a wise and loyal member” said Mary Kay “we’ll miss you.”

The meeting ended with a prayer session using the daily prayer for today from the Jesuit Media Initiatives podcast “pray-as-you-go”.

Holy Cross Province Assembly, Detroit Michigan 2013


Over 100 Passionists (Professed and Lay) gathered in Detroit Michigan for the Annual Holy Cross Province Assembly. Members from all over the Western United States as well as from Puerto Rico, New York and even India struggled with the question of how to express our solidarity as members of a church and a world that seems so polarized and divided. How do we speak our view of truth with compassion and integrity?

In his invitation to the Passionists’ of Holy Cross Province 2013 assembly, Provincial, Fr. Don Webber wrote: “Our founder mediated many disputes between families, civil bodies, clergy and religious. We pray for his blessing as we embark together seeking a greater understanding of Solidarity and our responsibility to be one.” (Fr. Don Webber, 2013)

At the assembly, Fr. Don Senior reminded us of the tried and true biblical method of listening to minorities, the marginalized and the oppressed for clues to the above question. Fr. Robin Ryan led us in a discussion on the challenges of communion in a divided world.

Books have and will continue to be written about these issues and so I won’t try to summarize either the talks or the discussions here. Fr. Robin however told a story about a family in Sandy Hook that I would like to share in this blog. The family had lost their precious Elizabeth in the school massacre. The local authorities assigned a state trooper to each family to help them through the ordeal of dealing with the press and to make sure they had all the support and assistance the community could give. The trooper assigned to Elizabeth’s family had a two year old himself at home and very much empathsized with Elizabeth’s parents. When Elizabeth’s younger brother returned to school, the trooper drove him to make sure that he would be ok. Everything seemed fine at the school, but just in case, the trooper left his cell phone number with the little boy and told him to call if he needed any help that day. Elizabeth’s brother did call and the trooper was able to help him through his first day back at school. A year later, the trooper was still visiting and assisting Elizabeth’s family. Someone asked him just how long he planned to continue helping. (He wasn’t getting paid for his time with the family by then). He answered I will stay with Elizabeth’s family until they introduce me to Elizabeth in heaven.

It was great to see so many long time friends and the input was tremendous. I could never do justice to the entire experience and hope there will be more material available to share in the future. I would like to share the main thought I came away with however. There are many marginalized people today who many institutions seem reluctant to walk with now, let alone until we get to the other side. If this is going to happen today, it will be individuals, individual Passionist, individual people of compassion who will walk with the marginalized, the oppressed and the outcasts as they bear their burdens, their crosses. We can’t carry their cross for them, but we can be there doing for them what they can’t do for themselves and witnessing to the love that binds us all together as one. Jesus has shown us the way to the Promised Land, and mysteriously it seems to be the way of the cross. We lift up the cross not to shirk our human responsibilities, but because the cross is the way to the Father, to life not just in some unknown hereafter, but to life today and forever.

Finally I invite other attendees as well as blog followers to share their reflections by making a comment below. Partners were able to caucus and committed to using this blog to let all the communities know what has happened and what is in the works. Thank you in advance for your participation.

To communicate or not to communicate, that is the question.

Members of the Holy Cross Province are gathering in Detroit next week for their annual meeting. Besides professed members, some of the lay members of the CPP will be joining them. Hopefully, this will be an opportunity for CPP’s to meet and talk about our future. I think uppermost on many of our minds, is how we communicate, and so the above poll. Please take the poll and add any comments regarding the poll question or other concerns you would like to raise. Thanks for your participation.

Arianna Huffington’s Commencement Speech, Smith College

“…I beg you: don’t buy society’s definition of success. Because it’s not working for anyone. It’s not working for women, it’s not working for men, it’s not working for polar bears, it’s not working for the cicadas.” (Arianna Huffington’s Commencement Speech On ‘Redefining Success: The Third Metric’ by World News May 19, 2013 at 5:19 am)

“…So find your place to stand — your place of wisdom and peace and strength. And from that place, lead the third women’s revolution and remake the world in your own image, according to your own definition of success, so that all of us — women and men — can live our lives with more grace, more joy, more empathy, more gratitude, and yes, more love. ” (ibid)

By clicking on the following link you can read Arianna Huffington’s commencement speech to 2013 Smith College graduates where she talks about her new definition of success. Many people define success by how much money they have or how many people answer to them. Passionists don’t of course, but they do profess what she suggests as a third metric to this success formula, remembering to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, staying connected to yourself, being able to wonder and have compassion. Of course she does this much better than my few words here. Enjoy her articulate proposal and let us know what you think.

Fr. Fred Sucher 1917 – 2013

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Fr. Fred Sucher, C.P. Father Fred was a faithful member of our community in Chicago until he moved to Louisville a few years ago to receive the support he needed as he aged. Father was 96 years young.

Monday, June 3, 2013 a vigil/wake will be held for him from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Passionist Monastery chapel, Louisville. A Prayer Service will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. A reception will follow in the community dining room and outdoor deck.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. at the Passionist Monastery chapel, Louisville. V.Rev. Don Webber, C.P., Provincial will preside and the Rev. Michael Higgins, C.P. will give the homily. Burial will follow the Mass at the Monastery Cemetery, Louisville. A luncheon in the community dining room will be served following the burial.

Nearby motel lodgings are available for out-of-town guests at the Best-Western Airport East, 1921 Bishop Lane, Louisville (877) 574-2464 and The red Roof Inn, 3222 Red Roof Inn Place, Louisville (502) 456-2993

For further information contact: Fr. John Schork, C.P. (Local Superior) (502) 544-7808 (cell)