I am part of a congregation that offers both traditional and new, exciting possibilities in ministry.
LUKE BULLEY CP
Joining the Passionists has allowed me to see that Religious life is so much more than my earlier ideas of it. It’s shown me a young, vibrant and multicultural community, full of life and love! Living and working with a group of men and women who are so committed to the Love that is present within the Cross has given meaning to my life. It’s given me a sense that I can make a difference in our suffering world. You might assume that a religious congregation that is founded on the Passion and Death of Jesus is all “doom and gloom,” but it’s the opposite. To be able to embrace the suffering world that we live in, we’re brought closer to Jesus and closer to each other in our own humanity. It is a community full of joy, love and connection.
I am part of a congregation that offers both traditional and new, exciting possibilities in ministry. We have men who have done further studies and are lecturing theology at university level; we have missioners travelling Australia working with young people and giving retreats and parish missions; we have people who live and work in mission territories overseas. This is the beauty of our Passionist charism: it’s not expressed in just one or two ministries. We are encouraged by our founder, St. Paul of the Cross, to “exhaust every means possible to preach the message of the Cross [God’s love],” and for me, a 24-year-old in the 21st, century that’s exciting! I have the opportunity to take the message of the Cross, a message that has deeply touched my life, and find new ways for others to experience it, too.
For me, being a Passionist is an ongoing process. It is something that you continue growing into until the day you die.
I met the Passionists in the summer of 2010 in Port Moresby, PNG. It was during the Ordination of Fr. John Auram CP that I discovered this congregation called The Passionists.
I was particularly attracted to the Passionist charism, which is “To keep alive the memory of the Passion of Jesus Christ,” which is, “the greatest and most overwhelming work of God’s love for us.” I felt that preaching the love of God which is manifested in the Crucified Christ would be an amazing way to reach out and give hope to those who are at the margins of society. In particular, those who are experiencing the struggles and challenges that life can so often throw at us. Having gone through struggles of my own, and seeing the struggle of my parents, especially my mum, I was completely drawn to discern my vocation with the Passionists.
I have been a Passionist for almost 8 years now and I’m currently doing my pastoral ministry as deacon at St. Paul of the Cross Parish, Glen Osmond, Adelaide. I’m still a Passionist today because I am happy where I am, and that desire to be a missionary to the margins is still burning within me. For me, being a Passionist is an ongoing process. It is something that you continue growing into until the day you die.
JOSEPH LIAIA CP
(Papua New Guinea)
The first thing that caught my attention about the Passionists was this idea of suffering. This resonated with my experience of being a refugee as a child.
ERICK NIYIRAGIRA CP
The first thing that caught my attention about the Passionists was this idea of suffering. This resonated with my experience of being a refugee as a child, which I had always seen as a negative experience. I realised that so much can be learnt from suffering. Learning about Jesus’ suffering as an expression of Love helped me in searching for this Love in my own story. I realised that being treated as inhuman was the best lesson to show me how to treat others. I remember at my first community visit as an aspirant, the Provincial at the time (Fr Joachim Rego CP) took my plate to clean after dinner. This act of service struck me deeply. No matter what roles we have as Passionists, we are all brothers, treating each other with love and respect, serving each other through our pain and our joys.
I’ve stayed with the Passionists because the first attraction has never faltered, but has grown deeper and deeper. Meeting so many people from different nations keeps broadening my understanding of our charism and my acceptance of myself and others. I am lucky to have such strong community support which enables and energises me to serve others outside the community.
This experience of God’s Love in my own life has led me, through study, discernment and reflection, to the conviction that I am called to live this life.
I first met the Passionists when a friend of mine, a seminarian, visited me and suggested that I come and study English as an aspirant with this “new” congregation, the Passionists. So, that was what I did. During this time, I was deeply touched by their hospitality and friendship, and this inspired me to take a greater interest in the work and ministry that they were doing. Not only did I begin to look deeper at how they worked and live, but I also started to look deeper within myself in an attempt to see God was doing in me. A sense of “call” to the Passionist way of life started growing within me. I wanted to deepen my relationship with God and reach out to people and make a difference in their lives, as our Founder, St Paul of the Cross, had done. So, after a year as an aspirant, I joined the Passionists.
During my time in initial formation, my life was comprised of a lot of ups and downs. During the times of suffering, I would often turn to God in prayer, and it was in these moments that I experienced Jesus Christ as a real person, alive in my life. I felt, deeply, this unconditional Love that is at the core of our Passionist charism. All of this took place within the context of a loving and supportive community, that enabled me to further discern what was happening in my life.
This experience of God’s Love in my own life has led me, through study, discernment and reflection, to the conviction that I am called to live this life. This call has helped me live according to God’s will, being ordained as a Passionist priest at the age of 31. I am encouraging all of you reading this, both young and old, come and experience Passionist life. I truly believe that this community offers meaning and purpose for life in the 21st century.
NGUYEN NGOC TUAN CP