Passionis" and the Passionists in the Philippines
The loving Savior arranged that His
disciples were not to be held in their own immediate confines limited
by friends and familiar surroundings. Instead, they were to go forth to
every corner of the world with the instructions: to witness, to proclaim
and to share His love.
Living up to this ideal is a mark of Christ's authentic disciple. Casting
no doubts, it must be underlying reason that motivates every religious
and missionary setting forth to the unknown lands unmindful of the great
perils that lay before them. Their source of Charisma is the love of Christ.
Every other religious takes different paths in corresponding to this love
of Christ. The Passionists responds in a special way, a response that
sets aside the obstacle of great challenge and self-exultation. It is
a response of living up the love of Christ rooted in His Passion and Death.
For it is through this that the greatest and the most overwhelming expression
of His love is clearly communicated. Since then, every Passionist imprints
and will continually do so in their very being and doing the memory of
Two scores ago, the Passionist Congregation plunged its roots deeply in
the Philippine soil. They settled for the mission in the remote areas
of Southern Mindanao. Insurmountable opportunities to witness and proclaim
Christ's love confronted them. Alongside with these opportunities were
challenges and risks. Completely different physical environments with
entirely different cultures and beliefs to embrace were heavy loads for
It took them much time and effort to penetrate to peoples' lives and therein
to speak eloquently of the Lord's love. Doing this was no easy task. The
road to walk was no bed of roses. It was a rocky road bedecked with piercing
thorns of hardships. Passionist missionaries were tested through time
of trials. The sight of Filipino people living in dire poverty was overwhelming.
It was in this experience of being poor that the great struggles of the
people lay. Essentially, Filipinos wrestled with their own sufferings.
They were the 'crucified ones' of today in this part of the world. This
sight of suffering was painful to behold and was a challenge to the missionaries
to share in the sufferings of the people. Passionist might as well be
swayed by these surging waves if they did not stand afoot with the people
whom they ministered. What account for all of these is the intimate relationship
with the Crucified Christ and the crucified of today. The relationship
is expressed by the constant remembering of His Passion. "Memoria Passionis"
is impressed in the depth of their "being" so much so that this empowers
them to accomplish their "doings." Thus, "Memoria Passionis" is the integrating
factor in their active and contemplative life. This makes possible the
union of God in the depths of prayer and in the moments of absorbing apostolates.
Moreover, through "Memoria Passionis," the Passionists see Christ in all
with new eyes and more clearly. With this, imprinted in the deepest recesses
of their being, their zeal and will power to do impeccable services continuously
burns. This enables them to have a profound sense of awareness that the
Passion of Christ continues up to this day. Passionist shares the hard
life of these people.
For forty (40) years, the momentum of the Passionists' presence in the
Philippines does not stop like a ball rolling. As the task continuously
rolls on, another chapter then continuously unfolds. "Memoria Passionis"
will unceasingly sustain them in their relentless efforts to share the
wisdom of the Cross. Because of this impressed "Memoria Passionis," Passionist's
commitment, zest, vigor and life of prayer will be greatly seen and touched
as the salt and light of the earth not only in the oratory but in the
daily situations people encounter.
from Paulacrucian Newsletter
September 1999 Issue
Passion of Christ continues in this world until He comes in glory. Therefore,
we (Passionists) share the joys and sorrows of our contemporaries as we
journey through life toward our Father. We wish to share in the distress
of all especially those who are poor and neglected; we seek to offer them
comfort and relieve the burden of their sorrow."
Fr. Jose Orbegozo, CP