Proclaiming the Passion defines who the Passionists are and is the foundation of our ministries. One of these ministries is the preaching of parish mission renewals.
Fr. Blaise Czaja, CP, received his vocation to become a Passionist when he attended a parish mission given by two Passionists when he was in eighth grade. He has been blessed with being able to do this ministry during most of his priesthood. He is a very popular and well received preacher. He gave a new focus to the Passionist Mission when he began the "Evangelist Mission" in 1972.
“Parish renewals are a wonderful opportunity for young and old alike to grow closer to God. Coming together in your community of parishioners, spending a longer period of time together in spiritual reflection, can be extremely moving and meaningful,” says Fr. Bernie Weber, CP, who has been an itinerant preacher for the last 13 years. Renewal missions typically last about five days, with parishioners coming to church for an hour or so in the evening during the week.
Parish missions are usually structured around a theme: “The Call to Discipleship within Families” is one example. The use of humor, stories rooted in life, and scripture, of course, are the vehicles through which a Passionist preacher may help the congregation reflect on the demands of our contemporary world and the need for spiritual grounding.
Fr. Cedric Pisegna, CP, loves to preach and reconcile people to God. “Missions renew people in their faith journey, or help them to pray more meaningfully. For others, they begin a whole new relationship with God. Some discover the motivation and grace to move and change. Others celebrate forgiveness for their sins and begin again.
Fr. Robert Weiss, CP, has been an itinerant preacher for 37 years. “Preaching is an honored Passionist tradition. There is true power in the Word. Preached missions can offer the experience of a moment of grace.”
Fr. Richard Parks, CP, agrees, “Missions are as vital and relevant today as they’ve ever been in the history of the Church. People are very responsive and supportive. When you say ‘preaching,’ some people may still think of fire and brimstone. But today the people of God are moved by the love of Christ. That’s the foundation of our mission. That’s the Passionist charism at the very heart.”
Margaret Hinshaw was present at a Lenten mission preached by Fr. Richard Parks. “His enthusiasm was great and the message was wonderful,” she recalls. “Our parishioners loved it. You go to a mission and hear a message that draws you in a different way into the true presence of God and closer to the Eucharist. Since a mission gives parishioners a longer time together, there really is a chance to build on a theme. Lent is a wonderful time for a mission; it enriches your whole sense of that experience and pulls you more deeply into the event of Easter.”
In addition to Lent, Passionist priests provide missions to parishes throughout the year, including missions in Spanish and Korean. All are invited to participate in this special spiritual opportunity.
If your parish would like to have a Passionist preach a mission, please contact:
Fr. Blaise Czaja, CP
Tel: 916 509 0072
Fr. Cedric Pisegna, CP
Tel: 713 464 4932, #32