Meeting of the Nashville Passionist Partners
Friday, May 8, 2009
The meeting took place at the Cathedral in the St. Paul of the Cross Meeting Room with fifteen participants. Fr. Al Merz, O.F.M. was a guest visitor. Fr. Kenneth O’Malley, CP, from Chicago, was a presenter.
First, Kenneth Schmitt welcomed all he participants and explained the format of this evening’s meeting.
Second, Fr. Kenneth O’Malley’s presentation included a description of the lay group, The Society of Saint Francis DeSales, for whom he has been a chaplain since 1979. This is an international group which has been in existence for over 100 years. In Chicago there are two groups with about thirty members in each group. They meet monthly and make an annual retreat. There are several key documents important to their formation: The Treatise on Divine Love, and The Introduction to the Devout Life, both written by St. Francis DeSales; the Documents of Vatican II, especially Gaudium et Spes. Three hand outs were distributed among the participants. One was an outline of critical topics for each group, e.g. Prayer, Amenity, Chastity, Discretion, Evangelization, Prayer, Obedience, Poverty, and the Spirit of Jesus. New members are assigned a mentor or companion who walks them through these key concepts, the history of the organization, and their Rule.
The second part of Fr. O’Malley’s presentation, was a condensed presentation of a Formation Manual, which Tim O’Brien, former director of the Passionist Partners, created as part of his doctoral program. Three handouts were distributed with this presentation. The program itself has eight different levels: Laity in the Church, Prayer, Contemplation, Passionist Congregation, Spirituality, Community, and Leadership. Each of these modules had three components. Along with the presentation, a list of concepts/topics important to being a member of the Passionist Family. Some of these are: Commitment, Contemplation, Conversion, Discernment, Meditation, Mysticism, Peace, Prayer, Solitude, etc. Time was also alloted for question and answers.
The meeting was brought to a close with an Evening Prayer. Brochures were distributed for participants to pray and sing. Two psalms were recited antiphonally, and two songs were sung: You are Mine and Holy Ground. A final prayer and blessing brought this gathering to a close.
Handouts are available for those that may be interested. Please contact Ken Schmitt for copies.