New Passionist Provincial
The 2016 Provincial Chapter of St Patrick’s Province was held at Mount St Anne’s Retreat Centre, Killenard, Portarlington, County Laois, from 20 to 24 June. Thirty-four members of the Province took part. The Chapter was presided over by the Superior General, Fr Joachim Rego CP. Also present were Fr Denis Travers (General Consultor), Fr Mark-Robin Hoogland (President of the Configuration of St Charles Houben, which covers Northern Europe) and Fr Martin Newell (representing St Joseph’s Province, England and Wales).
At the Provincial Chapter, Fr James Sweeney CP was elected as the new Provincial Superior of St Patrick’s Province. Father James, a native of Glasgow, is the Province’s first Scottish Provincial, although his roots are in Falcarragh, County Donegal. He was ordained to the priesthood in St Mungo’s, Glasgow, in 1968. Until recently he was on the staff of Heythrop College, London, where he was Convenor of the Pastoral Studies Programme and worked also in the Heythrop Institute: religion and Society and the Religious Life Institute.
In his homily at the Mass for the closing of the Chapter, Father James said: The intent [of Paul of the Cross] was to foster a new spiritual current in the church of his time, a new awareness. He – and we – seek to promote a recovery of the life-giving memory of the Passion. We’re not so much a new institution in the church – the memory of the Passion is at the heart of the whole church’s life; we exist as a call to the church to re-discover its deepest roots. This is to work for a human and spiritual awakening. We work to renew the church – and indeed society at large – by coming alive to the deep blessing, God’s love and Mercy, that resonates in our hearts.
You can read the full text of the homily here.
Elected as Provincial Consultors were Fr Bernard Lowe (First Consultor), Fr Charles Cross, Fr Paul Francis Spencer and Fr Brendan McKeever.