Mission Crucifix

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Passionists with Mission Crucifix
Brian Murphy, C.P. on left and Berchmans Lanagan, C.P. on right
(Click on photo to see enlargement.)

The large crucifix pictured above was used by Passionists when giving a parish mission. What is a parish mission? In the Proceedings of the First Passionist Missionary Congress of January 25-February 6, 1894, we find the following from “The Nature and Responsibility of Mission Work” by Joseph Amrhein, C.P.:

What is a Parish-Mission? It is a methodical course of sermons, catechisms, and instructions, accompanied by such religious ceremonies and pious practices as are apt to awaken the faith and stimulate the religious sentiments of the people, and thus induce them to repoent of their sins, and amend their lives. A Mission is addressed to the entire congregation; its object is to reform the wayward, to spur on the negligent, and to confirm the virtuous. It is not a course of lectures on some particular subject, nor a course of sermons on various subjects; nor is it intended for a particular class of persons. It is neither a Lenten course, nor a retreat. As the celebrated Jesuit Missionary, Segueri, remarks, a Mission is a work for and of the entire parish, in which the priest is not laboring alone, but is assisted by all those that make the Mission, who by their faithful attendance and fervent reception of the sacraments, arouse the more negligent, and thus become instrumental effecting their conversion.

After a long discussion of the paper, the Congress made a number of resolutions. Among them were these related to the mission-crucifix:

Resolved, That whenever feasible, the platform and the large crucifix be used during Missions;—but never during public retreats.
Resolved, That the Very Rev. Provincial and his council take action at the earliest opportunity on a method of supplying the Province with large Mission-crucifixes, which combine with devotional features those of elegance and durability.