Acts of the Twenty-eighth Provincial Chapter
of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross
Held in the Retreat of the Immaculate Conception, Jamaica, N.Y.
From July 7th to July 15th, 1944.


Having received the proper authorization of Most Reverend Father General, Titus of St. Paul of the Cross, in a radiogram sent through the Apostolic Delegation in Washington, Very Reverend Father Provincial, Carrol of Mary Immaculate, convoked the Twenty-Eighth Provincial Chapter of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross, by a circular letter, dated the Feast of our Holy Founder, April 28th, 1944. In his letter, Father Provincial selected the Retreat of the Immaculate Conception, Jamaica, N.Y., as the House of the Chapter, and set July 7th as the date of its opening. All, who according to Paragraph 258 of our Holy Rule have the right of active voice in a Provincial Chapter, were instructed to be at the Retreat of the Immaculate Conception on the evening of July 6th. Father Provincial made known that the Very Reverend Father Boniface of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Rector of St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Des Moines, Iowa, and former Provincial of the Province of the Holy Cross, had been delegated President of the Chapter by Most Reverend Father General. Wishing to impress all with the unusual importance of the approaching Chapter, Father Provincial wrote in part: “… It is true, of course, that every Provincial Chapter is a vital event for us; but if there can be relatively greater importance to this event because of circumstances, then it is hardly rash to say that present conditions in the world and the uncertainty of the future make the coming Chapter the most important in the history of the Province. We say this because, unfortunately, it seems rather evident that almost everywhere there is more than usual contradiction of the teachings of the Saviour of Mankind. On the other hand, God has indeed blessed our Providence [sic] with men who are endowed in an exceptional manner with gifts and powers to counteract evil influences and to advance the cause of Christ Crucified. The effectiveness of this powerful force for good at a time when there is urgent need for supreme effort thereof naturally will depend a great deal upon the dispositions that are made in the coming Provincial Chapter. Needless to say, therefore, we must look to God Himself to lend His aid and to guide and direct the Capitulars so that they may do a work that will redound to His Glory and the future welfare and effectiveness of every member of this Province of St. Paul of the Cross.” Father Provincial exhorted the brethren to plead with God fervently and frequently for His Blessing upon the Chapter, and prescribed that the customary prayers be recited in all the Houses of the Province, beginning from the date of the reception of his letter until July 6th, inclusive, and that the Solemn Triduum be held on July 7th, 8th and 9th.

Deeply impressed and inspired by the words of Father Provincial and confident of Divine Assistance, the Capitular Fathers of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross assembled for the Twenty-Eighth Provincial Chapter, in the Retreat of the Immaculate Conception, on the evening of July 6th.


At 9 o’clock, on the morning of July 7th, the Twenty-Eighth Provincial Chapter of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross was opened. The assistance of the Holy Ghost was invoked by the recitation of the “Veni Creator Spiritus” and the customary prayers. Very Reverend Father Boniface of the Most Blessed Sacrament presented his credentials, appointing him to preside at the Chapter. He then addressed the Capitular Fathers in these words:

Venerable Capitular Fathers, we are beginning our preliminary sessions of the Twenty-Eighth Provincial Chapter. All regret that our Father General is prevented from presiding in person.

I accepted the appointment to represent him, but I am deeply conscious of my limited ability and experience. However, your prayers have been ascending to God and we shall look to Him alone for the wisdom and guidance necessary to do all things for His Honor and Glory.

Briefly, I merely wish to make a few observations. The two most important functions of a Provincial Chapter, as we well know, concern legislation and the election of Superiors. We have set for ourselves a hard task in regard to previous legislation. But this has been lightened by the intelligent consideration given it by all. Let me merely suggest the following as helpful when trying to make a decision whether a decree should be retained, or abrogated, or a new one formed.

Our Holy Rules and Regulations are fundamental Passionist legislation. Hence it seems reasonable that no decree should be retained nor a new one made, unless it is certain that the decree does not in any way conflict with the letter or the spirit of the Holy Rules and Regulations. Furthermore, since nothing is added to the powers of Superiors by having Chapter Legislation to appeal to as a source of exercising authority, when a higher sanction is already operative, it seems reasonable that all decrees, recommendations, urgings, etc., in subject matter sufficiently covered by the Holy Rules and Regulations should be abrogated.

In this we merely emphasize the principle that our obedience and fidelity derive primarily from our personal acceptance of the obligations and directive counsels proper to all Passionists as stated in our Holy Rules and in our Regulations. The same line of thought applies more particularly when Chapter legislation, recommendations, etc., deal with matters closely related to the laws of God and His Church. However, all of us realize that laws, rules, regulations, decrees and counsels can easily be made almost inoperative or useless for the perfection of the corporate body in its members, by Superiors who lack the proper qualifications. Hence, the importance, before God, that attaches to the choice made by the electors. This, indeed, is the most important duty of the Capitulars.

I am sure these are the sentiments of all. Reflections on them make us realize our serious obligations before God. Let us then proceed, and trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Surely, Our Holy Founder, St. Paul of the Cross, is interceding for us before the Throne of God.”

Having listened most respectfully to the wise and earnest counsel of the President of the Chapter, the Capitular Fathers considered the choice of a Guardian of the Chapter Room. Rev. Fr. Leopold of the Most Blessed Sacrament was unanimously chosen for this office; and having taken the customary oath, he assumed his duties. Next, the election of the Secretary of the Chapter was considered. By a secret ballot Father Leonard of the Most Holy Family was elected.

The Roll of those having the right of active voice in the Chapter was called; and the following responded:


Very Reverend Father Boniface of the Blessed Sacrament, President.
Very Reverend Father Carrol of Mary Immaculate, Provincial.
Very Reverend Father Caspar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, First Provincial Consultor.
Very Reverend Father Gabriel of the Sacred Heart, Second Provincial Consultor.
Very Reverend Father Leonard of the Most Holy Family, Rector of St. Paul’s Monastery, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Very Reverend Father Agatho of the Mother of God, Rector of St. Mary’s Monastery, Dunkirk, N.Y.
Very Reverend Father Herbert of the Cross, Rector of St. Michael’s Monastery, Union City, N.J.
Very Reverend Father Celestine of the Immaculate Conception, Rector of St. Joseph’s Monastery, Baltimore, Md.
Very Reverend Father Benedict of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rector of St. Ann’s Monastery, Scranton, Pa.
Very Reverend Father Cuthbert of Mary Immaculate, Rector of St. Gabriel’s Monastery, Boston, Mass.
Very Reverend Father Ernest of the Cross, Rector of Our Mother of Sorrows Monastery, West Springfield, Mass.
Very Reverend Father Jerome of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rector of the Immaculate Conception Monastery, Jamaica, N.Y.
Very Reverend Father Berchmans of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Master of Novices.

Very Reverend Fr. President then inquired whether the Venerable Capitulars considered the Chapter legitimately convened. All having answered in the affirmative he declared the Chapter canonically opened.

The Reports of Administration of our Retreats having been read by their respective Rectors and the Reports of Administration of our Hospices at Riverdale, Toronto and Washington having been read by the Secretary, Father President appointed a Committee to review them and to prepare an account of its findings for a future session. Father President then invited the Capitular Fathers to make known any propositions they had to offer for the welfare of the Province. The propositions submitted were grouped under several headings and handed over to several Committees for further consideration. The First Session of the Chapter was then adjourned.


At 3 o’clock, on the afternoon of the same day, the Second Session of the Chapter was begun. Very Rev. Fr. Provincial proposed that the Most Reverend Cuthbert O’Gara, C.P., Titular Bishop of Elis, and Vicar Apostolic of Yuanling, Hunan, China, be invited to address the Chapter. This proposal was enthusiastically approved by the Capitular Fathers. Father Provincial then requested that he be permitted to have read at a later Session a letter from Rev. Fr. Raphael Vance, C.P., Religious Superior of our Missions in China, reporting the condition of these Missions and their personnel. This request was unanimously and cordially granted. Father President then asked the Capitular Fathers to turn their attention to the task of the “Improperium”, i.e., the conscientious discussion of the merits of all the Religious eligible for canonical office; reminding them of the great importance of this task and of the gravity of the oath all pronounced at its beginning. The remainder of this session was spent in this serious discussion.


The Third and Fourth Sessions, held on Saturday, July 8th, were devoted exclusively to the work of the “Improperium”. At the close of the Fourth Session, Father President asked the various Committees he had appointed to spend as much as possible of the following day, Sunday, in the careful study of the matters submitted to them in the First Session. He also announced that Sunday afternoon, at 2:45, in the Monastery Choir, Very Rev. Fr. Cuthbert of Mary Immaculate, Rector of St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Boston, would give a discourse to the Capitular Fathers and the Community on the need of good and capable Superiors and the qualities they should have.

At the appointed time, Sunday afternoon, Very Rev. Fr. Cuthbert addressed the Capitular Fathers and the Community in the Choir. He climaxed his well prepared and eloquently spoken discourse with these words, which for their wisdom and warmth ought to be enshrined in the minds and hearts of every Passionist, and especially of every Passionist Superior: “… And how is the Superior to discharge his office? Our Holy Founder has given us the answer: ‘Let him conduct himself in such a manner that the religious will look upon him as their most loving father’. The characteristic note of the Passionist Superior is fatherliness. Read the 280th paragraph of Our Holy Rule and see that the Superior is to be an object of affection rather than of fear. St. Paul of the Cross was not afraid of too much charity. He was afraid of too much severity… We are to elect good Superiors. The welfare of the Province will be in the hands of the newly elected. The times are critical. The coming three years may be the most momentous in the history of our Province. Not all are qualified to be Superiors. The first and most necessary quality is prudence. And the office presupposes holiness, a holiness that manifests itself in prayer, in unwearying fidelity to the daily observance, and, above all, in charity. It is charity that will make the Superior acceptable to the Brethren; and, as the Rule says, ‘having become acceptable to the Brethren the Superior will lead them as he wishes’… Each Capitular Father knows well that it is his grave duty, before God, to give the Province good and capable Superiors. Everything else is to be put aside, likes and dislikes, and he must elect those whom he honestly thinks will best serve God and the Congregation. Surely, it will be fitting to close with the prayerful plea to St. Paul and all the Saints of Our Congregation to intercede for us that we may have the light and the honesty to elect good and capable Superiors for our Province.”


At 7 o’clock, Monday morning July 10th, the Solemn Votive Mass “De Spiritu Sancto” was sung in the Monastery Church in the presence of the Community, by Very Rev. Fr. Boniface of the Most Blessed Sacrament, assisted by the Capitular Fathers. At 8:45, the same morning, The Capitular Fathers and the Community of the Retreat assembled in the Choir, whence all proceeded to the Chapter Room, singing the “Vexilla Regis”. After reciting the customary prayers, Father President, having dismissed the Community, briefly but most earnestly addressed the Capitulars, counseling them to keep in mind the challenging and inspiring discourse heard the previous afternoon and, placing themselves in the presence of God, to elect to office those men whom they judged most capable of advancing the welfare of the Province.

At the President’s request the Roll Call was called by the Secretary, and all answered: Present. The “Veni Creator” was sung to invoke the guidance of the Holy Ghost. The absolution “ad cautelam” was given to the Capitulars by Very Rev. Fr. President, who then received it from Very Rev. Fr. Provincial. The Capitulars surrendered their seals of office. All then arose and turning towards the Crucifix, with hand on heart, took the required oath to elect as Provincial “him whom, before God, they judged should be elected.” By a secret ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Ernest of the Cross Rector of Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, Springfield, and Very Rev. Fr. Berchmans of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Master of Novices, were chosen Scrutineers. The President and the Scrutineers having taken the oath “de secreto servando,” the election of Superiors was commenced.

On the first ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Carrol of Mary Immaculate was reelected to the office of Provincial. Deeply moved, he thanked the Capitulars for this expression of their great confidence in him and assured them of his continued efforts to fulfill the duties of his high office to the best of his ability. The Religious Community having been called to the Chapter Room, they together with the Capitulars offered the newly elected Provincial their filial homage and heartfelt congratulations. All then went to the Monastery Church where the “Te Deum” was sung and Father Provincial imparted Benediction with the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Returning to the Chapter Room the Capitular Fathers began balloting for the office of First Provincial Consultor. On the third ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Gabriel of the Sacred Heart was elected. On the seventh ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Leonard of the Most Holy Family was elected Second Provincial Consultor. Both newly elected Consultors thanked the Fathers of the Chapter and pledged themselves to do their utmost to assist the Provincial and to serve the Province.


At 3 o’clock in the afternoon of July 10th, the Sixth Session was begun. The very important office of Master of Novices was next to be filled. On the first ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Berchmans of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was reelected. Graciously thanking the Fathers for electing him to this office for the third successive term, he promised them he would give his best to the training of the young men entrusted to him.

At this point in the proceedings of the Chapter, the election of a Rector for Holy Cross Preparatory Seminary, Dunkirk, N.Y., was proposed and, by a secret ballot, brought to a favorable decision. The Capitular Fathers then determined, by a secret ballot, the following order in the election of Rectors: Holy Cross Preparatory Seminary, Dunkirk, N.Y.; St. Michael’s Retreat, Union City, N.J.; Immaculate Conception Retreat, Jamaica, N.Y.; St. Paul’s Retreat, Pittsburgh, Pa.; St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Boston, Mass.; St. Ann’s Retreat, Scranton, Pa.; St. Joseph’s Retreat, Baltimore, Md.; Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, West Springfield, Mass.; and St. Mary’s Retreat, Dunkirk, N.Y.

On the first ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Xavier of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was elected Rector of Holy Cross Preparatory Seminary, Dunkirk. On being informed of his election, Father Xavier expressed his grateful appreciation of the confidence placed in him and accepted the office. For personal reasons, one of the Capitulars, Father Herbert of the Cross, renounced his passive voice for the remaining Sessions of the Chapter. On the third ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Celestine of the Immaculate Conception was elected Rector of St. Michael’s Retreat, Union City. Abiding by the decision of the Chapter as an expression of the Will of God, he humbly accepted the office.

On the third ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Jerome of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was reelected Rector of the Immaculate Conception Retreat, Jamaica, N.Y. He thanked the Fathers for this complimentary approbation of his previous term and asked their prayers that he might have the spiritual and physical strength to fulfill successfully the important duties they had placed on him. For good reasons, known to himself, another of the Capitulars, Father Caspar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary renounced his passive voice.

On the seventh ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Camillus of the Mother of God, was elected Rector of St. Paul’s Retreat, Pittsburgh. Having been informed of his election, he graciously expressed his gratitude for the confidence placed in him and promised to do his very best in the new office entrusted to him.


The Seventh Session of the Chapter opened Tuesday morning at 8 o’clock. During this Session three Rectors were elected. On the sixth ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Basil of the Mother of God was elected Rector of St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Boston. Informed of his election, Father Basil accepted the office with the most edifying expressions of gratitude and humility.

On the sixth ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Benedict of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was reelected Rector of St. Ann’s Retreat, Scranton. Humbly accepting his election as the Will of God, he graciously accepted the office conferred upon him, confidently placing himself in the hands of God.

On the eighth ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Agatho of the Mother of God was elected Rector of St. Joseph’s Retreat, Baltimore. He arose, graciously, thanked the Fathers for this expression of their confidence and humbly accepted the office they had assigned him.


During the eighth Session which began at 3 o’clock, Tuesday afternoon, July 11th, the two remaining Rectorships were filled. On the seventh ballot, Father Thomas Aquinas of the Sacred Heart was elected Rector of Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, West Springfield. Informed of his election by phone, the good Father replied that for reasons of health he felt obliged to refuse the office conferred upon him, adding that he was deeply appreciative of the confidence expressed in his election and very grateful to the Capitular Fathers. When urged to reconsider his refusal, he agreed to do so, but quickly came to the same decision and begged to be excused. His refusal was reluctantly but sympathetically accepted by the Chapter.

On the tenth ballot, Very Rev. Fr. Canisius of the Mother of Holy Hope was elected Rector of Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, West Springfield. When told of his election he was overwhelmed with feelings of unworthiness and incompetence; and he begged to be given time to consider the decision he had to make. Later, after being urged to accept the decision of the Chapter as the Will of God and to have confidence in the assistance of God, Father Canisius very humbly and gratefully accepted the office.

On the seventh ballot, Very Rev. Fr. John Joseph of the Immaculate Conception was elected Rector of St. Mary’s Retreat, Dunkirk. When notified of his election, he most cordially thanked the Fathers, but he requested time to consider the matter. Trustfully placing in the Hands of God a very great personal responsibility, the good Father finally accepted as the Will of God the greater responsibility the Chapter had placed upon him.

As the acceptance of his office by Very Rev. Fr. Canisius was not received by the Chapter until after the Religious Community had retired, the results of the Elections were posted on the Bulletin Board in the Retreat of the Chapter and telephoned to the other Retreats of the Province.


In accordance with the request made by Very Rev. Fr. Provincial in the Second Session, and heartily approved by the Capitular Fathers, Very Rev. Fr. President requested the Secretary to read the letter sent to the Chapter by Rev. Fr. Raphael Vance, C.P., Religious Superior of Our Missions in China. In his letter, Fr. Raphael paid affectionate tribute to the Province of St. Paul of the Cross and the Provincial who has governed it so well for the past three years. He drew attention to the fact that soon our Chinese Foundation will celebrate its Silver Jubilee. Reviewing the history of our Missions in China during the past three years he referred to its darkest hour when Bishop Cuthbert O’Gara and Fathers Arthur and Ronald were captured by the Japanese and imprisoned in Hong Kong; he referred to the great joy of the Missioners when their greetings to Pope Pius XII, on the occasion of his Silver Episcopal jubilee, brought a cabled reply from Cardinal Maglione assuring them and their little flocks of the Paternal Blessing of His Holiness; and he reported at length concerning the heroism of these struggling, suffering men of God and the brave Sisters by their side. Finally, he assured the Capitular Fathers of the prayerful good wishes of every Passionist in China for the success of the Provincial Chapter.

This impressive and inspiring message having been read, Very Rev. Fr. Provincial arose and proposed that the Capitular Fathers send a reply to our Brethren in China, telling them how proud and appreciative the Chapter is of their heroic struggles and magnificent achievements in the face of so calamitous, continuous and increasing hardships, how deeply we sympathize with them in their sufferings and sorrows and how sincerely we pledge our spiritual and material assistance. This most fitting proposal having been warmly approved by the Capitulars, the reply was prepared and forwarded.

Very Rev. Fr. President then called upon the several Committees to make their reports. The Committee appointed to review the Reports of Administration of the Retreats, Hospices and Parishes of the Province expressed its satisfaction with these Reports and the Chapter gave its final approval. Reports were also made by the Special Committee on Finances and Buildings and the Special Committee on the Home Observance and External Religious Activities. These Reports and the lengthy and interesting discussions they occasioned occupied the remainder of this Session. In the course of these discussions, Very Rev. Fr. Provincial read the following letter from the Bishop of Raleigh, N.C.

Very Reverend Carrol Ring, C.P.,
Saint Michael’s Monastery,
1901 West Street
Union City, N.J.

Dear Father Provincial:

The Passionists have worked long and zealously in North Carolina, and, as yet, there is no security of this perduring, from your angle or from that of the Diocese.

First, I urgently request that you accept the parishes now manned by your priests in perpetuity. You will feel better about this, and so shall I.

Second, that in your mind there be planted the hope that in the not too distant future a Passionist Monastery will be established. We are grateful beyond words for the efforts your men have put forth, and these requests are an earnest of the gratitude we have for them.

Hoping to have the pleasure of hearing from you when convenient, I beg to remain

Sincerely yours in Christ

Bishop of Raleigh

The Venerable Chapter takes this occasion to commend most heartily the work of the Fathers engaged in bringing the Gospel of Christ to the Colored of North Carolina. These Passionists opened a new mission field and in a comparatively few years their zeal has built up several centers of Apostolic work. To put this work on a more secure basis and to insure its future development the Venerable Chapter recommends that the Provincial Curia investigate the feasibility of accepting the generous invitation of His Excellency, Most Rev. Eugene McGuinness, Bishop of Raleigh, to establish permanent missionary and monastic foundations in his Diocese.


The Tenth Session of the Chapter was held in the afternoon of July 12th. At the opening of this Session, the Most Rev. Cuthbert O’Gara, C.P., was most heartily welcomed by Very Rev. Fr. President and the Capitulars, in whose name he had been invited to address the Chapter by Very Rev. Fr. Provincial. All were greatly enlightened and deeply edified by the address they were privileged to hear from the lips of the learned and zealous Bishop who governs the Vicariate in China where our Missioners are laboring and suffering so gloriously. He made known his great happiness in being invited to address the Chapter and to bring with him the personal greetings of each Passionist in China, expressing in the name of every member of our Congregation in that distant and difficult Mission Field “heartfelt thanks for the interest, sympathy and financial aid so generously extended” by this Province. Bishop O’Gara paid fervent tribute to the American Passionists in China, declaring that twenty-four years of perilous pioneering there have taught they “have the ability, character and stamina necessary for successful careers, on the foreign missions, even the most difficult and hazardous”. He declared that in spite of extraordinary sacrifices and sufferings, great material losses and heavy casualties, our battle hardened veterans “have effected a bridgehead in Western Hunan and have been holding it against strong odds”,…”so that when peace has come and reinforcements from home have arrived, full advantage may be taken of the position they have so courageously won…” The Bishop stressed the importance of giving our Missioners to China specialized preparatory training, supporting his words with the pronouncements of successive Pontiffs. He also carefully outlined the comprehensive mission program prescribed by Holy Mother Church, and the need and means of realizing it more fully in the Mission Field manned by Passionists. He strongly appealed to the Chapter to discuss the considerations he had presented to them and to formulate its wishes in matters of so vital importance to the members of our Province in China, guaranteeing “their obedience, dauntless courage and persevering self sacrifice which, with…God’s unfailing grace, shall bring to full fruition the will of the Province.”

Having ended his address, Bishop O’Gara read the following cabled report he had recently received from Rev. Paul Ubinger, C.P., Vicar Delegate of the Yuanling Vicariate, who, the Capitulars noted with pleasure, is celebrating his Silver Sacerdotal Jubilee:

Yuanling Via RCA, July 7, 1944

Bishop Cuthbert O’Gara,
The Sign,
Union City, N.J.

Spiritual Report Present Catholics 5501, Scholars 2117, Orphans 214, Warphans 28, Following Triennial Totals Ending June, 1944, Baptisms, Adults 1017, Infants 486; Dying 2497, Confessions 151472, Communions 294072, Confirmations 379, Extrunctions 432, Marriages 117, Hospital Patients 72921, Outpatients 675725.

Paul Ubinger.

This brief but revealing and inspiring report being finished, Very Rev. Fr. Provincial fervently voiced the sentiments of the Chapter in the following well-chosen and, earnestly spoken words:

Your Excellency:

May I say a word of sincere appreciation for the enlightening and inspiring message you have given us. I need hardly say that it is an unusual joy to have you with us. Your visit to the Province at this time is particularly providential, as you and I so well know. We thank God for making this visit possible. I repeat now what I have mentioned to Your Excellency before; namely, that our interest in the work of our men in China never wanes. We have, therefore, watched with deep concern the progress of events. We know that the disturbance throughout the world has seriously threatened the welfare of the missions in the Orient. We know that Your Excellency and the Missionaries and Sisters have had to endure and are now enduring most bitter hardships. We deeply regret all this; and we beg God to bring brighter and happier days quickly. At the same time we profoundly admire the supernatural heroism these hardships have evoked.

What is happening in our missions in China find its counterpart in the life of the Church. It is the story of her Divine Founder Himself. It has been the picture of progress of every work of God, of every missionary and apostolic endeavor. There were adversities, hardships, opposition, every kind of obstacle. Always, however, there came a glorious day of conquest. In the life of Christ, after Calvary came Easter Sunday; in the life of the Church, after apparent defeat came victory. And so we know for certain that your sacrifice and their sacrifice will bear fruit; that a glorious and brilliant future for the Missions lie ahead.

Let me assure Your Excellency of our warm affection and high esteem. Let me assure you and the Fathers and Sisters working with you of our whole-hearted cooperation and unfailing support. Let me ask you when you return to China to tell each one that their welfare and interest are ever in our minds. Upon our lips and in our hearts is a fervent prayer that God may continue to bless you and them in your magnificent apostolic work.

The Most Reverend Bishop then spoke informally, but no less brilliantly and earnestly, of his plans for his Vicariate. He favoured the Capitulars with a very well defined but disturbing preview of post-war China, and he strongly emphasized the large part that America must play in the spiritual redemption and rebirth of that long suffering but still sturdy Nation.

When the Capitular Fathers returned to the Chapter Room, after a short recess, they discussed the Report made by the Special Committee on the Revision of Provincial Chapter Decrees. Because of the extensive and precise preparatory work directed by the Provincial Curia before the Chapter, in this Session the Capitulars were able to review quickly and reject judiciously almost all of the Provincial Decrees which expert Canonists had previously studied and found obsolete or entirely unnecessary. The Venerable Chapter expressed its profound admiration for the extraordinary and excellent work that had been accomplished in this matter by the Provincial Curia and those who so painstakingly cooperated with them.


The Eleventh Session, Wednesday night, the Twelfth Session, Thursday morning, the Thirteenth Session, Thursday afternoon and part of the Fourteenth Session, Friday morning, were devoted to the critical examination of past Provincial Chapter Decrees and the careful formulating of new Decrees. The greater part of the Fourteenth Session was spent in a serious discussion of the Revised Mission Directorium, during which several very practical suggestions were advanced in order to complete the work for submission to the General Curia, in accordance with paragraph 196 in Our Regulations. The Venerable Chapter took this occasion to express its grateful appreciation and sincere commendation of those who worked so faithfully and successfully on the Revision of the Mission Directorium.


The Fifteenth Session of the Chapter opened at 3 o’clock, Friday afternoon, July 14th. At this Session the following Decrees were made:

1—The following Provincial Chapter Decrees constitute the particular legislation of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross. All other existing Decrees are hereby abrogated.

2—Our Holy Rule and Regulations shall be read publicly in the Refectory at the noonday meal on Wednesdays and Fridays.

3—The Summer season mentioned in Paragraph 233 of our Holy Rule shall be effective in the Province from June First until September First, inclusive.

4—Ordinary dispensations from the Religious observance by reason of activities other than those for which dispensations are granted by the Rule and Regulations shall be designated by the Provincial Curia. Further dispensations must be requested ‘toties quoties’ from the local Superior.

5—The Forty Hours Devotion is a Community exercise and all the Religious of the Retreat shall follow the Horarium drawn up by the local Superior.

6—One entire day in each month shall be spent in the Retreat as a day of recollection by each of our Fathers assigned by the Provincial to parochial work. The same regulation applies to the Fathers of The Sign Staff and to Chaplains of Institutions.

7—The National Holidays, July Fourth and Thanksgiving Day shall be observed as “Gaudeamus” days in all Retreats of the Province.

8—Conferences during the Annual Retreat shall not occupy more than half an hour, except the Evening Meditation which together with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament shall not exceed one hour.

9—A Low Requiem Mass shall be celebrated in each Retreat when word is received of the death of the Parents of the Religious of the Province.

10—The Oath “De Secreto Servando” shall be taken in all Chapters wherein there is to be a discussion of the character of any individual.

11—Priests not ordained at least five years are forbidden the use of Spiritous Liquors at home or abroad; the same prohibition applies to Brothers until five years after final Profession.

12—The Provincial shall defray the expenses of Religious who must remain indefinitely in Hospitals, Institutions, etc.

13—Copyrights on Publications by our Religious belong to the Province and shall be kept in the Provincial archives. Royalties received by our Religious from Publishing concerns shall be remitted to the Provincial.

14—When a Religious is transferred from one Retreat to another the Rector of the Retreat the Religious is leaving must provide the said Religious with all he may need at the time and may be permitted to have in accordance with the common life. If this prescription has not been complied with the Rector of the Retreat to which the Religious has been transferred shall make due provision at the expense of the former Retreat, but he must do so within a month following the date of transfer and only after he has referred the matter to the former Rector. This disposition includes dental work and urgent medical care. In doubtful cases the Provincial shall decide who is responsible for the expense.

15—An exact record of “Benefactores Insignes” must be kept in each Retreat. This record must include the names and addresses of the Benefactor, the nature of the gifts, and any other item of importance in connection with the Benefaction. Said record must be submitted for inspection at the time of Canonical Visitation.

16—Branches of the “Benefactors Society” shall be established in all our Retreats. The Society shall be under the supervision of the Provincial and shall be subject to his regulations. Holy Mass shall be offered daily for the members of the Society, in St. Michael’s Retreat, Union City, N.J. A uniform Certificate approved by the Provincial shall be used and a careful record of membership shall be kept on file in each Retreat.

17—The Provincial shall provide a new Breviary for the Religious at the time of ordination.

18—Without first obtaining the authorization of the Provincial Curia a local Superior may not assume the permanent obligation of supplying a Chaplain for an Institution.

19—The vacation for Students allowed by paragraph 241 of the Regulations will be from, July First to August Fifteenth.

20—In accordance with the approbation given by the Sacred Congregation of Religious, the Students of the Province shall have regular study and class on the afternoons of Feasts of the Rule, and on the mornings of Second Class Feasts, except the Feasts of the Circumcision, St. Stephen and St. John the Evangelist.

21—In conformity with the Prescription of Canon 136 on Ecclesiastical dress it is declared that our Students shall wear the Roman collar after the reception of Tonsure.

22—Our Students are forbidden to smoke until the beginning of their Theological course, and thereafter they may smoke only rarely and with permission of Father Rector.

23—The Philosophy Course for the Students shall extend over a period of three years.

24—A radio may not be kept in the recreation of the Students; nor may the use of a radio be permitted at any time for the Students without the authorization of the local Superior who may make a concession in this regard only rarely and with proper supervision of the program.

25—The Director of Students shall hold public conferences for the Students regularly. These conferences shall take place ordinarily on the mornings of Sundays or First Class Feasts.

26—The assignment of Pastors and Curates for parishes in our charge belongs to the Provincial who shall present his Nomination to the local Ordinary for official appointment.

27—In conformity with the Prescriptions of Canon 630, par. 4., Pastors are subject to the vigilance of the local Superior and the Provincial in acts of administration. In order to safeguard the interests of the community, whenever Parochial expenditures require the authorization of the local Ordinary the Pastor must first propose the matter to the Provincial.

28—Each year in all our churches and in the churches indefinitely committed to our care a collection shall be taken up for the support of our Preparatory School.

29—Our Lay Brothers shall not ordinarily be transferred from the Novitiate Retreat until after final profession.

30—When the Brothers do the laundry they shall be excused from a half hour of the evening Meditation and from rising for Matins the following morning.

31—The following Mission Schedule shall be observed by our Missionaries in the conduct of Missions:

1—First Mass and Talk—Not over 45 minutes.
2—Second Mass and Talk—Not over 50 minutes.
3—Evening Rosary and Instruction—Not over 20 minutes.
4—Evening Announcements and Sermon—Not over 35 minutes.

32—Our Religious may not join Fraternal Organizations without the approval of the Provincial; nor may our Religious accept any office or position outside the Community without similar approval.

33—Former members of the Province who have been assigned by Most Reverend Father General to the German Foundation shall be given the suffrages accorded members of the Province.


The Sixteenth Session of the Chapter opened at 9 o’clock on the morning of Saturday, July 15th. The Venerable Chapter reviewing the many and varied activities in the Province praised the extraordinary zeal with which priests, students and brothers performed the tasks assigned to them and uncomplainingly accepted the additional burdens that have been, of necessity, placed upon them in recent years. It lauded the fine religious spirit of those who in spite of unusual demands of obedience have been no less observant of the community exercises. It expressed its admiration and satisfaction with the excellent work being done by our Missionaries, our Parish Priests, our Directors of Retreats and our Chaplains in Institutions. It praised the genuine Christian patriotism of the many priests in the Province who have volunteered their services as Chaplains in our Armed Forces. And it noted with exceedingly great pleasure the grand work being done on land and sea, in our camps and on foreign battlefronts, by our brave Brethren who are now serving in this capacity. The Capitular Fathers voiced their satisfaction with the splendid work being done by the Staff of “The Sign”, and congratulated them upon their effective and far reaching efforts to extend the kingdom of God. They extolled the self-sacrificing and exceptionally good work of those priests who are engaged in the spiritual and intellectual training of our postulants, novices and students; and they assured these men that the Province is ever mindful of the importance of their labors and of their incalculable contribution to the accomplishments of the Province. The Capitular Fathers paid reverent and enthusiastic tribute to the heroism, manifested by our Missioners in China and the noble and devoted Sisters who share their labors and sufferings. They recognized the valuable and indispensable contribution of our Brothers to the work of the Province and expressed keen satisfaction at the increasing number of vocations in this department. Finally, the Venerable Chapter assured the former members of this Province who are now serving God and man under the direction of Our Mother the Congregation in other foundations that we are not unmindful of their labors and sufferings, that we deeply sympathize with them and are proud of what they have accomplished in the face of so many obstacles.

The ‘Acts of the Chapter’ were read, discussed and finally approved.

Very Rev. Fr. Provincial, Carrol of Mary Immaculate, then addressed Very Rev. Fr. Boniface, the President, as follows:

Very Rev. Fr. President:

In behalf of the Capitular Fathers I wish to express sincere gratitude and appreciation for the kindly and efficient manner in which you have fulfilled your duties as President of this Twenty-Eighth Chapter of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross. You have manifested great patience and understanding and prudence during the entire course of our deliberations. You have done everything possible to help us carry out our work effectively. Owing to the large volume of business that had to be transacted, yours has been a difficult assignment; but you have handled it with singular wisdom and charity. Our association with you throughout these arduous days of the Chapter has been very pleasant and agreeable.

It is of course a matter of deep regret to the entire Province that our beloved Father General could not be with us in person. All of us would have been filled with joy and happiness had circumstances made this possible. Unfortunately, for the past three years it has been impossible to communicate directly with him. We know his Paternal solicitude for all the Brethren of the Congregation and we can easily understand his anxiety and concern in the present emergency. We know too he has been with us in spirit during these days and that he has prayed fervently that God might bless our work. We trust that in the very near future Divine Providence will make it possible for him to visit us. And in conclusion, let me give expression to the filial affection and profound esteem in which our Most Reverend Father General is held by the Capitular Fathers and by all the Brethren of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross. We pledge him our devoted loyalty and we assure him of our constant effort to follow the ideals of our Holy Founder and thereby promote the welfare of our Beloved Congregation.”

Very Rev. Fr. President replied that he knew by the actions of the Capitular Fathers, even more than by their words, how truly and warmly welcome he was, and that he was greatly edified by the sincere and unselfish efforts of all to do the work of the Chapter well. He expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude for the cooperation and kindness he received during the performance of his difficult task. When he had spoken the Capitular Fathers cordially and enthusiastically applauded.

In accordance with the delegation given him by Most Reverend Father General, the President confirmed the election of the Rectors and the Master of Novices. He then asked if, in the opinion of the Capitulars, the Chapter should be closed. All having replied in the affirmative, he declared the Chapter formally ended. Father Leopold, the Guardian, was called into the Chapter Room and heartily thanked for his efficient performance of duty. Finally; at the invitation of Fr. President, the Capitular Fathers appended their signatures to the Acts of the Chapter, as follows:

Boniface of the Most Blessed Sacrament—President.
Carrol of Mary Immaculate—Provincial.
Caspar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary—1st Provincial Consultor.
Gabriel of the Sacred Heart—2nd Provincial Consultor.
Leonard of the Most Holy Family—Rector of St. Paul’s Retreat, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Agatho of the Mother of God—Rector of St. Mary’s Retreat, Dunkirk, N.Y.
Herbert of the Cross—Rector of St. Michael’s Retreat, Union City, N.J.
Celestine of the Immaculate Conception—Rector of St. Joseph’s Retreat, Baltimore, Md.
Benedict of Our Lady of Perpetual Help—Rector of St. Ann’s Retreat, Scranton, Pa.
Cuthbert of Mary Immaculate—Rector of St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Boston, Mass.
Ernest of the Cross—Rector of Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, W. Springfield, Mass.
Jerome of Our Lady of Perpetual Help—Rector of Immaculate Conception Retreat, Jamaica, N.Y.
Berchmans of the Immaculate Heart of Mary—Master of Novices.

Immaculate Conception Retreat,
Jamaica, New York.
July 15, 1944

Leonard of the Most Holy Family