Acts of the Twenty-sixth Provincial Chapter
of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross
Held in the Retreat of Our Mother of Sorrows, West Springfield, Mass.
From July 12th to July 19th, 1938.
On the Feast of Our Holy Founder, April 28th, 1938, a circular letter was issued by Very Reverend Father Provincial, Colman of the Immaculate Conception, announcing the forthcoming Twenty-Sixth Provincial Chapter of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross, with the happy promise that, Deo Volente, our Most Reverend Father General, Titus of St. Paul of the Cross, would himself preside in person at this Chapter.
This announcement that Most Reverend Father General would be with his American sons in person was most gratifying to the Brethren of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross and evoked universal joy.
In a subsequent letter, Father Provincial definitely stated that Most Reverend Father General had set July 12th as the opening day of the Chapter to be held at the Retreat of Our Mother of Sorrows, West Springfield, Mass.
In his letter of convocation, Father Provincial prescribed the usual prayers to be recited in our various houses, together with the solemn triduum immediately preceding the opening of the Chapter. Father Provincial reminded the Brethren of the momentous work before the Chapter and implored their prayers for divine guidance and assistance, knowing well the interest of every Religious in the Province in the forthcoming Chapter.
FIRST AND SECOND SESSIONS
On the morning of July 12th, 1938, the Capitular Fathers assembled in the Retreat of Our Mother of Sorrows, West Springfield, Mass., for the opening session of the Twenty-Sixth Provincial Chapter. At 9:30 o’clock the President of the Chapter, our Most Reverend Father General, Titus of St. Paul of the Cross, intoned the “Veni Creator” and recited the customary prayers.
By a secret ballot, Father Alexis of the Precious Blood was unanimously chosen as interpreter to Most Reverend Father General for the duration of the Chapter. He took the oath of secrecy, whereupon he immediately assumed his duties.
A guardian of the Chapter Room was then chosen in the person of Father Frederick of the Holy Rosary. The Father was called, took the oath of secrecy, then left to assume the duties of his office.
A temporary Secretary to the Chapter was chosen in the person of the Very Reverend Father Frederick Joseph of the Heart of Mary.
Most Reverend Father General then addressed the Fathers in the following words:
In the act of opening the preliminary sessions of the present Chapter, permit me to express to you and to the whole Province a word of greeting and a word of pleasure at being present amongst you.
This Province amongst all has the singular honor and privilege of bearing the name of our Holy Founder; it has been blessed with numerous vocations and has accomplished great good in the Apostolate. Since it occupies first place in these things, it also occupies first place in the solicitude of the Superior General. Hence, ever since my election, I have desired to find a way of bringing to you, through my presence, the blessing of our Holy Founder, following the example of the Apostle St. Paul, who from the East wrote to the numerous faithful at Rome: “I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual grace, to strengthen you; that is to say, that I may be comforted together in you.”
With all the affection of my heart, I therefore at this moment express my pleasure at being present and extend my salutation. In this salutation is expressed my fervent hope and prayer that this Chapter will result in great usefulness to the Province.
Let us not forget in these days the delicacy and importance of our task. We are gathered here in the name of the Lord, while throughout the Province prayers are being offered and the Divine Assistance sought, in order that we shall seek in our deliberations to consolidate and increase the grand spirit of our vocation, which has come down to us as our inheritance from our Holy Founder and which constitutes the essential condition of our continuing to flourish. Let this principle be our guide and may the blessing of our Holy Father, Pius XI, which I expressly sought before I left Rome and which I now communicate to you and through you to the entire Province, assist us.
The reports of the Administration of all the houses and hospices of the Province were now read by the various Rectors, after which these reports were turned over for review by a special Committee appointed by Father General.
The President of the Chapter called upon the Fathers to freely submit any propositions they deemed advantageous to the welfare of the Province. A number of proposals were made and carefully noted. These were later grouped under various headings by Father Secretary and given over for consideration to specially designated Committees appointed by Father General.
THIRD TO SIXTH SESSIONS (Inclusive)
The third session opened on the morning of July 13th, at 9:00 o’clock. This session, up to and including the sixth, was devoted to a discussion of the merits of those Religious eligible to office.
On Thursday afternoon, following Vespers, the Capitular Fathers assembled in the Choir, where, along with the entire Community, they were addressed by the Very Reverend Father Edward of the Infant Jesus concerning the qualities of a good Superior. In clear, well chosen phrases, Father Edward impressed on his hearers the source of all authority, its sacred origin, and in these days of false liberty, the necessity of recalling the fundamental principles of the Religious Life.
Following this discourse, the Capitular Fathers repaired to the Chapter Room, where was introduced the Reverend Father Quentin of Saint Gabriel, now in the States from our Missions in China, who was invited to address the Fathers relative to our Chinese Missions.
We quote his interesting and instructive remarks:
Most Rev. Father General, presiding officer of the Chapter, Very Rev. Father Provincial, Very Rev. Capitular Fathers. First I wish to extend my gratitude to Rev. Father Provincial for the great honor and privilege he has accorded to me in inviting me here today. Owing to the undeclared but real war being waged in China it was impossible for a chosen representative of the Fathers in China to come to the Chapter. Very Rev. Father Provincial in correspondence with the Religious Superior in China decided to call upon one of the Fathers home on furlough. The invitation has fallen to me. Hence it can be seen that I am not a representative chosen by the Fathers in China. And therefore, any remarks I may make cannot be considered as those of an instructed delegate. However, after fifteen years spent in our Chinese Missions, and seven of these in the office of Vicar General, the opportunity has been mine of obtaining some ideas about the work of the Passionists in China. Again, it was not until last Friday evening that I knew I was to come and address the Chapter in behalf of the Passionists in China. Hence I ask the kind indulgence of the Capitular Fathers if these remarks are not properly prepared.
My visit home for the last few months has been most encouraging and consoling. The encouragement and consolation has come thru the manifest interest shown by the Superiors and Fathers of the Province in our Chinese Mission work. Much of this interest has been made evident in the various questions asked of our Fathers in China and of the work being done. I have thought it fitting that a brief resumè of the answers to these questions be given to the Capitular Fathers, as being interesting and instructive.
It was on Christmas Eve in 1921 that the first band of Fathers from our Province embarked for the field in China assigned to us by Propaganda and Our Holy Father the Pope. Since that time fifty-five men have gone to China. Ten of this number coming from the Western Province, one from our French Province, and a lay brother from our Province in Holland. Seven of these men died and were buried in China. Seventeen for reasons of health and other causes had to return to the States. Two of this number have since died here. So that our personnel in China now numbers thirty-one. And five of these are now home in the States on furlough.
Working with our Fathers in the Passionist Vicariate are two Communities of Sisters, thirteen Sisters of Charity of Convent Station, N.J., two of whom are now in the States, one taking her degree as a Registered nurse, the other on Propaganda work for the Sisters; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, Pa., five in China and one professed Chinese Sister now taking her college degree before returning to her native land.
Manned by this personnel are fifteen main missions with resident missionaries. One minor seminary and one Procure at Hankow. Of these fifteen missions eight are cared for by one man. Six have two Fathers assigned to them, and in headquarters, Yuanling, there are four men, the Bishop, the econome or sub-procurator and the two men caring for that mission. Two Fathers are assigned to the seminary and one to the Procuration at Hankow. Attached to the fifteen main missions, some a few, others one or two, a few none, are twenty-five stations, places with a chapel, etc. but no resident missionary. Then there are eight elementary schools, five of which are registered with and recognized by the Chinese Government. Four of the missions maintain Orphanages, three for girls and one for boys. There are three large Dispensaries cared for by the Sisters, and smaller Dispensaries attached to each mission. We have three homes for the aged, and nine catechumenates.
Three years ago at the Province Chapter it was the honor and privilege of Most Rev. Bishop Cuthbert O’Gara to address the Chapter. Since that time the work of the Passionists in China, despite many setbacks and difficulties has progressed. Twice in this time, parts of our territory were invaded by the then Chinese Communist armies. Thanks be to God we suffered no loss of life but some of the Fathers had narrow escapes. However, many of our missions had to be evacuated, thus bringing their work to a standstill. Again for the past year China has been at war with Japan. While our territory is not in the war area, indirectly the effects of the war have made our work difficult. Since last October our supplies have been more or less fully cut off. Then with all the troops being called to the front to fight, and no one to guard the districts the bandit situation has become extreme, curtailing to some extent our missionary endeavors. However, the results of the unstinted labors of the missionaries have been most consoling. Not having any of the yearly reports with me, I can only give from memory some general numbers. According to the last report, which was that of the 1936-1937 issue, two or three new stations were opened. Close on to two hundred adult conversions were made. Over four thousand infants and others in danger of death were baptized. Good and zealous care was taken of the already established Xtianities. The large number of Paschal and devotional confessions and communions was most consoling. A new feature in our Chinese work was introduced, namely, the giving of real Passionist missions in our parishes to our Chinese Catholics. The institutional and charitable works have gone along apace. The reorganization of our Orphanges has shown greater efficiency and will be producive of greater results. Our Dispensaries, under the wonderful care of our co-laborers, the Sisters, have grown greatly and are held in great esteem both by the high and the low. Our schools are really the leading institutions in the educational fields in our territory. Many conversions and baptisms have been effected thru our homes for the aged; and last but not least, the main and essential institutions, our Catechumenates are well filled with prospective converts. A recent letter from the Bishop tells me that in one catechumeate there are over one hundred studying.
Now to accomplish all this, and to care for this varied and multiple work the Capitular Fathers can well appreciate that our brethren in China are hard working and zealous missionaries. Thanks be to God the general health of our personnel has been good; God in His wisdom saw fit to take to Himself one of the young missionaries, Father Justin Moore, who died of typhoid after six months in China. Then too the services of one of our most zealous and edifying missionaries, Father Dominic, have been lost to us, thru an incurable disease. Other than these two major losses and a few temporary and minor ailments among some of the other Fathers, the Fathers in China have been and are well.
Not a little of the success of our labors must be ascribed to the heroic and self-sacrificing work of our co-laborers, the Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of St. Joseph. Their work in our orphanges, dispensaries, homes for the aged and in our schools has been gratifying and edifying. In speaking of the great assistance of these Sisters to our men in China, there is one point I feel is not sufficiently appreciated. That is, their care for the Fathers when seriously sick. I know of three or four occasions when the life of the sick missionary has been saved thru the ministrations of the good Sisters. I mention the Sisters here, in order to give the Capitulars an appreciation of their aid to our brethren and as a mark of our heart-felt gratitude.
These few words give a brief resumè of our Passionist Missionary work in China, and the position of our missions at the present time. There is naught left for me to say but to give thanks where thanks are due. And in doing this I feel that I am expressing the thoughts of each and every one of our Fathers, from His Excellency the Bishop and the Very Rev. Religious Superior down to the latest arrival in China, and of the two Communities of Sisters. First, therefore I extend to Very Rev. Father Provincial and his Consultors our sincere thanks. From my few talks with them I know they are doing their utmost in assisting and furthering the work of the Passionist Fathers of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross in the field assigned to them by Propaganda and the Holy Father Himself. Next I wish to express our appreciation and gratitude to the Sign, its Editor and his co-laborers. I know and realize without their arduous work our Chinese missions could not be sustained. And I feel sure that no small part of what ever rewards accrue to the Passionists from their work in China, shall be given by God to the hard working Fathers on the Sign. Also I wish to thank the Rev. Director and members of the Gemma League for their prayers and sacrifices for the grand work of saving souls. And lastly, I wish to thank all the Fathers for their great interest in and participation in this part of the work of the Province.
And now a word about the future of our work in China. From what I have said I fondly hope the Capitular Fathers have seen that the Passionist Missionaries are doing their utmost to keep alive and further the great work of the Province in China. And I want to repeat here that we realize and appreciate that our Superiors here, and the men on the Sign are doing their utmost to keep us alive and keep our work going. However, no account of our Passionist work in China would be complete without this observation. The field of labor in our territory is very large. In fact according to the way Rome is now dividing and partitioning Vicariates and Prefectures in China, our territory is really the size of three Vicariates. There are three major cities, some major towns and innumerable villages in which the word of God has not been preached. So that the room for expansion is ever uncomfortably present to us. And in this work as in all others of God’s work to be accomplished by human instruments the sine qua non is men to do the work and financial assistance to enable them to do it. The munificent allotment now given to our work by the Province, and the few direct donations received enable us but to carry on in the fields already established and leave no aid for further expansion and progress. Hence I wish humbly but fervently to make a plea that if and when conditions enable the Province to render more assistance or in any way increase the direct donations, that this be done. I beg not for money for its own sake. It is the plea of our Crucified Savior on the Cross that I wish to further, ‘I thirst’. Christ’s thirst and His whole passion and death was for souls and their salvation. The souls are there in China in our territory in countless numbers, but awaiting the ministration of Christ’s messenger to bring them the glad tidings of His Church and Salvation.
Again with an expression of thanks to Very Rev. Father Provincial for the honor and confidence shown me by inviting me here today, and thanking all the Capitular Fathers for their indulgence in listening to me, I thank you.
All were deeply impressed with Father Quentin’s address and expressed the highest admiration for the work of the Passionists in China.
On the morning of Friday, at 6:30 o’clock, the Solemn Votive Mass “De Spiritu Sancto” was sung by the Most Reverend Father General, assisted by the Capitular Fathers.
The entire Community assembled in the Choir at 9:00 o’clock, together with the Capitular Fathers, and from thence proceeded to the Chapter Room, whilst singing the “Vexilla Regis”. After the usual prayers were recited, the Religious of the Community withdrew and the Chapter was declared officially opened by the President.
Father General now gave a brief but earnest discourse to the Fathers, which it is deemed well to quote:
We are gathered here in the name of the Lord to elect the new Superiors, who, for the next three years, will rule and guide the Province and the Retreats.
Truly high and noble is the task which the Lord has confided to us. All authority is from God, but the authority which is conferred upon those who shall have been chosen by our suffrages also participates in the divine government of mankind.
The great importance and responsibility of our office is also seen from this: it is certain that upon the choice of good Superiors depends the greater good of the houses and of the Province.
Put away, therefore, all human consideration and having before your eyes only the fact that one day we must render an account of the votes that we are now about to give, we must choose for Superiors only those who by their gifts of mind and heart we judge to be the most worthy to govern the Province and the Retreats.
On the part of the mind there is required, principally, prudence; on the part of the heart, charity. But this prudence and this charity should be accompanied and increased by good example. The Superior, according to the Gospel, ought to be the “Good Shepherd”—”Bonus Pastor”, of his subjects. We know that the good shepherd goes before his flock by his good example—”ante ovem vadit”.
For this purpose I recall to each of you what our Holy Founder wrote on the occasion of the Chapter of 1758: “The Superiors”, he says, “ought to be assiduous in prayer, exact in the observance, detached from the world and examples to their subjects of every virtue.” If, in giving our votes, we hold fast to this principle, we shall have the certainty of having procured the good of the Province and of having fulfilled with fidelity the delicate task which the Lord now confides to us.”
The roll was now called by the Secretary and the following Capitular Fathers responded:
Titus of St. Paul of the Cross, Superior General—President.
Colman of the Immaculate Conception, Provincial.
Edward of the Infant Jesus, First Provincial Consultor.
Anselm of Our Lady of Victory; Second Provincial Consultor.
Benjamin of the Immaculate Conception, Rector of St. Paul’s Retreat, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Adelbert of the Heart of Mary, Rector of St. Mary’s Retreat, Dunkirk, N.Y.
Regis of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Rector of St. Michael’s Retreat, Union City, N.J.
Frederick Joseph of the Heart of Mary, Rector of St. Joseph’s Retreat, Baltimore, Md.
Caspar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rector of St. Ann’s Retreat, Scranton, Pa.
Carrol of Mary Immaculate, Rector of St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Brighton, Mass.
John Joseph of the Immaculate Conception, Rector of Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, Springfield, Mass.
Berchmans of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rector of Immaculate Conception Retreat, Jamaica, L.I.
Cassian of Holy Mary, Master of Novices
Immediately following, the Fathers were asked by the President if they considered the Chapter legitimately convened, to which the Venerable Fathers answered in the affirmative. Father General now declared the Twenty-Sixth Provincial Chapter to be canonically convened.
To invoke guidance from on high, the “Veni Creator” was once more sung, after which all the Fathers delivered up their seals of office.
A secret ballot was taken for the office of Secretary to the Chapter. This office fell to the Very Reverend Father Frederick of the Heart of Mary.
Two scrutineers were likewise chosen, the first being the Very Reverend Father John Joseph of the Immaculate Conception, the second the Very Reverend Father Berchmans of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The President then administered to both Fathers the oath “de secreto servando”.
The President, together with the Capitular Fathers now took the Oath prescribed, whereby they bound themselves in conscience to choose only him whom they thought, before God, fit to govern the Province. The absolution “ad cautelam” was now pronounced by Most Reverend Father General, who, in turn, received it from Very Reverend Father Colman of the Immaculate Conception. Immediately afterwards the Fathers proceeded to the election of Superiors.
Balloting now began for the office of Provincial. On the ninth ballot Very Reverend Father Colman of the Immaculate Conception was re-elected to the office of Provincial. The good Father, though visibly moved, bowed to the Divine Will and accepted the burden imposed on him by the Chapter.
The Community was now called and paid their filial and humble respects to Very Reverend Father Provincial. All now proceeded to the Chapel where a joyful “Te Deum” was sung and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament given by Father Provincial.
On the sixth ballot the Very Reverend Father Edward of the Infant Jesus was re-elected to the office of First Provincial Consultor. Father Edward accepted the office, expressing his appreciation of the confidence the Fathers had in him.
On the sixth ballot the Very Reverend Father Caspar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was chosen Second Provincial Consultor. After begging for a little time to consider the matter, the Father accepted the office.
Ballots were now cast for the important office of Master of Novices. On the sixth ballot it was found that the Very Reverend Father Berchmans of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was the choice of the Fathers. The good Father arose, expressing his thanks and promising, with God’s help, to give the very best that is in him to the Novices entrusted to his care and guidance.
At Father General’s suggestion, the rest of the session was taken up with a consideration of the proposal that the Novitiate be transferred back to St. Paul’s Monastery, Pittsburgh, Pa.
The eighth session was begun on the morning of Saturday, the 16th, at 9:00 o’clock. Balloting for the various Rectorships now begun.
On the second ballot the Very Reverend Father Frederick Joseph of the Heart of Mary was elected to the Rectorship of St. Michael’s Monastery, Union City, N.J. Father expressed his diffidence to handle such an important charge, but placing all his confidence in God, he accepted the office with thanks.
On the third ballot, the Very Reverend Father Carrol of Mary Immaculate was found to be the choice of the Fathers for the Rectorship of the Immaculate Conception Monastery, Jamaica, L.I. The good Father arose, thanked the Chapter for choosing him, but respectfully declined the burden, since he felt, after his experience as Rector, he could be a better subject than superior. The Fathers deeply regretted his decision and pressed upon him the advisability of reconsidering the matter. This the good Father did and came to see the will of God in his election. He thereupon accepted the office.
On the fourth ballot the Very Reverend Father Gabriel of the Sacred Heart was elected Rector of St. Gabriel’s Monastery, Brighton, Mass. The Father was notified by telephone of his election and accepted with humble thanks.
On the ninth ballot the choice for the Rectorship of St. Paul’s Monastery, Pittsburgh, Pa., fell on the Very Reverend Father Anselm of Our Lady of Victory. Father Anselm arose and begged for time to consider the choice. He ultimately accepted the office and submitted to the Divine Will.
At 3:30 o’clock in the afternoon, the ninth session began. On the third ballot the Very Reverend Father Conran of the Sorrowful Mother of God was chosen Rector of St. Ann’s Monastery, Scranton, Pa. He was reached by telephone and humbly accepted the office with thanks.
On the third ballot the Very Reverend Father Leonard of the Holy Family was chosen Rector of St. Joseph’s Monastery, Baltimore, Md. Informed of his election, he accepted the office and thanked the Fathers for their confidence in him.
On the sixth ballot the choice of the Capitular Fathers for the Rectorship of Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, Springfield, Mass., fell to the Very Reverend Adelbert of the Heart of Mary. The good Father arose, thanked the Capitulars, and accepted the office.
On the fifth ballot the Very Reverend Father Ernest of the Cross was chosen to the Rectorship of St. Mary’s Monastery, Dunkirk, N.Y. He was reached by telephone, and after some hesitancy accepted the office with thanks.
The Community was now summoned and the results of the Chapter elections announced to them. Since it was late in the evening, the session closed for the day.
This session was held on the morning of Sunday, the 17th, and opened at 9:30 o’clock. Time was now devoted to formulating the Decrees of the Chapter. There was no session in the afternoon, a time for recess being called.
ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH SESSIONS
These sessions were also devoted to formulating decrees of the Chapter. Since many of the proposals were already taken care of by former decrees, it was deemed wise to add but few to those already in force.
DECREES OF THE TWENTY-SIXTH PROVINCIAL CHAPTER
1. It is the will of the Venerable Chapter that the Superiors of our hospices, since they are removable at the will of Father Provincial, be not retained too long in charge of such houses, according to Canon 505 and the spirit of our Holy Rule.
2. The Venerable Chapter applies to the Sacred Congregation for permission to transfer the Novitiate from the Retreat of Our Mother of Sorrows, West Springfield, Mass., to the Retreat of St. Paul of the Cross, Pittsburgh, Pa.
3. The Venerable Chapter has obtained permission from the Sacred Congregation to follow our former custom in regard to study on the mornings of Second Class Feasts and the afternoons of Feasts of Rule, as determined by our Eighteenth Provincial Chapter.
4. The Venerable Chapter recommends to the Provincial Curia, in accordance with existing legislation, to draw up an horarium for the Fathers engaged in our parishes, “The Sign”, and Laymen’s Retreat work, and recommends that local Superiors watch over the observance of such horarium and from time to time make a report to Father Provincial.
5. It is decreed by the Venerable Chapter that our Summer horarium, which until now obtained from June 15th to September 15th, be in force from June 1st to September 1st.
6. The Venerable Chapter decrees that the Provincial Curia undertake a new “Summary of Decrees of Provincial Chapters”.
7. In order to improve the spiritual development of our Students, it is proposed that the Students in the last two years of temporary vows, be located in the same Monastery where, during this time, they can prepare themselves better for their final profession.
8. The Venerable Chapter approves the special concern for our Students manifested during the last three years by our Superiors and the special interest taken by them in the spiritual welfare of the Students.
We have every reason to expect a manifestation of a like interest and concern from the Superiors elected in this Chapter. We earnestly request cooperation from all the Fathers in this matter, especially from those immediately dealing with the Students. We remind the Students of their obligation of making their regular weekly confession, according to the Holy Rule Nos. 277-278.
We remind the Rectors of the necessity of having monthly conferences with Students.
The Father Rector is to leave the Director free to take care of the work of attending to the Students and therefore the Director is not to be used as a secretary or general utility man by the Rector and only rarely is he to be away from the Students and only most rarely is he to be sent from the Monastery for the sake of the ministry or on business.
We suggest to the Very Reverend Father Rectors and to the Directors of Students that they be most vigilant that the recreation of the Students be such that they cultivate no contacts with seculars. To prevent a spirit of worldliness, it is forbidden the Students to have a radio in their recreations and only rarely and for some special occasion are they to be permitted to listen in on the radio. Realizing that the Preparatory School is the very nursery of our religious life and desiring that the future members of our Community be not evilly influenced from the very beginning, we urge upon the Superiors of our Preparatory School to be especially vigilant over the Postulants during their vacation time at home, laying down for them stringent rules, with sanctions, so as to safeguard the precious gift of their vocation.
Whilst it is impossible to dwell at length on all the various apostolic activities which have fallen to the care of our Province, having heard with deep interest the account of our Chinese Missions as given by Father Quentin, the Venerable Chapter wishes to express its sincere gratitude to the Fathers engaged in this difficult work. At the same time the Venerable Chapter wishes to assure our Fathers in China of its whole-hearted and continued support.
We also wish to express our deep esteem for the Fathers engaged in the Missions for the Colored of North Carolina. From all reports, the labors of these self-sacrificing missionaries are bringing forth abundant spiritual fruit, breaking down deep-rooted prejudice, and sowing the seeds of future flourishing Catholic Negro communities.
Our “Sign” Magazine is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding Catholic publications in America, having attained even international reputation for literary worth. The success of our magazine is naturally due to the efficiency of the men comprising the “Sign” staff. We heartily congratulate them and wish them even greater success in their labors for the honor and glory of God.
The new Directorium of Missions submitted by its compilers was presented to the Venerable Chapter. The Venerable Chapter expressed its admiration for the excellence of the work and the thoroughness with which it was accomplished. As it is not within the power of the Chapter to decree on its approbation, no action on this Directorium was taken, except to refer it to the Provincial Curia for examination, as decreed in the previous Provincial Chapter.
The thirteenth session opened at 8 o’clock on the morning of Tuesday, July 19th. The “Acts of the Chapter” were read and discussed.
Then Most Reverend Father General made the following address:
I give thanks to Almighty God for His many graces and blessings. I thank you, Very Reverend dear Fathers, for your good will and charity and the spirit of concord that has characterized this Chapter. I congratulate you on having the real spirit of the Order. I congratulate you on the high ideals you have manifested in all your deliberations, having nothing but the good of the Order before your eyes…To those newly elected Superiors of the Province, who are not present here, I send my congratulations and pray that you continue the good work of the Province.
The Province of St. Paul of the Cross is, undoubtedly, one of the first Provinces of the Congregation. This I have seen for myself. It is one of the first, not only because of its large monasteries, but also because of the fervent spirit manifested wherever I have gone.
Since my coming here, I have likened this Province to the Cedars of Lebanon—great trees that bring forth great fruit. It is my desire and hope that the Province will go on bringing forth much spiritual fruit.
Let the Superiors always have this great ideal before their eyes, so that by their wise and able government, they may bring forth lasting good fruit.
Father Provincial now arose and addressed Father General in the following words:
Father General, we now come to what is the most pleasing part of the Chapter for everyone of the Capitulars, to express to your Paternity our respect, love and gratitude.
We have known you for many many years. The American students who have studied in Rome have come back speaking in such glowing terms of Father Titus who taught them and was such an inspiration and encouragement to them.
From the reports we had heard of your Paternity, the desire had arisen in our hearts that one day we would see you at the head of our Congregation, and I can assure you that no Passionists anywhere in the world rejoiced more than the American Passionists when word was wired throughout the world that you were elected General Superior of the Congregation. The members of this Province hoped to see you in their midst, and they were most happy when we received word from you that, if possible, you would come to America to preside at our Chapter. We eagerly awaited your coming, and much as we loved and admired you before, that love and admiration has increased immensely from our personal contact with you.
We cannot find words to thank you sufficiently for your graciousness in coming to us, nor can we find words sufficient to thank you for the wonderful help you gave us through the great mental talents God has bestowed upon you.
Our one hope now is that God will keep you at the head of our Congregation for many many years, and to us it will be the greatest happiness to have you frequently in our midst.
All the Fathers heartily concurred in the sentiments expressed by Father Provincial.
The Most Reverend Father President then inquired if, in the opinion of the Fathers, the Chapter should be closed. All replied in the affirmative and the Chapter was declared formally ended. The Fathers then appended their signatures as follows:
Titus of St. Paul of the Cross, Superior General and President.
Colman of the Immaculate Conception, Provincial.
Edward of the Infant Jesus, First Consultor.
Anselm of Our Lady of Victory, Second Consultor.
Benjamin of the Immaculate Conception, Rector, St. Paul’s Retreat.
Adelbert of the Heart of Mary, Rector, St. Mary’s Retreat.
Regis of the Blessed Sacrament, Rector, St. Michael’s Retreat.
Frederick Joseph of the Heart of Mary, Rector, St. Joseph’s Retreat.
Caspar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rector, St. Ann’s Retreat.
Carrol of Mary Immaculate, Rector, St. Gabriel’s Retreat.
John Joseph of the Immaculate Conception, Rector, Mother of Sorrows Retreat.
Berchmans of Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rector, Immaculate Conception Retreat.
Cassian of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Master of Novices.
Frederick Joseph of the Heart of Mary,