The whole Passionist community, along with many other friends and acquaintances of the sisters, joined them in the chapel of the Founder, St. Paul of the Cross for a Mass of thanksgiving to God for this event.
The presence of the Mother General of the Daughters of the Passion, Sr. Maria Aureliana Aguirre de Guzman, and the regional delegate Sr. Fabiola Frances, made even more solemn the celebration. With them was Sr. Lucia Margaret, part of that first group of six nuns who, on November 4, 1964, after leaving their homeland, landed on the Caelian Hill.
Fr. Joachim Rego, the Superior General, presided over the celebration in Italian and, in his homily, stressed the great sense of gratitude that is felt throughout the Passionist Congregation, and the community of Sts. John and Paul’s in particular, for the service offered by our sisters not only to the brothers living in Rome, but also to all the brothers and religious who have passed for various reasons over the years through this home. Fr. General stressed the parallel between what was happening at the time and what happened 50 years before: the same group of people (the general superiors of the two Congregations, the community of fathers and sisters) gathered in the same place in order to start a history of service and brotherly love. Now there’s a sense of greater gratitude, for what was sought on that day, now we see that God has already granted with abundance. The example of Mary and Martha – Fr. Joachim said, commenting on the Gospel – came to life in the witness the sisters give every day, serving with zeal and commitment and standing at the foot of the Crucified to listen to the teaching as disciples and to receive his call to be apostles of his love.
At the end of the Mass, the mother superior of the community of Rome, Sister Maria Piedad, thanked all of the participants recalling with emotion the many years spent by our sisters, mentioning by name the first sisters who arrived in this house and remembering particularly Sr. Maria Noemi, who died at just 36 years of age in this house and buried in the cemetery of Verano. During these 50 years, our Mexican sisters have shared many memorable moments in the history of the Passionist Congregation: General Chapters, Synods, Assemblies … They enjoyed the esteem and friendship of the Superiors General and the local community for the service they offered as mothers and sisters. For all these our respective Congregations give thanks to God.
The joy of the community expressed itself throughout the day, with a rich community lunch, which was preceded by a short power-point presentation of the history and Charism of the Daughters of the Passion. And with refreshments for all the participants at the Mass, offered in the precincts of the Chapter Hall. This light moment was enlivened by the singing and dancing of the Mariachi group joined by many of those present.