Fr Peter McGrath, who celebrated his 50th anniversary of Profession as a Passion­ist, wishes to convey the following sentiments and share this reflection:

When Tony Egar and myself celebrated 40 years of Ordination at St. Anthony in the Fields, Terrey Hills, we both wrote very similar comments on a little book mark that was printed for the occasion. I would like to update that bookmark and instead of beginning with 40 years, now have 50 years.

“Fifty years is a millimetre for mankind, but a marathon for me.

“All you good people, such dear friends, have run with me over these years.  Whether you were running ahead to inspire me, running shoulder to shoulder to urge me on or picking me up when I stumbled.

“Thank you all for your courage and your conviction that I could run the race. I could never do it alone. You give me Christ’s Spirit to run. Above all, thank you for your love.

“May we continue to run together.”

Now I would like to add a personal observation about our CHARISM. It comes from my reflection of the last 50 years of being a Professed Passionist and working all that time with so many people.

More and more I have come to appreciate that the Pas­sionist Charism is the living Compassion of Jesus the Risen One. This Compassion is found in our ordinary,

My religious life has been strewn with human frailty. I realised this most painfully when I had to accept my alcoholism and gratefully received the gift of Sobriety, which was beyond my human efforts.everyday lives. I have been privileged to discover this Compassion in the hearts of so many people, to be nourished by it and through the Grace of God, to be able to give it to others.

This gave me not only a deeper appreciation of Christ’s Compassion, but also a more poignant identification with my brothers and sisters, who bear the same marks of the Passion.

I am forever grateful.

Peter McGrath cp