Vision – Mission Statement
Our Christian service to God and to our world is a life of prayer. We share this grace with those who come to us for spiritual retreat, guidance or comfort; and we offer a special association and covenant to those who wish to share our Passionist Spirit more closely.
The Spirit of Unity inspires us with desire to forge stronger ecumenical bonds of faith and love with all God’s people, and so we pledge to educate and nourish ourselves and others in the eternal meaning and power of the Passion of Jesus.
We are dedicated to discerning the unfolding revelation of God at the center of all creation and of all experience; to growing in awareness of that harmony in the total earth community which obliges all people to serve and preserve this divine order. Thus we consciously choose those values and means that sustain and nurture this sacred connectedness of all beings, encouraging and teaching others to live this holy communion.
Who We Are
Paul Francis Danei (St. Paul of the Cross), founder of the Passionists, was born in Ovada, Italy in 1694 on January 3, the eldest son of noble parents. At fifteen while still at home in Lombardy he adopted an austere way of life that included great mortifications.
In 1714 he joined the Venetian army to fight the Turks, and when discharged a year later, he resumed his life of prayer and penance, refusing marriage.
He remained at home in Castellazzo for several years as a retreat; but in 1720 he had a vision of Our Lady in a black habit with the name Jesus and a cross in white on the chest in which she told him to found a religious order devoted to preaching the Passion of Christ.
The ”Sign” is heart shaped, the symbol of Love. The heart is surmounted by a white Cross, a reminder of the Suffering Love shown by Jesus for us on the Cross. The words in the heart are: JESU – the name of Jesus in Hebrew, XPI – contracted form of Christ in Greek, PASSIO – the word Passion in Latin.
Thus, the text reads- “Tha Passion of Jesus Christ” – written in three languages Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Hebrew, Greek and Latin were the main languages used in the time of Jesus, thus they were the languages used by Pontius Pilate in writing the sign he places above Jesus on the cross.
Beneath the lettering within the heart there are three nails – these three nails represent the nails used to fix Jesus to the Cross and are a constant reminder for us, and others, of the Holy Wounds that He bore.
Every Passionist Nun takes a special vow to “promote devotion to and a grateful remembrance of the sufferings of Jesus.” This vow defines the purpose of the Passionist Congregation. We pledge to keep deep in our hearts the memory of the Passion of Jesus and to do whatever is in our power to bring others to the knowledge of Jesus and His great Love for them manifested in His Passion.
If you or your group are interested in scheduling a retreat, or if you would like more information, please contact our Retreat Coordinator, Kathleen Porter at (570) 586-4957.
St. Gabriel's Retreat Center
631 Griffin Pond Road
Clarks Summit, PA 18411
Phone: (570) 586-4957