Last October Minsteracres hosted the second gathering of the Passionist Partners. This group was initiated last year by the Passionists of St. Joseph’s Province. It followed the awareness that the number of professed Passionists in this country is decreasing. At the same time we are aware that there are individuals and organisations who connect with the Passionist ethos and work on what is called sites of suffering.

The province decided to offer financial support to these partners and invite representatives of the organisations to spend time together and meet each other. Minsteracres Retreat Centre as a charitable organisation was invited to join the Passionist Partners along other organisations like Catholics for Aids Prevention and Support (CAPS), Catholic Worker, London Mining Network, Green Christian, Martha House, Independent Catholic News, The Vestibule and Austin Smith Memorial Fund.

During the gathering participants gave information about their organisation and shared their hopes and concerns for the future. It was very encouraging to experience the dedication of the participants and the good work that the organisations do towards the relief of suffering in our world.

 ome groups focus their work on people who find themselves on the margins of church and society. Others focus primarily on ecology and environmental issues. It became clear that our charitable objectives enable Minsteracres to connect with both dimensions. We reach out to people on the margins and we have a special focus on ecology and environmental sustainability.

The meeting was very positive and offered scope for collaboration and mutual support. Hopefully this will be developed and benefit the partners and the work they do on the sites of suffering.