A few years ago some Passionists became aware of people who live the Passionist charism whilst they are not professed members of the congregation.
They are people, men and women, who are passionate about the poor and powerless. They place themselves alongside them, acknowledging – as the founder St Paul of the Cross did – that Christ is there. Jesus is to be found wherever we meet suffering humanity and the suffering on earth. The Passionists decided not to form a group according to the so called third order concept, a group specifically for the lay people, but a group for vowed and non-vowed alike.
In 2012 the Community of the Passion was formed. It is a group of professed and lay people who meet regularly and share where they find crucifixion and resurrection in their lives. The members seek to live their lives in solidarity with those who are suffering today, including the earth. They seek empowerment of the powerless and are willing to stand at the foot of the cross.
Lya Vollering was invited to join the Community of the Passion in 2013. She says:
“I enormously value the gatherings we have as a Community of the Passion. There is deep and honest sharing. This is very humbling and empowering at the same time. It helps me to focus on finding my way in the development of the Walled Garden and connecting in a more respectful way with the earth and with Christ. It is for the first time that I am a member of a group where professed and lay people come together and I feel there is no hierarchy; we are truly all equal. We all belong to the Royal Priesthood, just called in different ways. It gives me a sense of belonging and great hope for the future of our Church”.