We need to be able to mirror in who we are as individuals, in who we are as a community and in who we are as Thomas Berry Place, that willingness and that ability to engage with all people, no matter who they are, to do it almost in the spirit of Jesus Christ, that ability to enter and to meet anybody at any stage of the road and at any stage of their life, to have a conversation"
Anthony Mullen, the founding Executive Director of the Thomas Berry Place was featured in a recent podcast, A Spiritual Startup: The Thomas Berry Place as a New Form of Ministry and Mission from the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center in Louisville.
The Thomas Berry Place is a non-profit center for spirituality, community empowerment, and ecological stewardship. The project of St. Paul of the Cross province is located in the re-visioned and renamed Bishop Malloy Passionist monastery in Jamaica, New York. In this conversation with Earth and Spirit Center Director, Kyle Kramer, Anthony reflects on the vision and values that guide the work of what he describes as a spiritual startup.
Anthony talks about Thomas Berry, who is sometimes referred to as an "ecologian," and how his life and work is incorporated into the development of the Thomas Berry Place. Berry believed "that the Wisdom of the Cross and Wisdom of the Universe are actually a single vision. His views were deeply holistic and he sought to rethink and right-size our relationship with the divine and his story of the universe was without duality."
Mullen describes the Thomas Berry Place as a manifestation of what Berry wrote about. His “Great Work” was to describe a new wisdom tradition drawing on the “Four Wisdoms” he hoped would guide humanity in the anthropocene: “the wisdom of indigenous peoples, the wisdom of women, the wisdom of the classical traditions, and the wisdom of science” (GW 176)
Listen to Anthony Mullen, The Thomas Berry Place as a New Form of Ministry and Mission
Explore and listen to all the Earth and Spirit Center podcasts here.
Image by Gustavo Ferreira Gustavo from Pixabay
The Catholic Church is the world's biggest landowner. This young mapmaker wants the church to use that land for good.
Read about the national environmental award she just received.
See her maps and work with the organization she founded: GoodLands.
Photo: Molly Burhans, pictured in 2017 at the Third Loggia of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican, has received the Sierra Club's EarthCare award. Her mission is to help the Catholic Church put its huge global landholdings to work for good. (Courtesy of GoodLands)
Nonviolence not only offers us tools for protecting the environment, but environmental degradation is itself a form of violence, and care for our common home is an integral element of Gospel nonviolence. In this webinar, Dan Moriarty of the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns is joined by Bolivian theologian Tania Avila Meneses to explore some of the theological roots of this perspective, including those drawn from indigenous cosmovisions. Tania also co-authored this article, Indigenous Wisdom, for the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns' "One Amazon, Many Voices" series in anticipation of the Synod of the Amazon.
Watch the webinar here
Mooring in New Marshlands. The Prophetic Mission of the Passionists in the 21st Century by Fr. Gwen Barde CP
Indeed, Passionists do not stop. They seek new marshlands by vigilantly listening to Christ’s present groaning—with the planet, immigrants and refugees, human trafficking victims, stressed workaholic populace, young people thirsty of relationship and meaning. Pope Francis challenged the Passionists: “…the strength and simplicity of your message…can (very well) speak to today’s society, which has learnt to no longer trust mere words, or let itself be convinced only by facts.
In 1988, Fr. Carl Schmitz, a Passionist working with the B’laan tribes in southern Philippines, was gunned down on the stairs of his mission. Months before that, Fr. Carl received anonymous advices telling him to leave the mountain and go down to the parishes in the city. A priest’s daily job is to be in a church not in houses and farms of rebels, one advice went. Fr. Carl could answer only in his masses. He would say that the daily work of a Passionist is to deliver God’s love—not only in the church but more in those far from church: farms, lakes, copra ovens, and mountain shacks.
Revised October 2021
Khalil Gibran’s ‘Prophet’, when asked to speak about pain, says: “Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break so that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain” Awakening to the terrible reality of human suffering breaks open our heart. Then love and action in the service of justice becomes possible.
Appreciating and trying to live our first vow as Passionists to keep alive the Memoria Passionis should offer a clue as to how that shell may be broken. It should also give us some tools for critical reflection on our contemporary experience
Paul of the Cross began his great work in a world in transition. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648, less than 50 years before his birth, marked the waning of the political influence of papacy and empire, the two major medieval powers. ‘Enlightenment’ ideas began to make themselves felt. The church would no longer set the agenda; religious communities, dislodged from the center, would find themselves ‘at the edge’. In this world Paul found the drawing force of his life in contemplating the Crucified God. From here came his passion for life. The Crucified One led Paul to the ones he saw as the poorest, those who did not know God’s love and had no hope. Paul saw the name of Jesus on their foreheads.
We are called to continue the great work in a world still rocked by massive change. At the start of the 3rd millennium, "to see reality in our time is to see the world as crucifixion." 
 The Nonviolent Cross, Jim Douglass, first published 1968; republished by Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Ore. 2006 (Photo: iStock)