The Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (Passionist) exists in the Church by keeping alive the Memoria Passionis in the life and apostolate of its members. This founding charism of St. Paul of the Cross comprises two dimensions that form a single way of becoming a Passionist – contemplation and apostolate. In 1958, the Passionists was established in the Philippines, particularly in the Local Church of Marbel, where they involved themselves in social advocacies until today. The Filipino Passionists attempted to be faithful to St. Paul of the Cross’ charismatic identity through its Catholic Mission to the Indigenous Peoples (CMIP) and the Passionist Center – Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (PC-JPIC).
However, with their involvement in the social advocacy ministries, a seeming dichotomy between apostolate and contemplation is discernible. Thus, the question of creative fidelity was juxtaposed to the ongoing ministerial appropriation of the Passionists in the Philippines. How have the Filipino Passionists contextualized their charism of Memoria Passionis in their social advocacy ministries today?
Through the documents produced by the Congregation and the experiences of the Filipino missionaries who worked in the social advocacy ministries, the author discovered that the Filipino Passionists had oriented these ministries to the principles of contemplation and apostolate as manifested in their charismatic identity. CMIP and PC-JPIC showed these dialectics in their life of prayer, their solidarity with the poor, their proclamation of the Gospel of the Cross, and their services to the IPs and the Earth. This is further realized by the following findings: 1) Memoria Passionis remains the fundamental principle of all Passionist ministries; 2) proclamation of the Gospel of the Cross is re-imagined in the social advocacy ministries; 3) solidarity is a requisite to becoming a Passionist; and 4) social advocacy ministry is a Passionist spirituality – the locus of encountering the Crucified Christ.