Greetings, my friends. After more than 37 years of mission work, Passionist Brother Leo Di Fiore of Pittsburgh is saying good-bye to us because the Passionist Overseas Mission office will close on March 3. Brother Leo has always been a dynamic, sincere advocate for the missions and on fire with the zeal of an extraordinary missionary.
In making this announcement, Brother Leo was fast to point out the wonderful cooperation and support the Passionist congregation has received through the Mission Cooperative Program in the Diocese of Greensburg. Brother Leo himself made many appeals here over the last several years.
Looking back, we note the accomplishments in the Philippines, which have become one of the growing areas of Passionist vocations. The Philippines has grown from a mission territory to a province. As you know, Father Jaime Ozoa and Father Joseph Armamento from the Philippines are serving as parochial vicars in parishes in our diocese. Indeed, we are happy to have them join in this wonderful ministry of priesthood.
In Jamaica in the West Indies, many of the mission parishes staffed by the Passionists have been turned over to the Diocese of Mandeville and the Archdiocese of Kingston. The bishop of Mandeville is a Passionist. And while Passionist vocations have been limited, presently there are two Jamaican men pursuing studies for the priesthood as members of the Passionist community. We look at this congregations’ presence in Haiti and find Passionist Father Rick Frechette hard at work providing for orphans and the thousands of people in need of medical attention. Much has been accomplished, but the need never ends. The work must go on! We have been a very active part in this missionary effort. As you may recall, Father Rick is also a medical doctor; this is an A+ for the missions.
My friends, listen to our program "A Look at the Missions" on WEDO radio 810 AM on Fridays at 9 a.m. or on the Diocese of Greensburg Web site under Mission Work.
We ask God’s special blessing on Brother Leo and continue to work with our friends as "one family in mission." Until next time, God love you.
Msgr. McCullough (firstname.lastname@example.org) is diocesan director of the Pontifical Mission Societies.