Passionist Fathers at Twenty-Fifth Provincial Chapter - 1935
Seated: Justin Carey, Bonaventure Oberst (General Consultor and President), Cuthbert O'Gara (Bishop of Yuanling)
Benjamin Wirtz, Linus Monahan
Standing: Frederick Corcoran (Guardian), Alexander Croker, Alfred Duffy, Caspar Conley, Benedict Huck
Edward Goggin, Regis Boyle, John Joseph Endler, Luke Hay, Carrol Ring
Click image for larger view
The Twenty-fifth Provincial Chapter of the Province of Saint Paul of the Cross was duly convoked by a Circular Letter of our Very Reverend Father Provincial, Benjamin of the Immaculate Conception, under date of May 1st, 1935. The Novitiate House, Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, West Springfield, Mass., was selected as the Monastery of the Chapter. Our Most Reverend Father General, Titus of Jesus, appointed as his representative, Very Reverend Father Bonaventure of the Assumption, and deputed him to act as President of the Chapter. August 5th was set as the opening date, but due to the earlier arrival in America of the Very Reverend President, the Chapter was fixed to open the morning of July 31st.
In his letter of convocation, Father Provincial prescribed that the customary prayers be recited in all the houses of the Province, and that the Solemn Triduum be held, and at the same time pointing out to the Religious the importance of the work of the coming Chapter, not only to legislate for the needs of the Province, but more important still to choose as superiors, men, who will be first in their respective Communities, examples of virtue and lovers of regular discipline, men, who will go before all, possessing the true spirit of Saint Paul of the Cross.
These are troublous times. There is a world-wide depression, and with it, moral problems, which try men's souls. The unsettled state of European politics, where keen observers fear that the least untoward event may occasion war, is passed over. The lamentable state of the Church in Mexico, in Russia, in Germany, is viewed with saddened heart. But the spirit of unrest and discontent prevalent in the world, presents problems which find their re-echoing in religious communities. Growth and development have been the key-note of our Province's history from the time of its foundation, and true growth and development must always be its key-notes. But experience proves only too conclusively that real advancement, which undoubtedly is spiritual fervor, and a corresponding spirit of good well done, lies to a great extent in the hands of those, who are appointed or elected leaders.
How well our holy Father and Founder, Saint Paul of the Cross, realized this, we can well understand when we read his words of wisdom in the Regulations: "Although it cannot be doubted that Religious Orders are governed by a special and paternal Providence of God, it is none the less true, that in the ordinary exercise of that Providence, He makes use of those, who occupy His place on earth, namely, of superiors. Hence, it is a common sentiment of spiritual masters that the good or evil of a religious community depends in great measure, upon those who are appointed for its government."
Hence, we find the interest of every religious in the Province centering on the results of the Twenty-fifth Chapter, and likewise the concern of every Capitular, that in framing legislation and in electing Superiors all things be done, with but one thought in mind, the welfare of the Province of Saint Paul of the Cross, that it may ever hold fast to its glorious heritage of progress, and become not merely the largest Province in the Congregation by virtue of numbers, but the foremost Province in maintaining and bringing to greater achievements the ideals of our Holy Founder.
During the past year a new glory has come to the American Passionists, their Prefecture in China has been raised to the status of a Vicariate. The Eastern and Western Provinces rejoiced when on the Feast of Christ the King, October 28th, 1934, Most Reverend Cuthbert O'Gara, C.P., D. D., was elevated to the Episcopacy, and consecrated by the Apostolic Delegate to China, as Vicar Apostolic of Yuanling, Hunan. The Twenty-fifth Provincial Chapter is made memorable by the presence of His Excellency, and his wise guidance will be sought and followed in fostering the spirit of our Chinese Missions.
On the morning of July 31st, 1935, at nine o'clock, the President of the Chapter, Very Reverend Father Bonaventure of the Assumption, First Consultor General, opened the First Session with the recitation of the "Veni Creator" and the prescribed prayers. A letter from our Most Reverend Father General, Titus of Jesus, was presented by the Very Reverend President and read to the Chapter by the Very Reverend Father Provincial, Benjamin of the Immaculate Conception. Father General delegated his First Consultor to preside at the Chapter in his name and granted him authority to confirm the elections of the Rectors and Master of Novices.
In a few well chosen words the Very Reverend President spoke to the Fathers assembled on the seriousness of their obligations, both as legislators and electors, obligations, which if well fulfilled, would prove not only beneficial to the Province of Saint Paul of the Cross, the largest Province in the entire Congregation, but to all Passionists, by upholding and safeguarding the spirit of Saint Paul of the Cross, Our Holy Founder.
All the Capitulars were present at this First Session, except Very Reverend Father Regis of the Blessed Sacrament, Rector of Saint Paul's Retreat, Pittsburgh, Pa., who, due to the sad death of his mother on July 30th, remained at home for her burial.
A guardian of the Chapter Room was chosen in the person of Reverend Father Frederick of the Holy Rosary. The Father was called to the Chapter Room, took the prescribed oath of secrecy, and immediately assumed the duties of his office.
By a secret ballot Very Reverend Father Alfred of the Mother of God was elected pro tem Secretary of the Chapter.
The reports of administration of all the Retreats of the Province were read by the various Rectors. After the reports of our foundations at Riverdale, Toronto, and Washington were read by the Secretary, Very Reverend Father Provincial gave the financial report of our magazine, The Sign. A committee was appointed by the President to review these reports.
The Very Reverend President then invited the Fathers to submit proposals for legislation conducive to the welfare of the Province. Matters proposed were grouped under several headings by the Secretary and Committees were appointed for their consideration.
The Second Session was held in the afternoon of the 31st of July, to which His Excellency, the Most Reverend Cuthbert O'Gara, C.P., D. D., Vicar Apostolic of Yuanling, Hunan, China, was most heartily welcomed by the Capitulars, and invited by the President to address the Chapter. The sincere eloquence of our Bishop made a profound impression on those privileged to hear his words of praise for the missionaries, who have labored and are laboring in China, and for the results accomplished in the face of almost insuperable and crushing difficulties. For the edification, the enlightenment, as well as for the inspiration of the Brethren of the Province, it is thought well to embody at least a summary of the discourse in the Acts of the Chapter.
Bishop Cuthbert opened his remarks by assuring the Capitular Fathers of his great happiness in having the opportunity of addressing them on the subject of our Chinese Mission, the more so since the recent invasion of the Vicariate by Communists, had all but prevented his coming. He extended heartfelt thanks to Father Provincial and his Curia for the invitation to be present at the Chapter and to all the assembled Capitulars he voiced his sincere appreciation for the warmth of the welcome given to him in the various Monasteries, visited since his return, and for the sympathetic interest shown by all in the work being done by the Passionists in Hunan.
The Bishop gave a rapid summary of the nature of the field, its remoteness, its climate, its varied dialects; he quoted the words of Cardinal Fumasoni-Biondi, Prefect of Propaganda, that the Passionist field was regarded as among the most difficult in all China. The Bishop stressed the labors, privations and problems of the pioneer Fathers and the early bands, who after but two short years, found themselves in full charge of the territory. He emphasized the point that the district consigned to the American Passionists differs from that taken over by other missionary organizations from the United States in two important respects, viz., distance from the sea-coast and fewness of Christians at the time of division—the field being in large part virgin soil. When these facts are borne in mind, the Bishop affirmed, too much praise and credit cannot be given to the Missionaries and to the Sisters for what they have achieved. All this could not have been attained without the constant encouragement and paternal solicitude of Father Provincial together with the prayers of the Religious of the Province. A special debt of gratitude is due to the Fathers who have labored on THE SIGN and who from the beginning have been as a bulwark of strength to the Missionaries. In his own name, as well as in the name of all the Fathers and Sisters in China, the Bishop offered sincerest thanks to the Province for all the spiritual and material alms devoted to the Chinese Mission.
The Bishop developed briefly the primary purpose of the foreign missionary as set forth in the encyclical of Pope Benedict XV, Maximum illud, and synopsized by the First Council of China, viz., to preach the Gospel, to establish a native clergy and to build up the essential institutions. The Gospel must be preached to all classes—to the lettered as well as to the un-lettered, to the rich as well as to the poor; the Church cannot be said to be truly founded until she has won over to herself influential and educated men. Hence the great insistence placed by the Church upon a thorough knowledge of the Chinese language both written and spoken. Not only must the Word of God be preached but there must be some so qualified as to be able to engage in the apostolate of the written word and of the press. For such is the insistent desire of our present Holy Father, speaking through the lips of his personal representative to China, the Apostolic Delegate.
From the point of view of the language the Vicariate presents the added difficulty of having a numerous body of aborigines of the Miao Tribe, widely scattered through three counties, who speak their own dialect and for whose tongue there is no written grammar. These people offer a most promising and fertile field. Effective work among this tribe demands consecrated efforts of men specially set apart for the purpose.
The intellectual challenge of China is being ably met by other American religious bodies in the field. American Passionists must be prepared and trained for the same intellectual efforts. The full culture of the ancient Church must be shared with the peoples of the Orient. Thus the task facing the missionary is one demanding the best that is in him, physically and intellectually. As in the United States from an humble beginning The Sign has risen to a place of eminence in the field of literary endeavor, so the same achievement in a different field can and will be accomplished by the Passionists in China.
With great determination and unselfishness the missionary must strive, "spem contra spem," to develop a native Priesthood. This is set down as his first work. For the training of a native clergy, a seminary and its personnel must be maintained at every sacrifice. The best that the Vicariate can do will fall far short of the supreme goal to be attained.
In the way of material development much has been done. Churches and chapels, priest-houses and two convents have been built. There have been some heavy losses by fire and pillage. Much remains, however, to be done. With the added honor that came to our Chinese Missions on its elevation to the status of a Vicariate, came the added burden of equipping it with certain essential institutions. A hospital, a middle-school, an orphanage, an adequate seminary, must be contemplated. These works naturally entail greater financial obligations. But the financial support given in the past, is the assurance of the interest to be taken in the future fulfillment of the enterprise of the Province in China.
China, then, offers more than an intellectual challenge. It demands the very limit of unselfishness and only when the Word of God has been spoken, when the native clergy has been established, when the institutions of the Church have been built up, will the work of the young American Passionists, their joy in sacrifice, their devotion in famine, their steadfastness in danger, their cheerfulness in adversity, their fortitude in captivity, their blood in martyrdom, fully redound to the undying glory of our American Provinces and add lustre to the history of our Mother the Congregation.
The remainder of the Second Session was spent in hearing proposals to be submitted for possible legislation and in the appointment of Committees to present the same.
The Third Session was held on the morning of August 1st. By a secret ballot it was decided to postpone the discussion of merits of those, who according to our Holy Rule, have a right to passive voice, until the arrival in the Chapter of Very Reverend Father Regis of the Blessed Sacrament, Rector of Saint Paul's Retreat, Pittsburgh, Pa., who, as was mentioned before, was absent owing to the death of his mother.
The remainder of the Third Session and the entire Fourth and Fifth Sessions were devoted to the thorough discussion of the matters referred to the Chapter for possible legislation. These Sessions occupied the morning of the 1st of August and the entire day of the 2nd.
The Sixth Session opened on the morning of August 3rd. The Chapter was pleased to welcome Very Reverend Father Regis of the Blessed Sacrament, who had arrived in the West Springfield Monastery shortly after this Session had started.
The remaining proposals for legislation having been heard, in a brief address the Very Reverend President spoke to the Fathers of the sacredness and seriousness of the work about to begin, the discussion of the merits of those eligible for office. The President pointed out how justice and charity must guide these discussions, so that the fitness or unfitness of candidates might be revealed according to the ideals of our Holy Founder, the prescriptions of our Holy Rule, and the mind of the Church. After taking the Oath of Secrecy, "de secreto servando," the Fathers began this difficult but necessary scrutiny.
The Seventh to Ninth Sessions held on the afternoon of Saturday, August 3rd, and the morning and afternoon of Sunday, August 4th, were given over exclusively to the Discussion of Merits.
On Sunday afternoon, before the Ninth Session, the entire Community, together with the Capitular Fathers, after Vespers, heard with interest the customary allocution, delivered by the Very Reverend Father Justin of the Infant Jesus, First Provincial Consultor. In his usual earnest manner, Father Justin spoke on the outstanding qualifications of a good superior and the seriousness of the obligations resting on the Chapter.
On Monday morning at 7 o'clock, the Very Reverend President, Father Bonaventure of the Assumption, sang the solemn Votive Mass "De Spiritu Sancto" to implore the inspiration of the Holy Ghost on the deliberations of the Chapter. The Capitular Fathers acted in the major and minor offices of this solemn function. At nine o'clock the Capitulars, together with all the Religious, assembled in the choir. The "Vexilla Regis" was intoned and in procession all proceeded to the Chapter Room. After the usual prayers were said, the Community was ordered to depart. The Very Reverend President addressed the Fathers assembled urging them to bear well in mind the words of the discourse heard Sunday afternoon, which so vividly portrayed the qualities of good superiors. The entire Province has been praying and the Capitular Fathers have prayed that the Chapter might fulfil its duty. The grace of God will be given to do His Holy Will, not to force anyone, but to enlighten all. The duty is ours to do God's Holy Will for the welfare of the Province. The ability rests on the Capitulars to choose men, to transsubstantiate them in a manner, to become God's representatives. If anyone, therefore, would act against God's Will, that one would act to his own greater punishment as well as for the evil of the Province. Hence in the performance of the present duty, it is most important to keep in mind, the Will of God, the prescriptions of our Holy Rule, and the ideals of Saint Paul of the Cross. In this manner only will the honor of God be safeguarded, and the welfare of the Province secured.
After the address of the President the roll was called by the Secretary, and the following responded:
Very Reverend Father Bonaventure of the Assumption,
Very Reverend Father Benjamin of the Immaculate Conception, Provincial.
Very Reverend Father Justin of the Infant Jesus, First Provincial Consultor.
Very Reverend Father Linus of the Heart of Mary, Second Provincial Consultor.
Very Reverend Father Regis of the Blessed Sacrament, Rector of Saint Paul's Retreat, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Very Reverend Father Caspar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rector of Saint Mary's Retreat, Dunkirk, N.Y.
Very Reverend Father Edward of the Infant Jesus, Rector of Saint Michael's Retreat, Union City, N.J.
Very Reverend Father Luke of Our Lady of the Rosary, Rector of Saint Joseph's Retreat, Baltimore, Md.
Very Reverend Father Alfred of the Mother of God, Rector of Saint Ann's Retreat, Scranton, Pa.
Very Reverend Father Carrol of Mary Immaculate, Rector of St. Gabriel's Retreat, Brighton, Mass.
Very Reverend Father John Joseph of the Immaculate Conception, Rector of Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, Springfield, Mass.
Very Reverend Father Benedict of Our Lady of Victory, Rector of the Immaculate Conception Retreat, Jamaica, N.Y.
Very Reverend Father Alexander of the Sacred Heart, Master of Novices
The Most Reverend President then asked the Fathers if they thought the Chapter was canonically convoked. All replied in the affirmative. He then declared the Chapter officially opened.
Once again, to ask the help of Divine Providence, the "Veni Creator" was sung. The Capitulars then delivered up their seals of office.
By a secret ballot, Very Reverend Father Alfred of the Mother of God was elected permanent Secretary of the Chapter. Very Reverend Father Edward of the Infant Jesus was appointed First, and Very Reverend Father John Joseph of the Immaculate Conception, Second Scrutineer.
The Capitulars took the prescribed Oath, binding themselves to elect those only, who before God according to their judgment, should be chosen. The Very Reverend President pronounced the absolution "ad cautelam," and he in turn received it from Very Reverend Father Provincial, Benjamin of the Immaculate Conception. The elections began.
The remainder of the Tenth Session was occupied in unsuccessful balloting for the office of Provincial.
The Eleventh Session began at three o'clock in the afternoon of the 5th of August. On the 35th ballot Very Reverend Father Colman of the Immaculate Conception was elected Provincial. The Father reached by telephone at our Monastery in Dunkirk asked for time in which to consider accepting the office, as his choice came as a great personal surprise and that he was too overcome to give an immediate answer. Later in the afternoon word was received that the office had been accepted with sincerest thanks, and with the hope that aided by the grace of God, he might be found worthy of his new dignity.
Balloting for the office of First Consultor then began and on the 10th ballot Very Reverend Father Edward of the Infant Jesus was elected to this office. Father Edward arose, thanked the Fathers for the confidence placed in him, and accepted the office.
On the 6th ballot Very Reverend Father Anselm of Our Lady of Victory was chosen Second Consultor. Reached by telephone the good Father accepted with thanks.
On the 6th ballot Very Reverend Father Cassian of Holy Mary was named Master of Novices. When Father Cassian was reached by telephone, he asked for time in which to consider accepting so important an office.
At nine o'clock in the morning of August 6th, the Capitulars assembled for the election of the Rectors for our various Retreats. The Very Reverend Secretary announced at the beginning of this Session that Very Reverend Father Cassian had accepted the office of Master of Novices as a distinct sign of the Will of God, trusting that Divine Providence would give him both the grace and health to fulfil this important assignment.
By a secret ballot the following order of elections was agreed upon: Saint Michael's, Union City, N.J. ; Immaculate Conception, Jamaica, N. Y.; Saint Ann's, Scranton, Pa.; Saint Gabriel's, Brighton, Mass.; Saint Paul's, Pittsburgh, Pa.; St. Joseph's, Baltimore, Md.; Saint Mary's, Dunkirk, N. Y.; Our Mother of Sorrows, Springfield, Mass.
On the second ballot, Very Reverend Father Regis of the Blessed Sacrament was elected Rector of Saint Michael's Retreat, Union City, N.J. The Father arose, thanked the Capitulars for the confidence placed in him by electing him to so important a charge, and accepted the office.
Shortly after the opening of the Twelfth Session the newly elected Provincial, Very Reverend Father Colman, arrived in the Monastery, together with his Second Consultor, Very Reverend Father Anselm. Both Fathers were warmly greeted by the Capitulars. The entire Community of the Novitiate House was called to the Chapter Room and all paid their respects to the new Provincial. All then assisted at the Solemn Te Deum and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the choir.
When the Chapter again convened, on the Third Ballot, Very Reverend Father Berchmans of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was elected Rector of Immaculate Conception Retreat, Jamaica, N.Y. When the Father was reached by telephone, he asked for time in which to consider the matter. Later the Father accepted the office with grateful appreciation of the honor granted him, but with reluctance, knowing from his experience as the Father Vicar of this Monastery, the heavy burdens of its Rectorship.
On the sixth ballot Very Reverend Father Caspar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was chosen Rector of St. Ann's Retreat, Scranton, Pa. The Father left the Chapter Room to consider the matter before expressing his decision. The Capitulars were rejoiced when on his return to the Chapter Room, Father Caspar accepted with sincere thanks.
Balloting was then begun for the Rectorship of St. Gabriel's Retreat, Brighton, Mass. The session closed before a final result was obtained.
The Thirteenth Session opened at 3:15 on the afternoon of August 6th and voting was resumed for the Rectorship of St. Gabriel's. On the sixth ballot Very Reverend Father Carrol of Mary Immaculate was reelected Rector of the Brighton Monastery. The Father arose, thanked the Fathers for the confidence expressed in him, and accepted the office.
On the sixth ballot, Very Reverend Father Benjamin of the Immaculate Conception, was chosen Rector of St. Paul's Retreat, Pittsburgh, Pa. The Father thanked the Chapter for relieving him from the office of Provincial and was grateful at being chosen for the Pittsburgh Monastery, his favorite house, and promised to fulfil the trust placed in him.
On the sixth ballot, Very Reverend Father Frederick Joseph of the Heart of Mary was elected Rector of St. Joseph's Retreat, Baltimore, Md. As Provincial Secretary, Father Frederick Joseph had been called to West Springfield. Great was his surprise when he was called into the Chapter Room on his arrival at the Monastery, and told of his election. Deeply moved the Father gratefully accepted the office.
On the sixth ballot, Very Reverend Father Cyril of the Passion was chosen Rector of St. Mary's Retreat, Dunkirk, N.Y. When reached by telephone, the Father asked the Chapter to accept his refusal of the honor conferred upon him. On learning with regret, that Father Cyril, though deeply grateful to the Capitulars for his election, could not be persuaded to take the office, the Chapter voted to accept his resignation. Balloting was begun once again for the Rectorship of Saint Mary's, and on the seventh ballot Very Reverend Father Adelbert of the Heart of Mary was elected. The Father was notified at the Baltimore Monastery and on Wednesday morning his acceptance was received by telephone.
On the first ballot, Very Reverend Father John Joseph of the Immaculate Conception was chosen Rector of Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, West Springfield, Mass. This good Father arose and with expressions of deep humility and sincere thanks accepted the office.
As it was late in the evening, the Chapter adjourned and the results of the elections were read at sentiment to the Community by the Very Reverend President.
The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Sessions held on the morning and afternoon of the 7th of August were devoted to formulating the decrees of the Chapter. At the beginning of the Fourteenth Session it was decided by a unanimous vote to invite Very Reverend Father Colman, the newly elected Provincial and his Second Consultor, Very Reverend Father Anselm, to the Chapter Room to hear the discussion on the proposed legislation.
The Decrees are very few in number. This can best be explained by the fact that former legislation has covered many subjects discussed, but chiefly by the determination of the Fathers not to add unnecessary decrees to Province regulations, but to permit the incoming Curia to work according to our Holy Rules and Regulations for the betterment of the Province unhampered by excessive additions to our statutes.
1. The Venerable Chapter guarantees the money yearly required to cover the budget agreed upon between the Vicar Apostolic of Yuanling, Hunan, China, and the Provincial Curia. Moreover, to carry out the second decree of the 24th Chapter, which entails a change in our Holy Rules, the Provincial Curia is requested to lay before the next General Chapter the proposal of giving an active voice in our Provincial Chapters to a representative from our Missions in China.
2. The Chapter decrees that the Provincial Curia consider the feasibility of handling all the insurance of the Province through a central bureau; that the Provincial Curia seek expert advice and proposals from several large Insurance Brokerages; and then if it be ascertained that greater security and economy can be achieved through such a central bureau, take over all the insurance of the Province.
3. The Venerable Chapter intent on raising the standard of our missions decrees that the Provincial Curia appoint a committee of Missionaries to revise our Directorium of Missions and to study ways and means of increasing the efficiency of our mission work. Furthermore, that a questionnaire prepared by the said Committee be sent to the various houses so that additional suggestions may be received from all the Priests of the Province, before a final report is presented to the Provincial Curia.
4. The Chapter reminds Rectors and Mission Superiors of the obligation resting on the Junior Fathers at home or abroad, not to drink spirituous liquors.
5. For the sake of good order, the Chapter reminds the Brethren, that according to a Decree of a former Chapter none of the Professed can claim vacations; at the same time the Chapter urges the maintaining of the charity traditional in our Province, which has permitted occasional periods of rest to those who, on account of their work, need such rest. The Chapter ordains that whenever possible such periods of rest be spent in one of our houses. It reminds Rectors that such permissions must come from Father Provincial. It is recommended that Father Provincial put such permissions in writing, to be shown to Father Rector.
6. In response to a decision of the General Curia, May 31st, 1935, the Chapter orders a return to the prescriptions of paragraphs 231 and 232 of our Holy Rule, in reference to study on the mornings of second class feasts and the afternoons of feasts of rule, all contrary decrees of former Provincial Chapters notwithstanding.
The closing Session of the Chapter opened on the morning of August 8th. The Decrees were approved as read by the Secretary.
By unanimous vote, it was decided to invite His Excellency, the Most Reverend Cuthbert O'Gara, C.P., D.D., to address the Chapter. Bishop Cuthbert thanked the Fathers in the name of all the Missionaries in China and in his own name for all the consideration given to the needs of the Chinese Mission, and for the patient time given by the various Fathers who had discussed with him the work of our Foreign Missionaries. He assured the Capitulars that on his return to Hunan he would narrate to all the Brethren working in the Orient, the kindness and courtesy and hearing given their needs and he assured the Fathers that such knowledge would give the Missionaries added stimulus to increase their zeal and spirit. The Bishop stressed the fact that China is a part of the Province and that the Priests in China represent the ideals of our Holy Founder in their highest conceptions. Their deeds of heroism, past and present, their splendid morale, their openness and docility reflect glory on the American Provinces, which trained them. At present the Missionaries are doing the spade work, the hard work. Only in the days to come will the real flower of this labor be seen and appreciated.
The address of Bishop O'Gara was heartily received by the Capitulars and in turn several addresses were given by the Fathers of the Chapter, for which tokens of regard the Bishop once more expressed his sincerest appreciation.
The Very Reverend President then asked the Chapter if there was anything further to be proposed. There being no further business, Very Reverend Father Benjamin of the Immaculate Conception, in the name of the Capitulars addressed the President:
"I wish to voice the profound gratitude of all the Capitular Fathers to your Paternity, for your presence here and for the wise and efficient way with which you have conducted these meetings, and for the patience and kindness you have manifested in our deliberations. We ask you to carry back to Most Reverend Father General our sentiments of gratitude; offer him in our name our loyalty, esteem and obedience and tell him that it is our prayer that God may spare him for many years of fruitful labor for the Congregation."
By a rising vote the Fathers joined in these sentiments of thanks, both to the Very Reverend President and to Most Reverend Father General.
Very Reverend Father Bonaventure arose and expressed his sincere thanks for the words of Very Reverend Father Benjamin. He assured the Fathers of his deep interest in the Province of Saint Paul of the Cross, the Province, which he as a young man had first entered, in the days when there was but one Province in the United States. As General Consultor his interest now is greater, for all that concerns the improvement and welfare of the English-speaking Provinces. The Father President expressed his particular pleasure at the zeal manifested by the Capitulars, especially in their concern for the great work of the Congregation, the preaching of missions and retreats, and for the work done in endeavoring to raise the standard of efficiency in this our special calling. He congratulated all on the manner in which the present Chapter had been conducted and assured the Fathers that on his return to Rome, he would convey words of highest praise to Father General for the spirit manifested by the Capitular Fathers of this Twenty-fifth Chapter.
The Very Reverend President then inquired if in the opinion of the Fathers the Chapter should be closed. All replied in the affirmative and the Chapter was declared formally closed.
The Capitulars, then, appended their, signatures as follows:
Bonaventure of the Assumption, First Consultor General,
Benjamin of the Immaculate Conception Provincial
Justin of the Infant Jesus First Consultor
Linus of the Heart of Mary Second Consultor
Regis of the Blessed Sacrament, Rector, St. Paul's Retreat, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Caspar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rector, St. Mary's Retreat, Dunkirk, N.Y.
Edward of the Infant Jesus, Rector, St. Michael's Retreat, Union City, N.J.
Luke of Our Lady of the Rosary, Rector, St. Joseph's Retreat, Baltimore, Md.
Alfred of the Mother of God, Rector, St. Ann's Retreat, Scranton, Pa.
Carrol of Mary Immaculate, Rector, St. Gabriel's Retreat, Brighton, Mass.
John Joseph of Immaculate Conception, Rector, Mother of Sorrows Retreat, W. Springfield, Mass.
Benedict of Our Lady of Victory, Rector, Immaculate Conception Monastery, Jamaica, L.I., N.Y.
Alexander of the Sacred Heart, Master of Novices
Alfred of the Mother of God