Brother Gus Parlavechio, C.P.
Brother Gus shares his story.
I grew up just a couple of blocks from the Passionist Monastery in Union City, NJ. From as early as I can remember, I always was attracted to religion. I would see the religious walking in the Monastery Garden in their Habits and on big feast days a good number of the community attended Mass in the big, beautiful church, which added a solemnity to the celebration. I remember thinking from time to time, ‘I would like to be a part of that.’
I was born in 1943 and professed on August 22, 1971. I ministered in West Hartford, CT; Jamaica, NY; Baltimore, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Shelter Island, NY, South River, NJ and Shrewsbury, MA. I engaged in various ministries at these locations, including local treasurer; associate formation director; parish ministry and retreat ministry.
My greatest joy was when I was RCIA Director in our parish in Baltimore; the greatest challenge to remain connected to the Community and not allow ministry to overtake the value of religious life itself.
Currently, my ministry consists of maintaining contact with our donors; writing to them; assuring them of our prayers and inviting them to contact me should a need arise. Very little happens without the prayerful and financial support of those who support us.
As I age and experience physical diminishment, It’s important for me to remember that ‘it isn’t over; till it’s over.’ There is always ministry to be done; sometimes humbly; but also necessary for the building up of the Body of Christ. And the ministry of prayer and presence cannot be measured.
In 2016 the Congregation of the Passion in New York received a grant to purchase scooters. The increased mobility allows the Priests and Brothers to continue their ministry and activities such as communal prayer and shared meals. It was an influential factor in Brother Gus developing and implementing a book study group in the monastery.