St. Paul of the Cross Monastery

148 Monastery Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone (412) 381-1188   Fax (412) 481-5049

Dear Friends of the Passionists,

Welcome to our website and community at Saint Paul of the Cross Monastery. From the early 1850's the Passionists have welcomed men and women from throughout our nation to stand at the foot of the Cross of Jesus to be embraced by his love, relieved of the spiritual burdens of their lives, and forgiven and healed through the wounds of our Crucified Savior. Our Monastery is holy ground. Let us all seek out the Crucified and Risen Lord in prayer and sacrament, in community and family, in ministry and service to the crucified of today.


V. Rev. Mark G. Ward, C.P.

Eight hundred years ago, when St. Francis was returning home to Assisi for the last time before his death, he had to cross over Mt. Subasio. He was too weak to mount a horse by himself, and so the Knights of Assisi - the Cavalieri - took turns carrying him home to die. Now these half dozen Knights had known Francis from childhood. Some had once been his neighbors, others had gone to school with him, and still others had been his playmates. Many had caroused with him as young men, singing songs for pretty young women, and giving lavish parties to impress one another.

Now, as they rode across the windswept dirt roads atop Subasio, they all shared the same silent thoughts. Yes, they had all achieved fame and wealth according to the ways of the world. They were noble knights in fine armor, riding expensive steeds, and owners of large landholdings. They proudly led successful lives. And, yet, there was something that troubled them. Each one knew that Francis was simply God's Little Poor Man who owned nothing, not even the ragged gray cloth that he wore. He would have been just like them, they thought, but something had changed Francis.

Not one of them would ever admit it to the others, but each longed for such a change for himself (simplicity of life, serenity of mind, peace of soul, closeness to God, a saintly reputation). And yet, each brave Knight was afraid of the very thought of it.

The Knights of Assisi were bringing Francis home over a mountain dotted with small farms. The mountain people were poor farmers and shepherds. And these travelers - knights and friars both - were hungry and tired. They stopped at a farmhouse.

Now the Knights had gone out seeking food and drink. When they came to a poor farm they flashed some gold coins and said: "We are weary travelers. But we are not asking for charity. We want to buy some food from you. We'll pay you a good price."Everywhere the men and women on the mountaintop looked with suspicion at the wealthy lords in their fine clothes and their hands filled with gold. And the poor folk all shook their heads saying: "It has been a bad year, and we have no extra food to sell. We will be lucky to live until the next season. No, we do not have any food for sale." "The Noble Knights returned to St. Francis and told him what happened.

Francis said, "You have received nothing because you have relied on your money. You think money will buy you anything. Now go back to the house where you flaunted your coins, and arrogantly displayed your wealth. Go simply. Beg for food in the Name of God, instead. Having heard this Sermon on Mount Subasio, the Knights repented and humbled themselves. They all removed their armor and cloaks and fancy hats. Some even removed their boots.And these proud men set out into the night, going from door to door, over the barren landscape atop Mount Subasio. When the poor answered their doors that night, they were surprised to see the same men who visited them earlier in the day. But these men had bowed heads, and lowered voices.And in their hands they held no gold, but an empty hat, an empty saddlebag, or just their cupped hands, simply outstretched and empty. They begged their food from the country poor in the Name of the Lord Jesus.

In a short while, all the Knights of Assisi returned to Francis at the little farmhouse. They brought with them not only bread, but cheese, and olives, and dried fruits and nuts. One knight was even given a wineskin filled with strong red wine.Francis smiled and said, "Now you have emptied yourself not of your wealth, but of your pride. God's reign is now yours."

Let us empty ourselves of our pride and be grateful of the many blessings we always receive from our loving Father.


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St. Paul of the Cross Monastery

148 Monastery Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone (412) 381-1188   Fax (412) 481-5049

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A Letter From Our Rector

Fund Monastery Renovations:
  •  Completion of the Boiler Installation
  •  Demolition of the Boilers
  •  Replace The Boilers

From the Desk of Fr. Don Ware:

  •  A Reflection of St. Ann's Novena

  •  28th Sun C... Gratitude
  •  25th Sun C... Happiness

  •  Competing Together

From the Desk of Fr. Pat Geinzer:
  •  Good Friday reflection on Simon of Cyrene

  •  A Reflection of 9/11 by V. Rev. Paul Wierichs, C.P.
  •  A Good Friday Reflection by Patricia Muehlbauer
  •  A Good Friday Reflection by Sr. Mary Claire Donnelly

Latest News & Updates

 Francis of Assisi: The Sermon on Mt Subasio

October Retreat 2016

From Anger to Gratitude… Growth in Spiritual Maturity

Spiritual maturity is a goal of the disciples of Jesus. We need to grow in our journey with the Lord. Besides growth in prayer - I spoke about that the last time I was here - we need to continue to develop and mature in our attitudes and in our emotional lives and in our intellectual lives. These are part of our 'spiritual life'. I want to reflect on spiritual growth especially in our intellectual and emotional lives. What do we think about and emotionally respond to the daily experiences of our life's journey, especially our negative experiences? Read more...

70 X 7… Undeserved Forgiveness.

This conference will deal with Mercy as undeserved forgiveness. The first conference described God's mercy toward us. "70 X 7" is the title of this conference. This refers to Jesus' story in Mathew 18:21 - 35.Then Peter came up and asked him, "Lord, when my brother wrongs me, how often must I forgive him? Seven times?" "No," Jesus replied, "not seven times: I say, seventy times seven times."Then Jesus goes on to tell Peter that the Reign of God will be like a king who settled accounts with his officials. Read more...