Dear friends:

This is the final Stauros USA BLOG. You are free to leave messages as the BLOG will remain active until January 1.

Blessings to all: 

Deacon Don Grossnickle,  Executive Director, Stauros USA

Stauros USA Board of Directors Announce Decision to Adopt Inactive Status

 (Chicago) The Stauros USA Board of Directors and corporate members announce that, due to financial pressures, the Stauros U.S.A. Center for Compassion and Healing has adopted an inactive status for the indefinite future.  A decrease in both funding and benefactor support in the current economic climate were cited as reasons for the decision.

Stauros USA was founded in 1973 by Passionist priest Father Flavian Dougherty, C.P.  Since that time, Stauros USA had largely operated with funds obtained from Passionist subsidies.  Additional revenue was provided through donations and income generated from Stauros  publications.   Unfortunately, due to current financial constraints on the Passionists, Father Donald Webber, C.P., Provincial Superior, notified the Stauros Board of Directors in June that the Passionists of Holy Cross Province and St. Paul of the Cross Province would not be able to provide their annual subsidies for the upcoming fiscal year.

Stauros USA (Stauros means “cross” in Greek) is a non-profit organization committed to helping people find meaning, hope and peace in the midst of suffering. They seek to further educate and dialogue on issues of suffering, create opportunities for prayer, retreat and reflection, advocate with and give voice to persons with live with disabilities and suffering, and build bridges of compassion among all who suffer, their caregivers and the helping professions.

A centerpiece of Stauros USA was the pilgrimage to the Holy Land for persons with disabilities, a biblical study trip initiated by Reverend Dougherty and undertaken eight times, most recently in August of 2010. Another program hosted by Stauros USA in recent years was a conference on Suicide: its prevention and coping with loss when tragedy occurs. For many years Stauros USA published Suffering: The Stauros Notebook, which was available both in print and on CD. The current Executive Director of Stauros USA, Deacon Don Grossnickle, increased the internet presence of Stauros with its web-based “Seeds of Light” newsletter, along with the on-line Stauros Suffering Notebook, and the Stauros BLOG which all are available at no charge.

Stauros USA will suspend operations as of September 30, 2010. President of the Board, Alan Melkerson, says that, “It is the prayer of the entire Stauros USA community to celebrate the past and present, and ask the providence of God to continue the mission of attending to those who reach out in need for encouragement, healing and love.”

The corporate members of Stauros USA have taken steps to preserve the ministry with the hope that when economic conditions improve, the operations of Stauros USA could resume. For the present time, the Stauros USA web site: will be maintained, providing access to archived journal articles and other resources. The web site will carry the announcement of the inactivation of the ministry at this time.



  1. William Smith Says:

    I lost a family member through suicide. I’ve sat by bedsides to offer what little help I was able during times of suffering and departure for friends and family. And, like most, I have also known personal challenge and dark hours of persistent and seemingly unrelenting pressure. These things we all endure. Perhaps it is just part of life. Some of us are more resilient in the face of suffering while others of us succumb to that darkest night of suffering fear, pain, and uncertainty—alone. These are the Anawim, the all-to-often forgotten children who suffer alone in an isolated desperation.

    It was to these poor souls that a Passionate priest, Father Flavian Dougherty, extended his priestly ministry and founded Stauros USA. Father Dougherty was not unlike Fr. Damien, a simple priest that that saw overwhelming suffering and gave of himself to ease the suffering of the forgotten Lepers on Molokai. When all others had turned away embracing worldly concerns and excuses of inconvenience or financial challenge, Fr. Damien pressed on. He trusted his spirit and the Grace of God to find a way to reach out to ease the pain of others. For his efforts serving God’s Anawim, this year the Holy Father canonized Fr. Damien as Saint Damien. St. Damien will always inspire others to give selflessly—even to the point of personal discomfort and hardship—to ease the suffering of God’s Anawim through compassion and merciful action.

    Through his efforts and passion for ministering to the Anawim, Father Flavian Dougherty’s commitment as a priest to God’s Anawim found a way to rise above the worldly obstacles. For his efforts, Stauros USA was founded in the spirit of St. Paul of the Cross, to offer comfort to the suffering, guidance for the lost and strength to the poor of spirit.

    It is understandable that the Passionist Order, whose tradition is founded on compassion and acts of mercy, would have continued to lead the effort to keep Stauros USA a vital part of the battle against suffering. For nearly 40 years, through good times and bad, the Passionist Order has stood by Stauros USA to see that for God’s Anawim, there was light in the darkness, hope in times of desperation, and mercy in times of unrelenting suffering. Through the years, countless volunteers and committed staff fought through discouragement and worldly challenge to bring the many programs to all those who sought strength. Programs included audio ministries, suicide conferences, spiritual libraries, prayer vigils, ministries, and even numerous pilgrimages to the Holy Land for those with disabilities. Stauros USA continued compassionate work and merciful actions.

    It is a sad reflection on the state of spiritual strength and financial support that Stauros USA that the work of this compassionate outreach to the Anawim has apparently come to an end. It must be heart wrenching for the Passionate Order to find themselves powerless to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of this important ministry it founded so long ago. They have been able to help so many when no other help was available.

    May the Grace of the Almighty ease the sad hearts of all who through the years were actively committed to keeping the light of Stauros USA alive. Your work has helped so many and all whom you have helped rejoice for your efforts. May the Lord’s blessings find a way through other means to continue the important work of helping God’s Anawim through compassion and acts of mercy.

  2. Bro Tom Ruhmann, OMI Says:

    I’ve been meaning to contact Stauros since I heard of the cut in funding and am finally getting around to it. If the Victorious Missionaries can be of any assistance to the people of Stauros during this suspension of operations of Stauros, please contact us.

    Bro Tom Ruhamnn, OMI
    National Director of the Victorious Missionaries

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