Born Joseph Adam Amrhein on March 19, 1858 in Birmingham (later Southside), Pennsylvania, he professed his Passionist vows in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 25, 1874. His religious name was Joseph. On October 12, 1876 he sailed from Philadelphia to Rome to continue his studies and was ordained to the priesthood at St. John Lateran Basilica by Archbishop Lenti on December 20, 1880. On June 30, 1881 he returned to the United States and became professor of philosophy and later professor of theology. While in this capacity he was elected First Provincial Consultor on August 28, 1893. He was re-elected to the same position on August 24, 1896. At the next chapter he was elected rector of Baltimore, Maryland. When asked at the next chapter to be master of novices he declined due to health reasons. However when Father Fidelis Kent Stone went to the General Chapter in Rome, Father Amrhein was elected as Second General Consultor. In fact, the obituary of Father Amrhein states that Father Stone felt that he accomplished three important tasks: founding the Passionists in his home city of Boston, division of the east and western provinces, and the placing of Father Amrhein as a member of the General Council in Rome. There is some thought that this appointment was not all that popular among some Passionists. Father Amrhein presided at the First Provincial Chapter of 1908 for the western province and for the eastern province at that time as well. Subsequent chapters caused some tensions.
March 19, 1858
September 25, 1874
December 20, 1880
April 26, 1914
Joseph of the Mother of Mercy Amrhein