South River, New Jersey Historical Summary

When the decision was made during the Provincial Chapter of 1978 to close Saint Michael’s Monastery in Union City, New Jersey, which included the offices for the provincial and his staff, the search began to find appropriate space for the new province headquarters.

Through some friendly contacts with the priests of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey (now Metuchen Diocese), it surfaced that there was an attractive building available in the Borough of South River. Strategically located in Middlesex County, midway between New York and Philadelphia, and part of Corpus Christi Parish, this former convent housed the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and the Poor Clare Nuns. Several members of the provincial council arrived to determine if the building would be suitable. The facility had two floors of residential space and a first floor that could accommodate the provincial offices. It was also determined that the costs of repair and remodeling would be well within the budget allotted for the purpose. The pastor at the time, Father August Neumann, was also a great friend and supporter of the Passionists and welcomed the Passionist presence in his parish. The decision was made and a lease signed.

In the summer of 1979 the great move down the “northeast corridor” took place and little by little the new Passionist Provincialate/Corpus Christi Residence (now called the Province Pastoral Center) became an attractive and functional space for the needs of the province leadership team.

The Passionists continue to be highly regarded in this area of Central New Jersey, ever ready to minister pastorally to the local church when council obligations permit. Four provincials have already resided here and have found a province headquarters that is also very much a home.