St. Michael’s Monastery, Union City, New Jersey

From “Passionist Centenary in America” written in 1952.

High above the Hudson river, overlooking the city of New York, stand the imposing stone Monastery and Church of St. Michael, the Provincial House of the eastern Province.

A memorable Passionist mission had been preached at old St. Mary’s in West Hoboken in 1860 and afterwards the Fathers asked Bishop Bayley, the first Bishop of Newark, permission to settle on that same hill. The Bishop was delighted with the request. By 1864 one wing of St. Michael’s Monastery was ready for occupancy and an additional wing under construction.

The great Church of St. Michael, with its massive dome, was erected in 1875 and dominated the Jersey sky-line while the city of West Hoboken (now Union City) grew up around the ‘monastery’. Clearly visible from New York, the dome and towers of the Sign office building which houses the editorial and business offices of the National Catholic Magazine published by the Passionist Fathers.

Since 1903, the Passionists have staffed nearby St. Joseph’s Church, where Veronica’s Veil, the nationally-known Passion Play, is produced. In early years, the Passionists were in charge of St. Mary’s, Bayone; Immaculate Conception, Montclair; and Sacred Heart, Bergen County. The Fathers also founded St. Lawrence’s Parish in Weehawken, erected and cared for St. Paul’s, Greenville; Holy Family, Union Hill; and St. Joseph’s, West New York, now flourishing diocesan parishes.

[The Passionists are no longer at these parishes. The Sign magazine is no longer published. The Sign building now contains the residence of the Passionists who remain in Union City, Passionist Missionaries, Inc., Passionist Publications, the Archives, and the center for Publication of Compassion magazine.]

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