Timeline of Events 1852-1952

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Some time ago the Passionist Historical Archives came across a historical time line. It was compiled in 1952 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Passionists in the United States. It is reprinted below. Please pay special attention to the following information regarding dates:

  1. The archives staff has done its best to verify the historical accuracy of the data.
  2. The dates used in the 1952 timeline conflict with the dates used in the summaries you will find of the various foundations here on this website.
    • The reason for this is that the dates used in the Summaries are from the Sesquicentennial Passionist celebration book produced in 2002. A footnote in that book says: “The year indicated with each location is the year Passionists moved to the location with the intention of beginning a foundation. Canonical status or the dedication of buildings usually came later.”
    • As a result, many of the 1952 timeline dates reflect the last point: Canonical status or dedication of a building or notation of an important event.

Please contact the archives with any comments on this timeline or other information on Passionist history. We hope this is of interest to those who study the Passionist story.

  • 1852
    • Passionists invited to the United States by Michael O’Connor Bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Commissioned by Father Anthony [Testa] of St. James, Passionist Superior General.
    • Centennial of Congregation & Beatification of St. Paul of the Cross, Pittsburgh.
    • 1st band of Passionists arrive from Italy: Fathers Anthony Calandri, C.P. founder; Albinus Magno, C.P, Stanislaus Parczyk, C.P. and Brother Lawrence DiGiacomo, C.P.
  • 1853:
    • 1st Monastery begun, St. Paul of the Cross, Pittsburgh, on land donated by Bishop O’Connor. The Anti-Catholic “Know-Nothing” Party threatened to destroy Monastery & building.
    • First Passionist parish in U.S.A., St. Michael’s, Pittsburgh. Father Stanislaus Parczyk, C.P. becomes pastor the parish which had been established in 1848.
  • 1854:
    • Pittsburgh Monastery completed & dedicated – with public chapel. First Rector of St. Paul’s is Father Luke Baudinelli, C.P. First Passionist Master of Novices, Father Anthony Calandri, C.P.
    • Father John Dominic Tarlattini, C.P. appointed “Commissary General” (Representative of the Superior General in the new foundation. He takes over as superior at St. Paul’s, Pittsburgh.
  • 1855:
    • First Passionist professed in the U. S.
    • First Layman’s Retreat (Private) by Father Gaudentius Rossi, C.P. Monastery in Pittsburgh.
  • 1856:
    • First Priests’ Retreat to Clergy of Pittsburgh Diocese by Father Gaudentius Rossi, C.P. at Monastery.
    • Pittsburgh Diocesan Synod held in Monastery in Pittsburgh.
    • First Passionist students from U.S. sent to Rome.
  • 1857: First Passionist Mission, Pittsburgh Cathedral by Fathers Gaudentius Rossi, C.P. and Anthony Calandri, C.P. January 1-11. Father Albinus Magno, C.P. assists in the confessional during the last 4 days.
  • 1860: First Passionist ordained in U.S. – Father Andrew McGurgan, C.P. in Pittsburgh.
  • 1862: Dunkirk, NY St. Mary’s Monastery – Dedicated by Father Albinus Magno, C.P. in the absence of Bishop Timon of Buffalo, New York.
  • 1863:
    • Province of St. Paul of the Cross created by 21st General Chapter. Father Peter Paul Caivo, C.P. is the Superior General. First Provincial – Father John Dominic Tarlattini, C.P. ; Consultors – Fathers Gaudentius Rossi, C.P. & Anthony Calandri, C.P.
    • First Provincial Chapter, Pittsburgh Provincial Father John Dominic Tarlattini, C.P. presiding. Fathers 10 years professed given vote. Eleven present at Chapter. First Chapter pledged loyalty to Country; prayers for peace; became citizens.
    • California & Nevada – Foundations later abandoned.
  • 1864:
    • Union City, N.J. (West Hoboken) St. Michael’s Monastery dedication by Bishop Bayley of Newark, New Jersey.
    • First Passionist Non-Catholic Mission – St. Joseph’s, Chambers Street, Boston, by Father Gaudentius Rossi, C.P. (pg 140 note in Compelled to Speak. A book written by Father Cassian Yuhaus, C.P.)
  • 1866:
    • Second Plenary Council of Baltimore urges preaching Parish Missions, adopting St.. Paul of the Cross Rule: “Prayer, study at home; zeal, edification abroad.”
    • Mexico City – Founded from Pittsburgh. Father John Dominic Tarlattini, C.P. installed as canonical superior.
  • 1867: St. Paul of the Cross canonized by Pius IX.
  • 1868: Baltimore, MD St. Joseph’s Monastery founded during time of Archbishop James Gibbons.
  • 1873: Cincinnati, OH Holy Cross Monastery founded during the time of Archbishop Purcell.
  • 1875: Centennial of St. Paul’s Death – Centenary Declaration of Independence.
  • 1877: Silver Jubilee of Passionists in U.S.
  • 1878: Father Fidelis Kent Stone, C.P., famous convert, gives Mission at the Baltimore Cathedral. President Arthur, Members of Cabinet & Supreme Court attend.
  • 1880: Louisville, KY Sacred Heart Monastery founded during the time of Bishop McCloskey.

·  1882: Confraternity of Sacred Passion started St. Michael’s parish, Pittsburgh.

·  1885: Argentina is sent missionaries from the U.S. Province. Among them is Father Fidelis K. Stone, C.P.

·  1887: First U.S.-born Provincial is Father Benedict Murnane, C.P.

·  1888: Preparatory Seminary established at St. Mary’s Dunkirk, N.Y. (There 25 years)

·  1891: Normandy (St.Louis), Our Lady Good Council Monastery founded during the time of Archbishop Kain.

·  1893: Passionists working in Mexico separate from the U.S. Province. Spanish Passionists take responsibility.

·  1894: St. Paul, Kansas, St. Francis Monastery founded during the time of Bishop Hennessy.

·  1896: First Superior General to visit U.S. – Father Bernard Mary Silvestrelli, C.P. Reports: “Rule kept in America as well as in SS. John & Paul’s.”

·  1902: Golden Jubilee of Passionists in U.S.

·  1905:

  • Scranton, PA St. Ann’s Monastery founded during the time of Bishop Hoban.
  • Chicago, Immaculate Conception Monastery founded during the time Archbishop Quigley.

·  1906:

  • Division of Province of St. Paul of Cross (eastern province). Now there are two Passionist provinces. Holy Cross province (western province) is responsible for foundations west of the Ohio River.:
    Eastern province – West Hoboken, Pittsburgh, Dunkirk, Baltimore, and Scranton
    Western province – Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, St. Paul, and Chicago
  • Western Province of Holy Cross created: First Provincial, Father Charles Lang, C.P.; Consultors, Father Philip Burke & Dennis Calligee.

·  1908:

  • Beatification of St. Gabriel by Pius X.
  • Boston, Mass. St. Gabriel’s Monastery founded in Brighton, MA during the time of Cardinal O’Connell.
  • Eastern Province aids the western Province with Missionaries; assumes debts contracted before the split of the provinces.

·  1910: Passionist Nuns come to Pittsburgh during the time of Provincial Father Stanislaus Grennan, C.P.

·  1911:

  • First Layman’s Weekend Retreat preached at the Boston Monastery by Father Alexis Cunneen, C.P.
  • Shelter Island, NY Our Lady of the Isle founded during the time of Bishop McDonnell of Brooklyn, N.Y.

·  1913:

  • Preparatory Seminary moved from Dunkirk, N.Y to Baltimore. MD. ( for 8 years)
  • Father Paul Nussbaum, C.P. 1st American Passionist to be consecrated a Bishop for the diocese of Corpus Christi, TX. Monsignor Bonzano, the Papal Delegate was consecrating prelate with Bishops O’Connor of Newark and McDonnell of Brooklyn assisting. Ceremony at West Hoboken, NJ.

·  1914 :

  • Argentina separated from U.S eastern province. Under own jurisdiction as the Province – Immaculate Conception.
  • Layman’s Retreat League formed in Brighton, MA later became “National Conference of Retreat League.”
  • Confraternity of Passion established in each Monastery during the time of Provincial Justin Carey, C.P., eastern province.
  • Canonical Pastors appointed to each Passionist Parish – not Rectors.

·  1915: “Veronica’s Veil” – American Passion Play, 1st produced in St. Joseph parish, West Hoboken, NJ.

·  1917: First World War Chaplains: 11 priests. From the eastern province- 7; From the western province 4 – Excellent Record.

·  1920:

  • Bicentenary of Congregation.
  • Canonization of St. Gabriel by Benedict 15th. Declared “Patron of Youth”.
  • Dunkirk, NY. Holy Cross Preparatory Seminary founded during the time of Bishop Dougherty of Buffalo, later Cardinal of Philadelphia.
  • First Retreat House, St. Paul of the Cross, dedicated by Pittsburgh Bishop Canevin.
  • Preparatory Seminary leaves Baltimore for Dunkirk, NY. Known as Holy Cross Preparatory Seminary.

·  1921:

  • SIGN Magazine, Passionist Publish National Catholic Monthly.
  • China, 1st Foreign Missionaries sent from the eastern Province Departure ceremonies for 1st band of 6 Passionists: Celestine Roddan, Superior. Shenchow, [Chenzhou] in west, Hunan province which was under Augustinians, Vicariate of Changteh, arrived 1922.

·  1922: Second Band of 3 Passionists leave for China.

·  1923:

  • Third Band of 5 Passionists leave for China.
  • West Springfield, MA . Our Lady of Sorrows Monastery founded during the time of Bishop O’ Leary.
  • Des Moines, IA. St. Gabriel’s Monastery founded during the time of Bishop Drumm.

·  1924:

  • Fourth Band of 14 Passionists leave for China.
  • Sierra Madre, CA . Mother of Sorrows Monastery founded during the time of Bishop Cantwell.
  • Riverdale, NY. Blessed Vincent Strambi Retreat founded during the time of Cardinal Hayes.

·  1925:

  • Jamaica, NY. Immaculate Conception Monastery founded during the time of Bishop Molloy.
  • Passionist Bishop Vincent Strambi declared Blessed by Pius XI.
  • China Mission is created as Prefecture Apostolic of Shenchow, [Chenzhou] under the direction of Msgr. Dominic Langenbacher, C.P.
  • Sisters of Jesus Crucified & Sorrowful Mother, Scranton, PA founded by Father Alphonsus Maria Urbanowicz, C.P.
  • Novena Devotions in honor of SS. Paul of the Cross & St. Gabriel, Union City [formerly West Hoboken] NJ begun – over million attend in year.
  • Retreat House ministry begins at the West Springfield, MA at the Mother of Sorrows Monastery, during the time of Bishop O’Leary.

·  1926:

  • Passionist Novitiate transferred from Pittsburgh to the West Springfield Monastery for 12 years.
  • Fifth Band of 4 Passionists leave for China.

·  1927:

  • Diamond Jubilee (75) of the Passionists in the US.
  • Retreat House begun at St. Gabriel’s Monastery, Brighton, MA during the time of Cardinal O’Connell.

·  1928:

  • Dixieland Missions begun in North Carolina in the towns of Washington, New Bern & Greenville during the time of Bishop Hafey of Raleigh, NC. Father Mark Moeslein, C.P. is the founder of the Passionist apostolate which reaches out to Catholics and unchurched of the area, especially Black Catholics.
  • Sixth Band of 3 Passionists leave for China.

·  1929:

  • Three Passionist priests killed by bandits in China. First American priests slain in China: Father Godfrey Holbein, C.P., Father Clement Seybold, C.P. and Father Walter Coveyou, C.P. First two priests are from the eastern province. Last one mentioned is from the western province.
  • Detroit, MI. St. Paul of the Cross Monastery founded during the time of Bishop Gallagher.
  • 3 Passionist priests leave for China.
  • 1930:
    • Retreat House begun at Jamaica, NY monastery. Known as Bishop Molloy Retreat House.
    • 2 Passionists leave for China.
  • 1931: Eighth Band of 3 Passionists leave for China.
  • 1932:
    • Hyattsville, MD Passionist House of Studies started. Known as St. Gemma Retreat. Founded during the time of Archbishop Curley of Baltimore.
    • Ninth Band of 4 Passionists leave for China.
  • 1933:
    • Canada, York Mills, Toronto foundations stared. Known as Sacred Heart Retreat.
    • Tenth Band of 5 Passionists leave for China.
    • 100 Greek priests hold Synod on Monastery, Pittsburgh.
  • 1934: Passionist China Prefecture raised to Vicariate of Yuanling. Cuthbert O’Gara consecrated Bishop in China by Vicar Apostolic.
  • 1935: Eleventh Band of 3 Passionists leave for China.
  • 1937: Passionists, China, officially commended by Government of China for Sino-Japanese War Relief Services. 13 refugee camps; 2 hospitals, 100,000 refugees housed, fed.
  • 1938:
    • Dixieland Missions, Birmingham Al. Home to Holy Family Retreat of the western province during the time of Bishop Toolen.
    • Novitiate reestablished in Pittsburgh from Springfield.
    • Twelfth Band of 3 Passionists leave for China.
  • 1939: Birmingham, AL Home to St. Joseph’s Retreat of the western province during the time of Bishop Toolen.
  • 1940:
    • Thirteenth Band of 5 Passionists leave for China.
    • Canonization of Gemma Galgani by Pius XII.
  • 1941:
    • World War II chaplains. Eastern province has 50 by 1943.
    • China Missionaries become Contract Chaplains , U.S. Army.
    • Nine China Missionaries imprisoned by Japanese. 3 in Hongkong , 6 in Peking [Beijing].
  • 1946:
    • Fourteenth Band of 9 Passionists leave for China.
    • Houston TX. Holy Name Retreat founded by the western province. Invited by Bishop Byrne.
    • Citrus Heights (Sacramento) CA.. Christ the King Monastery founded. Invited by Bishop Armstrong.
  • 1947: Passionist China Vicariate becomes Diocese of Yuanling; O’Gara, 1st Bishop.
  • 1948:
    • Fifteenth Band of 8 Passionists leave for China. Stay for a short time in Peking before being recalled to the US.
    • Novitiate transferred from Pittsburgh to Union City, NJ for 2 yrs.
  • 1949:
    • Communists take over Government of China & occupy Passionists Missions.
    • St. Ann’s Novena Devotions are a success during the Silver Jubilee of the Scranton, P:A 75,000 pilgrims attend closing outdoor service.
    • Layman’s Passionist Retreat Apostolate in U.S. highly praised by Pius XII.
  • 1950:
    • Passionist Bishop Vincent Strambi canonized by Pius XII; gave life to save Pope.
    • Maria Goretti, Passionist sponsored Saint, canonized by Pius XII
    • Novitiate returns to Pittsburgh, from Union City, NJ
  • 1951:
    • Bishop. O’Gara, Paul Ubinger, Harold Travers, Justin Garvey jailed by Communists in west Hunan, China.
    • Farmington (West Hartford) CT. Holy Family Monastery and Retreat House founded by the eastern province during the time of Bishop O’Brien.
    • Passionist Brothers’ Juniorate established at Holy Family Monastery, West Hartford, CT.
    • World War III threat is considered to be a real national emergency. Passionsts assign 22 chaplains, 16 from the eastern Province. 6 from the western Province.
    • Japan, Osaka – Foreign Mission established there by the western Province.
  • 1952: Centennial of Passionists in U.S.
  Province of
St. Paul of the Cross
Province of
Holy Cross
Priests 388 205 593
Students 99 37 136
Brothers 36 29 65
TOTAL 523 271 794
Novices 24 14 38
Postulants 100 69 169
Monasteries 10 9 19
Houses 4 2 6
Retreat Houses 5   5
Parishes 8   8
Dixieland Missions 3 1 4
Foreign Missions 1 1 2
Missions Preached 559 266 825
Public Exercises 2492 275 2767
Private Exercises 841 181 1022
* Acts, July 1951, Statistics Congregationis, Kalendis Januaris, 1951.