Passionist Historical Archives

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Historical Summary

Word of the Cross (Chelsea, New York)

In 1932, the Passionists purchased the Budd Estate in Chelsea, New York, to build a monastery. However, this 100-acre farm in the Hudson River Valley and Archdiocese of New York remained vacant. In 1976, five Passionists began the Word of the Cross Charismatic Community, balancing their time between preaching, prayer, study, and community. In 1989, due to the lack of vocations and financial realities and the participants' decision to pursue other ministries resulted in the sale of the residence. Fathers Bennet Kelley and Owen Lally continued to rent and minister until 1994 when Father Kelley moved out due to illness. Father Lally moved later in the year.

St. Gemma's (Hyattsville, Maryland)

In 1915, the Passionists attempted to establish a foundation in Washington, D.C., to benefit from the importance of the city and The Catholic University of America. World War I postponed acquisition of property until 1932. The residence on five acres at Riggs and Chillurn Road, Hyattsville, Maryland, ten miles from the university, closed in 1947. Approximately 20 student-priests, including Scripture scholar and ecumenist Father Victor Donovan, ecologian and international thinker Father Thomas Berry, as well as past president of Catholic Theological Society and The Sign magazine editor Father Augustine Paul Hennessy had lived there. The property was sold in 1954.

House of Prayer with Limited Apostolate (Staten Island, New York)

In 1971, Provincial Flavian Dougherty gave Fathers Jerome Bracken, Thomas Brislin, Paul Vaeth, and Brother André Mathieu permission to set up an experimental religious community to balance prayer life and the apostolate. In 1972, the House of Prayer with Limited Apostolate (HOPLA) was begun on 161 Beach Street, Staten Island, New York. When home they met for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, morning and evening prayer, recreation, study, and community meetings. Other Passionists joined the experiment. Visitors were welcomed. In 1978 the five remaining Passionists concluded the experiment.