Riverdale, New York
Nestled on a hillside along the banks of the beautiful Hudson River stands The Passionist Spiritual Center/Cardinal Spellman Retreat House. It was the last of a series of retreat houses constructed by St. Paul of the Cross Province in the 1960s and sits adjacent to the Passionist Residence in Riverdale. The retreat house, designed by architect Brother Cajetan J. B. Baumann, O.F.M., fulfilled a longtime dream to expand the Passionist presence in the Archdiocese of New York. In 1967, Father Columkille Regan was named the first retreat director. The first men's retreat occurred two months before the April 28, 1967, dedication.
From the start, the Passionist retreat staff employed a team-ministry approach, emphasizing multiple presentations and group participation. It was not long until the retreat house became a center of spiritual renewal for many diverse groups.
Today, Father Paul Fagan is the retreat director. With more than 105 private rooms, The Passionist Spiritual Center hosts many specialized groups and meetings, but the primary ministry continues to be retreats for lay women and men, religious women and men, priests, and youth. The ministry team is made up of three Passionists, two lay women, and a religious sister. The full team consists of the retreat director and the ministry team; a lay administrator, Mr. William Gilberg; and an enthusiastic coordinator of hosted and special events, Brother James Johnson; a dedicated staff and a hard-working lay executive board; a zealous women's auxiliary and a group of committed associates; all working together with the hope and vision of making The Passionist Spiritual Center a vibrant place of spiritual renewal for many years to come.