Passionist History

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Passionist Ministry in America

When the first Passionists set foot on American soil in 1852, there were only 31 states. The country was still very young. However, several decades of immigration meant a steadily growing Catholic population. There was much work to be done.

Passionist Historical Archives On-line Gallery

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With this virtual gallery we are making some of the treasures of our Passionist heritage, especially here in North America accessible to everyone.

The Passionist Historical Archives is the repository for uniquely valuable records which document the history of the Congregation of the Passion in the United States of America from the arrival of the first Passionists in 1852 to the present day. Please consider a donation to help support the work of the archives. For more information, please contact: Father Robert Carbonneau, C.P.

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Passionists’ Arrival in Pittsburgh – 1852

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Transcript of Passionists Arrival in Pittsburgh - 1852

Chronological Records of the Foundation of the Passionist Retreat at Birmingham, Pittsburgh, PA., United States, North America, Sunday, November 14, 1852.


In the year 1852, the Right Rev. Michael O’Connor, Bishop of Pittsburgh, in the State of Pennsylvania, in North America, had to go to Rome for important affairs of his new Diocese. One of the objects of his journey to the Eternal City was to bring with him to his...

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Inaugural Issue of the Sign Magazine – 1921

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The Sign magazine was a national, Catholic monthly publication from 1921 to 1982. The founder and editor until 1934 was Fr. Harold Purcell, C.P.

This is the cover and editorial of the inaugural issue – 1921

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A Meeting with Mao

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Passionist missionary to China Fr. Cormac Shanahan’s notes from his meeting with Mao Zedong, 1944.

Chung Yang Li
June 12th Mao Tsi Tung

Very glad to welcome you. Our common idea is to crush Japan, crush fascism. With this idea you have come to Yenan, to the headquarters of C.P. Briefly this is our idea added today to it is this welcome to you.

We have no other idea. China and world must unite. To you a poor place never regarded in China’s history as an easy place to live or a wealthy place to live or a wealthy place but we welcome each one of you to this remote and backward part of China where you will see Kuomintang and Communists uniting and fighting against Japan. Welcome to you all!

Another word. You come at a propitious time the opening of the second front secure. Let us celebrate the great influence this will have in Europe, with Hitler overthrown, in the Pacific with Japan downed in China, a united advance. The C.P.s rejoice in this event. 2nd front result of decisions at Teheran and Moscow – to strike fascism from East, West and South...

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The Chapel Car

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The Passionist Chapel Car brought the Mass and Catholic instruction to rural North Carolinians, including Black Catholics and non-Catholics in the 1920s and 1930s. The priest in this photo is Fr. Luke Hay, C.P. This photo was taken at the 1932 Catholic Daughters of America Convention in Atlantic City, NJ.

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