Passionist Profiles



Brother Robert McKenna, CP was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on the 4th of November 1932. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1952. After his Basic Training, in Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, he was sent to Army Language School in Monterey, California to learn Korean. He spent 38 months in Korea in an Army Intelligence Unit. He then was honorably discharged and returned to Pittsburgh. He entered the Passionist Novitiate in Pittsburgh and took his Vows in 1966. His first assignment was at St. Michael’s Monastery in Union City as a junior brother. He then went to Holy Family Monastery, in W. Hartford. Brother returned to St. Michaels and worked in the print shop, where The Sign Magazine was printed. Brother then received the second vocation to the Missions. He was assigned to our Passionist Mission in the Philippines, living in Paranaque City and Quezon City. There, he ran the Benefactor’s Society, cared for the sick, by bringing them Communion and serving as a Eucharistic Minister during Mass. Brother returned to the United States several years ago and was assigned to St. Paul’s Monastery in Pittsburgh. After a few years, it was determined that he needed health care. He was sent here to Immaculate Conception to our Senior Care Facility. Brother is an accomplished artist. He participates in the art program of the Health Care Unit. He has a brother, who is a Passionist priest, Fr. Jerome McKenna, CP.  He is pastor of our Parish in Atlanta Georgia.

Vocation to the Passionist Way of Life


The Pre-Novitiate experience is located at our Passionist Formation Community located on the campus of King's College in Wilkes Barre, PA. Candidates reside here and participate in the daily prayer life of the Passionists, engage in ministry in the local area and take classes that will prepare them for later theological formation. They learn about Passionist life through the input of formation directors, and they continue to discern their vocation under the guidance of a spiritual director.  The length of the Pre-Novitiate experience is usually 1-2 years, depending on the background of the candidate.



Passionist Novitiate is a one-year experience of prayer, life in community and focused study of the Passionist charism. The Novitiate is currently located at Christ the King Retreat in Citrus Heights, California. At the beginning of the Novitiate year, candidates are clothed in the black habit of the Passionists. Upon completion of the Novitiate, they make temporary vows to the Passionist community and receive the Passionist sign.  

Theological Studies: 

Passionist students continue their initial formation at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. CTU is a graduate school of theology and ministry where candidates from many religious communities of men and women, as well as lay students, engage in formation for ministry in the Church. Candidates who wish to pursue priestly ministry are enrolled in the Master of Divinity degree program. Candidates for Passionist brotherhood also study theology and ministry, as well as taking courses in other disciplines that will enable them to contribute to the life of the community. Candidates for the priesthood are ordained to the diaconate after they make their perpetual vows and then to the priesthood after their service as a deacon.  After final profession for brothers, and after ordination for priests, the Provincial Superior assigns them to a particular Passionist community and ministry.  


Come and  See the Passionists

Immaculate Conception Monastery

cordially invites

Men from 18 to 30 years to come and

see the Passionists up-close and

personal. Join us for Evening Prayer

and Supper at 5 PM on Friday, December 27th.

Just contact Fr. Jim Barry, C.P. at

847-384-0134 or

Our address is 8645 Edgerton Blvd, Jamaica, New York. 

Bring a friend.