The Confraternity of the Passion


What’s a confraternity?

Today in the Catholic world, ministry and spiritual formation are concentrated, for the most part, in parishes and dioceses. It was not always so. The concentration–some historians call it the “parochialization” of the church– began in the 16th century with the Council of Trent, in response to Protestantism and the need for church reform. The process didn’t take place overnight– nothing in the church happens overnight.

Before then, spiritual formation and a good number of Christian ministries, for example, prison ministry, bereavement ministry, the instruction of children, various prayer ministries, etc… also took place through confraternities, sodalities and third orders attached to religious orders.

At the time of St. Paul of the Cross (+1774), founder of the Passionists, confraternities still played a large part in the life of the Catholic Church. Today, they’re less prominent.

History of the Confraternity of the Passion

The Confraternity of the Passion began in April 6, 1755 when a group of laypeople in Frosinone, Italy, already members of a prayer group, approached the Passionists about helping them “ observe the liturgical feasts and assist those in need.” They knew the Passionists through parish missions and retreats they conducted.

Since then, “the Passionists have generally felt committed to promote the Confraternity of the Passion as a way to continue parish missions and retreats and achieving what St. Paul of the Cross sought to do with prayer groups. The association was also seen as a spiritual movement for Passionists to promote the memory of the passion and make it part of daily family and social life,” writes Passionist historian Fr. Fabiano Giorgini, (History of the Passionists, p 160)

What’s the Confraternity of the Passion?

  1. It’s a lay organization enabling men and women to take part in the liturgy and inspiring them to work for the good of those in need.
  2. It promotes the memory of the passion “as part of daily family and social life.”
  3. It fosters the ministry of the Passionists.

How can you participate?

  1. Keep the Passion of Jesus in mind each day in your life and your prayer.
  2. Send your name and email (or address) to be enrolled. We’ll email you a monthly calendar with the lectionary readings and some reflections on the feasts of the month.
  3. Follow this blog and other Passionist sites online to enter the mystery of Jesus Christ as it unfolds in your life and the days of the church year.
  4. Some Passionist locations have meetings for members of the Confraternity of the Passion or groups associated with the Passionists. At Immaculate Conception, Jamaica, New York we meet the last Sunday of the month (except in July and August} for Mass and reflection.
  5. Other Passionist locations and resources in North America and worldwide are indicated below.


Father Victor Hoagland, CP 

Resources ( Blog based on the feasts and readings of the church year. Jamaica Confraternity )  (Resource site on the Passion of Jesus,  Jamaica Confraternity)             (Confraternity, St. Paul Monastery, Pittsburgh, Pa)   (Passionist Oblates, Whitesville, KY)           (Holy Shroud)


Other Passionist Locations and Resources   (Passionists, Rome) (Passionists International)   (Passionists, Eastern Province, USA)             (Passionists, Western Province, USA) (Passionist Nuns, Whitesville, KY) (Passionist Sisters, Farmington, CT)   (Australia)