All are welcome in this place!

Passionist History


The Passionist Community entered the New York area in the 1920's at the invitation of Bishop Thomas Molloy. With the purchase of the Degnon estate in Jamaica, the Passionists found a home for their burgeoning Parish and Retreat Ministries. The first retreat and public Mass were both in November 1924.

Over the next few years impressive growth was realized in the Retreat Movement as well as the Immaculate Conception Parish and Monastery. Through the 1930's and 1940's the Passionist Fathers and Brothers continued to bring the message of St. Paul of the Cross to an ever increasing number of New Yorkers. In 1935, the first Police mid-week retreat was held and was well attended. The Police retreat continues today, as well as one for Firefighters, in order to serve the dedicated civil service of this great city.

The new wing of the Retreat House was opened in 1955 to respond to the growing number of retreatants. Until the early 1970's the Jamaica house specialized in mens retreats but responded to social changes by adding womens and recovery retreats . The Youth Ministry began in the 1960's and blossomed during the late 1980's. The Youth Program has ministered to thousands of Grade School and High School students from across metropolitan New York and New Jersey. There have been literally tens of thousands of people who have experienced the benefits of a Passionist retreat. The 1990's found the Bishop Molloy Retreat House with numerous day and evening programs which supplement the weekend retreat schedule, and which continue through today. There have been special prayer services, workshops and seminars to farther help the retreatant community in their spiritual development.

As you spend time here at the Retreat House please be open to God's love. We hope your retreat experience is enriching and inspiring. Please consider bringing a friend with you on your next retreat.