You are here

Home » Our Parish

The Passionists


The Passionists (Congregation of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ) were founded in Italy in 1720 by St Paul of the Cross, so that the members might preach the Word of the Cross, to people who had little to live for, people who needed to hear of the mercy and love of God.  As popular preachers, they offered retreats and parish missions across the globe.  Today, that preaching is done more in a parish setting, while retaining the popular preaching programme.

The first Passionists came to Australia in 1843, to begin the first Catholic Mission to the Aborigines.  This was on Stradbroke Island off Brisbane.  They set up their home in an abandoned government building at Dunwich, and from there attempted to get to know the language and culture of the local community.  After three years, this mission was abandoned and they began a sea journey to Perth.  The arrived in Adelaide and didn’t get any further.

The second group came in 1887 to establish what is now the Province of the Holy Spirit.  They arrived in 1887 in Sydney in Marrickville Parish.  They were from the Anglo-Irish Province, mostly Irishmen.  We became an autonomous Province in 1920.  The Province of the Holy Spirit has Communities in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Our local Passionist Community is called St Gabriel’s Retreat.  Gabriel is a Passionist Saint, a man who died as a student in his early 20’s.  He is honoured at St Gabriel’s Shrine in the Abruzzi Region, NE of Rome.  This is a popular place of Pilgrimage for young people in Italy.

The Passionists assumed pastoral responsibility for our parish in 1998.  They are also engaged in works across the Diocese and across the country.

Passionist Community 2017

  • Fr Kevin Dance CP, Parish Priest
  • Fr Brian Gleeson CP, Community Leader, lecturer in Sytematic and Sacramental Theology at Yarra Theological Union, Box Hill. He assists in neighbouring parishes on weekends, mainly St Mary’s Dandenong.  He comes from Cooragulac, Vic.
  • Fr Pastor Mumburi CP 
  • Fr Chris Mithen CP