Monastery Moments

There is a lot of confusion over Halloween.  Some consider it a satanic festival.  This is not true.  While it began with a pagan ceremony, it was converted into a Christian custom by the early church.  Many religious Orders go to the graves of their deceased members and clean the graves on Halloween.


Halloween is on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honoring the dead. Halloween was referred to as All Hallows Eve and dates back to over 2000 years ago.  Halloween is derived from the term All Hollows Eve and "Hallomass," meaning Holy evening.

The Christian meaning of Halloween began to evolve as early as AD 270 from the Celt’s culture in Ireland who practiced a special costume party event the night before their annual feast of “Samhain,” which had a two-fold purpose. Samhain was not only a memorial to commemorate their deceased relatives but also a thanksgiving to close the end of the summer season of light and to prepare diligently for entering into the darkness of the long winter season.

The Druids, who were the Celt’s ruling class, required of everyone to attempt tricking the evil spirits by dressing up to look like goblins, witches, and devils, and by carving ugly, monstrous faces with gourds lighted with candles, and by putting treats outside their door. The challenge, according to superstition, was to divert the evil spirits attention away from their feast the following day.

The pagan feast of Samhain was replaced by the Holy Day of “All Saints” provided an opportunity to be reminded of and learn about Christian heroes and martyrs along with the Celt‘s continuing to officially recognize and commemorate the souls of their blessed dead who had been declared saints.


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. 

Vocation to the Passionist Way of Life

Many of the Laity have adopted this Halloween Custom.

​​​​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,

October 26th

Just contact Fr. Jim Barry, C.P. at 847-384-0134 or Our address is 86-45 Edgerton Blvd, Jamaica, New York. Bring a friend.

Monks on their way to clean Cemetery.

Passionist Profiles