Vocation and Formation


The Passionist formation begins with Aspirancy. This stage is a time of sharing life in a Passionist community where they live in St. Gabriel Seminary in Koronodal City, South Cotabato, Philippines. During the course of the college formation program, seminarians participate in daily prayer, engage in community ministry, and study philosophy for four years at Notre Dame of Marbel University, same city, to prepare them for later theological education. Under the guidance of a spiritual director, they continue to discern their vocation while learning about the Passionist life.

St. Gabriel Seminarians after their annual retreat with Fr. Rogie Castellano, CP, Passionist vocation director.
Passionist Seminarians
Our postulants Bro. Rolly Toquero (left) and Bro. Kenneth Menorias (right), together with their director Fr. Jovanni Abad, CP (center).

Postulancy is the next level of formation. Approved candidates from St. Gabriel Seminary and other qualified candidates (college graduates and professionals) undergo a full year of human and pastoral formation at St. Vincent Strambi Postulancy House in Caloocan City. Postulants participate in the Sojourn Program, a common curriculum for postulants coming from various male and female congregations in Manila and nearby areas.


Approved candidates from the postulancy program proceed to the novitiate at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Novitiate, Kawas, Alabel, Sarangani, Philippines. The Passionist novitiate is spent praying, living in community, and studying the Passionist charism over one year. The novices explore the Passionist Constitutions in depth, including the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, as well as the fourth vow: to keep alive the memory of the Passion of Jesus in our hearts. Through this charism, we serve Jesus Crucified in our brothers and sisters at the periphery. 

Whether a novice applies for brotherhood or the priesthood, candidates are clothed in the white habit of the Passionists at the beginning of the novitiate year. At the completion of the Novitiate, if the candidates choose and are accepted by the Passionist community, they receive the Passionist sign, which symbolizes their temporary commitment to the Passionist community.

(left to right) Fr. Vivien Nuera, CP, the assistant novice master,  Bro. Jonathan and Bro Joseph, together with the novice master, Fr. Pol Plaza, CP.


Professed Passionists continue their formation at St. Paul of the Cross Theologate in Quezon City, Philippines. The Passionist priests and brothers live together in the Passionist community and participate in its prayer and ministerial life. To pursue priestly ministry, professed Passionists take a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and a Master of Arts in Theology or its equivalent. While other Passionists who wish to be in the brotherhood program take courses or earn degrees in other disciplines that will allow them to contribute to the community.

After second year of theology, the professed brothers under a year-long academic break to experience a foretaste of the pastoral work of the Passionists such as mission to the indigenous peoples, vocations ministry, retreat works, and parish apostolates.

Further, upon completing three years of temporary vows, a Passionist may profess perpetual vows. Priestly candidates are ordained to the diaconate and then to the priesthood.

The professed Passionist brothers with their formators Fr. Eric Funtanares, CP (seated, left) and Fr. Rene Ventajar, CP (seated, right).
May the passion of Christ be always in our hearts.

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