Clergy Biographies

Very Rev. Francis J. Passenant, V.F., Pastor

Fr. Francis J. Passenant was ordained a priest in February 1979 and served his first twelve years in parish work and the next thirteen years as a chaplain for the New York City Department of Corrections. He came to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in 2004 as an associate pastor under Msgr. Joseph Funaro. In June 2013, he assumed responsibilities as administrator of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. In his administrative assignment, Fr. Passenant plays a key role in developing spiritual, pastoral and social programs and is involved in the fiscal operations of the parish. In 2019 Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio appointed him as regional dean (vicar forane) preside over the nine Catholic parishes in Queens North Deanery #6. He was installed as pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs R.C. Church on June 17, 2023.


Bishop Paul R. Sanchez, Pastor Emeritus

Bishop Paul R. Sanchez became pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish on June 30, 2012, just weeks before his Episcopal ordination on July 11, 2012, as an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Bishop Sanchez served as an auxiliary bishop until his retirement was accepted by Pope Francis in November 2021. He served as pastor of OLQM until June 17, 2023, and the naming of Very Rev. Francis J. Passenant, V. F., as the seventh pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church. Bishop Sanchez speaks English and Spanish and currently resides at OLQM as pastor emeritus.


Rev. Antonin Kocurek, Parochial Vicar

In addition to serving as an assistant in Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish, Fr. Antonin ministers to immigrants in our diocese from the Czech Republic. He celebrates Mass in the Czech language every Sunday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Astoria






Rev. Msgr. Joseph Cunningham, Sr. Priest in Residence

Fr. Cunningham was assigned to Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Forest Hills when he was first ordained. He was Director of the office of Liturgy in the Brooklyn/Queen Diocese for many years. He then served as Rector of St. Vincent’s Seminary in Florida. Upon returning to the diocese, Fr. Cunningham was named Pastor of St. Gregory the Great Parish in Bellerose, where he served for many years before his retirement. He now resides with us in the OLQM rectory. He was named Monsignor in March 2020 by Bishop DiMarzio.