Seminarians’ contribution to the parish Lenten retreats in Poland

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Every year the Province of Warsaw leads ca. 100 parish missions (8 days), the same amount of renewal missions of the same and around 700 parish retreats (4 days). A big part of them is conducted in Advent and Lent. According to our tradition, our students from the Major Seminary in Tuchów helps the missionaries in the 5th Week of Lent.

Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, in humility of heart and persevering in prayer, Redemptorists as apostolic men and genuine disciples of Saint Alphonsus follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy; denying themselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, they share in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life and language, that they may bring to people plentiful redemption. (Constitutions CSsR, 20)

Every year the fifth week of the Lent is a busy time for the students of Major Seminary of the Redemptorists in Tuchów, Poland. This year it was not different. The majority of them with the missionaries of the Province of Warsaw left the walls of the seminary and went out to conduct parish and school Lenten retreats. These young polish Redemptorists preached the Gospel from the Western to Eastern edges of Poland and learned how to serve people as missionaries.

It wouldn’t be possible if missionaries hadn’t allowed the seminarians to be involved in this kind of Redemptorist activity. The idea that the seminarians should participate in this aspect of pastoral ministry in the Province rose many years ago when missionaries from the unit sent requests to our superiors to allow students to take part in the retreats and missions. It gave them an opportunity to experience how our Redemptorist vocation may be realised and moreover, it prepares them to fulfil main aim of our charism: the preaching of the Gospel to the poor and the most abandoned.

This year seminarians had a chance to preach in Kraków, in Rzeszów, in Gdynia, in Białystok, in Słupca (near Poznań) and in many other places. It was a powerful time of sharing with others our experience of faith and the touch of God. We hope, that the encounter with the people will bring good results in the future ministry. We are grateful to God for this great experience of ministry, as we could become more and more immersed in the mystery of Christ, who had called us together to continue His great mission.

Bro. Piotr Mazur CSsR, the Major Seminary of the Redemptorists in Tuchów, Poland