Partnership in Mission for the North American Conference

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(Denver, USA) Momentum for Partnership in Mission continues to build in the Denver Province. Fr. Greg May, who will join the Provincial Office as treasurer in July, also will serve as Denver Province liaison to the Secretariat for Partnership in Mission for the North American Conference. “Redemptorists have always worked with lay women and men in the mission, and I’m fully committed to working with our Redemptorists Associates and Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer,” he said. “Partnership in Mission is an all-encompassing term that includes many forms of collaboration, and I am eager to devote more energy and resources to this initiative.”

Left to right: Fr. Greg May; Wendy Barnes and Fr. Rodney Olive; Anne Walsh; and Fr. David Louch.

Fr. Greg and Wendy Barnes, a Lay Missionary of the Most Holy Redeemer and long-time employee of Liguori Publications, represented the Denver Province at the Secretariat for Partnership in Mission meeting last week at the Baltimore Province headquarters in the Bronx, led by Anne Walsh and Fr. David Louch of the Edmonton-Toronto Province, Co-Chairs of the North American Secretariat for Partnership in Mission.   Anne is enthusiastic about the groundwork laid at the retreat in Oconomowoc last October, and excited about the interest for Partnership in Mission throughout the North American Conference. “There is a definite need for dedicated time and effort to discern a call to the mission, and formation in living the Redemptorist charism,” she said. “We also need to develop support structures to adequately equip and commission Redemptorists and lay partners to collaborate in ministry.”

Representatives completed an initial revision of “Living Redemptorist Spirituality,” to be printed by Liguori Publications. An initial 7,500 copies will be available for Partnership in Mission and vocation offices throughout the North American Conference. The Denver Province will receive 1,000 copies this summer. Guidelines for Redemptorist Associates, including minimal formation requirements and a procedure for initiation, were formulated. These Guidelines will be presented for approval to the North American Conference. A complete structured formation process for Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer has yet to be defined.

“Both groups will participate in Circles of Redemptorist Associates for spiritual enrichment and support, but there are important distinctions: Redemptorist Associates make a commitment to a Redemptorist group and are involved in their own personal ministry. Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer make a commitment to and are engaged in active ministry in the Denver Province.” Fr. Greg said. Other provinces have been forming Circles of Redemptorist Associates at ministry sites for several years. Anne shared a resource for formation – a handbook for Redemptorist Associates – that can be used and adapted anywhere in the North American Conference. It contains resources for the start-up phase of Circles of Redemptorist Associates, the initial retreat and about two years’ worth of material that can be used in the formation of Redemptorist Associates.

Fr. Greg looks forward to forming a Commission to oversee the development of Partnership in Mission in the Denver Province. He said that the Commission will be responsible for defining a policy that will encourage confreres to work with the process of lay collaboration, establishing formation requirements, implementing General Government and North American Conference policies, and working with Circles of Redemptorist Associates. Stay tuned!

Kristine Stremel

Photo Courtesy of Wendy Barnes

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