(Rome) It is a part of Redemptorist ongoing formation for those who do their higher studies in Rome, known as “Collegio Maggiore”, to have an Alphonsian Pilgrimage every alternate year at the end of the second semester of the academic year. We had it this year from 1st July to 5th July 2019. The pilgrimage was organized by Fr. Martin Mackeever C.Ss.R, the director of the Collegio Maggiore and was guided by Fr. Peter Chyla C.Ss.R, the director of the Spirituality course, Rome.
We had the opportunity to visit places of almost all of our initial foundations: Frosinone (from where St. Clement Hofbauer was sent for his Trans-Alpian Missions); Scifelli (another initial formation house); Ciorani (place of Bl. Sarneli); MaterDomini (place of St. Gerard Majella); Scala (the birthplace of the Congregation); Marianella (Birth Place of St. Alphonsus); Naples (the place where St. Alphonsus and Bl. Sarneli grew up together). Yes, we did keep the entire congregation and all the Redemptorists and our missions on all these altars as we prayed and offered the Eucharist.
As part of the pilgrimage, we had not only visited the places but had personal and shared reflections which helped us to get deep into our roots. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet our Redemptoristine sisters who assured of their prayers for all of us and very especially if anyone asks them to pray for any particular intentions. Kindly write to them (firstname.lastname@example.org), the google translator may help us to write to them in the Italian language. We wish our siblings the fullness of God’s blessings and intercession of St. Alphonsus and Bl. Maria Celeste Crostarosa.
It was edifying to see the pastoral involvement of the confreres at Marianella. They have adopted about 200 families locally, providing them with their basic necessities (like food and shelter) with the collaboration of the donors and volunteers. The superior of the community told us that it has been their part of their response to what Pope Francis had requested the religious communities to reach out to the poor and the downtrodden. We could also see how the program is in line with the theme of the General Chapter: “Witnesses of the Redeemer – In Solidarity for the Mission to a Wounded World”. We wish our mother province all the best in their ministry.
On 5th July, having celebrated the concluding mass at the tomb of Bl. Sarneli, the pilgrimage of the year has come to an end with the firm conviction that the spiritual experience we had with our founding pillars of the Congregation will continue to get deeply rooted in our Redemptorist Vocation.
James Kumar C.Ss.R.