Dear confreres, consecrated religious, lay associates who share the Redemptorist charism and dear readers of Scala News, on January 16th the Chapter of the Redemptorist Province of Naples elected me provincial superior for the 2015-2018 quadriennium.
I have accepted this decision of my confreres as the will of God, even though I am immediately confronted with my limitations. So, faced with the task that awaits me, I have some fear, considering that, beyond the communities of southern Italy, the communities of the Region of Madagascar are also dependent on the Province of Naples. I truly do count on your prayers so that my task will be a real service to the plentiful redemption of Jesus Christ.
Obviously my new commitment will require that I leave Rome and my post as director of the Center for Redemptorist Spirituality. My four years of service in this office were yet another grace the Lord has granted me. For this I also thank the superior general, Fr. Michael Brehl, and his Council, for the trust they placed in me.
Some projects have been carried out, others are still pending. In these years I have realized that there is much to be done, but one must take into account the resources and time available. It was nice to be able to go into the Units that invited me to preach their retreats. I remember with particular pleasure the experiences of the Courses on Redemptorist Spirituality. For me, having done so many canonical visits in different countries, the arrival of confreres and lay people in Italy was like the return from a visitation, but it was above all else, a moment of grace.
In the courses, I was always encouraged to move forward by the very positive final evaluation of the participants. For them it was a unique experience of fraternity, study and a deepening of their understanding. In their opinion this course should be “mandatory” as a phase of ongoing formation.
It is especially to these confreres and lay people that my thoughts go at this time. I remember them fondly and entrust them to the Lord so that the small “seed” represented by a course in spirituality might continue to produce life in them. I thank those who have worked more closely with me in making these courses happen: Fr. Piotr Chiła (1700-Warsaw), Fr. Juan José Medina Sanchez (2800-Bogotá) and Fr. Antonio Niemiec (1702-Bahia). I thank the other confreres who have contributed with their experience and expertise in the various presentations. To mention all of these at this time would produce a list too long for this message. But permit me to indicate one to represent all of these: the superior general emeritus, Fr. Juan Lasso de la Vega (1500-Madrid).
I also thank the major superiors who made the participation of the confreres possible. I hope that the future initiative of these courses will be supported by a strategy that allows the participation of more people, especially from those Conferences that represent the future of the Congregation.
I have to end with news that will perhaps disappoint many. Considering the time required to appoint a successor to direct the Center for Redemptorist Spirituality, after conversing with the superior general, we arrived at the decision to cancel the Courses on spirituality in 2015. I am sorry to have to say this, because the dates were already set, although not yet communicated to the Congregation because of my situation in the electoral process.
I will do all in my power to continue producing and sending the monthly prayer-reflection “One Body,” which I hope will help us celebrate well the 150 years since the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was entrusted to the Redemptorists. Prayer makes us feel in communion as one missionary body. May the Blessed Virgin and St. Alphonsus, and all our saints and blessed intercede for us.
Fr. Serafino Fiore, C.Ss.R.
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(Translation: Fr. Joseph P. Dorcey, C.Ss.R.)