Dear Confreres, Dear Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer, Dear Partners in Mission.
“Indeed they know that only the mystery of the Word Incarnate throws true light on the mystery of humanity and on the full reality of its calling.” Constitution 19
May this holy night awaken in us new faith in the truth of Emmanuel, God-with-us.
The new year of 2015 is coming but first I want to thank God for many the graces which we have received in 2014. It was really a blessed year for us in our Conference of Redemptorists of Europe. God blessed our various collaborations at many levels, and in a special way I would like to mention the mission-evangelization and the formation aspects.
The first of the seven guiding principles of restructuring in our Congregation is: “Restructuring is for mission”. So when I think about mission, I wish to stress at least three important events which took place in 2014: the inauguration of the Interprovincial Community of CRE in Tirana- Kamëz (Albania), REDCAMP (the International Summer School of Evangelization) in Kraków (Poland) and the Interprovincial Redemptorist Pilgrims ministry in Astorga (Spain). The first two events were really new and were done for the first time. The ministry with a temporary community in Astorga was carried out for a second time in CRE. All of these activities are developing and will be continued in the coming year.
I invite all to be involved in the mission actions of CRE, and in special way I invite more confreres for our pastoral work in Albania because this mission is growing day by day. I am waiting for new volunteers for our mission work in Albania. We are also in the process of preparation of the Interprovincial Community in Luxembourg – so we are also waiting for candidates there.
This year was also very blessed with the common formation meetings. The international month of spiritual renewal in Tuchów (Poland) was organized for a second time under the auspices of CRE and Warsaw Province. However, in 2014, for the first time, all our confreres preparing for perpetual vows from our Units in Europe took part in it. It was also open to the confreres who are in the so-called “Transition to Ministry” time. In addition, a great number of formandee took part in the first pilgrimage to the Alphonsian places organized by the Secretariat for Formation of CRE in collaboration with the Naples and Rome Provinces.
The year 2014 saw many celebrations in CRE. It was the Year for the Promotion of the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation, the 100th Anniversary of the proclamation of St. Clement as the Patron Saint of Vienna, the 200th Anniversary of the death of Fr. Francesco Antonio De Paola. We have also just started the Year of Consecrated Life and the first phase of the Jubilee in honour of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
I would like to thank our secretariats, commissions and individual confreres for their excellent work and strong commitment in all the work during 2014 year.
The New Year 2015 will bring us new realities. We will start next year with some new Units: Province of Wien-München (5500); Province of France (5700). Some new Major Superiors will start their office and some of them will continue. At the time of this letter some elections are over; so congratulation to reelected: Johannes Römelt (Saint Clement); Janusz Sok (Warsaw); and to the new ones: François (Zdzisław, Franciszek) Stanula (France); Andriy Rak (Lviv); Metod Marcel Lukačik (Michalovce), Zenon Gieniec (St. Gerard Region).
I will be inviting you for our next evangelization meetings soon. In this coming year the Partnership in Mission Group will plan to organize the first meeting of Redemptorists and the Lay Persons from each Unit to promote partnership in ministry. The second meeting of all Formators from CRE will be in Dublin (Ireland), 2-4 September. Also the General Secretariat for Formation will invite the Formators for the gathering linked to the meeting proposed by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The International Symposium for Redemptorist Publishing Houses will be held from 8th to 12th April in Hawkstone (England). Of course we will continue many other initiatives.
May the New-born God fill us with the light, hope and peace that will allow us to transform the world. May you enjoy the blessings of peace in the New Year.
Jacek Zdrzałek CSsR