Origins and objectives:
The General Council established the Center for Redemptorist Spirituality in 1998 in response to a recommendation of the XXII General Chapter of 1997. The Council wished to establish a new structure that would assist the units of the Congregation in carrying out the theme of spirituality during the sexennium. The Center was to develop a renewal program for the confreres based on our Alphonsian and Redemptorist roots.
Fr. Félix Catalá, C.Ss.R., from the Province of San Juan, Puerto Rico, was appointed director. The Center’s objectives were articulated in May, 1998. The strategies and activities of the Center were worked out by the end of 1998. In January, 2001, Fr. Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R., from the Province of Bangalore, India, was appointed assistant director by the Council. The General Council, following the recommendation of the XXIII General Chapter of 2003 to deepen the reflection on spirituality, reappointed Frs. Felix and Ivel to continue the work of the Center for Spirituality for the Sexennium of 2003-2009.
Father Serafino Fiore of the Province of Naples was appointed to be Director of the Center for Spirituality beginning January 1, 2011. In continuity with the Center’s previous work and in dialogue with the General Government, he is seeking to further focus the Center’s objectives by:
- Bringing about a consciousness and deepening of Redemptorist spirituality in the various levels of the Congregation, starting with the Conference level.
- Contextualize Redemptorist Spirituality amidst the broader “Life in the Spirit” concept of Postulatum #4 of the XXII General Chapter (1997) in order that it be of service to the Church.
The Center for Spirituality is at the service of all professed Redemptorists, and also, in a broader sense, the entire Redemptorist Family made up of many lay people and other religious families. Particular attention will be paid to initial and continuing formation.
Of the resources available to the Center, there will be a priority for:
- Continuing the annual Spirituality courses and pilgrimages to the historical sites of the Congregation: Increasing the number of courses and languages from two to three. (XXII General Chapter – 1997 – Postulatum #4.1)
- Authoring a digital monthly prayer experience rooted in the Redemptorist charism to be sent to the entire Congregation and others interested in Redemptorist spirituality.
- Facilitating retreats, meetings, etc., at the (V)Province and Conference levels, according to needs, requests and possibilities.
- Collaborating with the General Secretariat for Formation in the work of Redemptorist formation in order to respond to the needs of formators and candidates,
- To be available and willing to consider other requests and inquiries coming from the Congregation at large.