SPIRITUALITY

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Communicanda I – 1997-2003

Our most important challenge

COMMUNICANDA 1
Nr. Prot. 0000 0028/98
Rome, 25 February 1998

Dear Confreres,

1. “We always thank God for you all, and always mention you in our prayers. For we remember before our God and Father how you put your faith into practice, how your love made you work so hard and how your hope in Our Lord Jesus Christ is firm” (1 Thess. 1, 2-3). Five months after the close of the XXII General Chapter and on this day, the anniversary of the Approbation of our Constitutions, we send you this document as a follow up to the Chapter, indicating as well some possible ways by which we hope to be of service to the Congregation.

2. The General Chapter entrusted to the General Government the composition of a Communicanda in order to introduce a more thorough study of the Message and the Orientations already sent to the whole Congregation (Postulata of the XXII General Chapter, 1.1.4.). You are already aware that these Chapter documents are centred on spirituality, the theme chosen for the present sexennium, in the light of which the Congregation wishes to understand and live every element of its life. The desire to treat this subject was, however, already expressed in some of the pre-chapter Regional Meetings, confirming that this need is felt throughout a significant part of our missionary Family.

3. We consider, moreover, that the choice of spirituality is in keeping with the direction taken in recent years by General Chapters. This is clear from the respective Final Documents and in particular from the commitment “to put the emphasis on the explicit, prophetic and liberating proclamation of the Gospel to the poor, allowing ourselves to be evangelised by the poor” (XXI General Chapter, Final Document, No. 11). In this context, the option for spirituality can be seen in all its depth and urgency.

4. This Communicanda does not intend to approach the subject of spirituality in an exhaustive or scholastic manner. Rather, we wish to launch a reflection on this subject chosen by the General Chapter and offer our confrères some help to be authentically Redemptorist today. Spirituality is essentially a personal and communitarian experience of God in Christ, the Redeemer, by the work of the Holy Spirit. But we know too that this personal experience is lived out differently according to culture and Region. So, we hope that this document will be taken up by each Unit and studied by all the members.

5. We wish to call your attention to a certain risk of which the Chapter itself was aware. The subject of spirituality could divert us from our everyday work and from the pressing and difficult problems of the mission. Let us say at once that spirituality does not mean a turning in on oneself. Neither is it an escape from personal responsibility nor from an essential involvement in the events of our daily life. We have no desire to theorise on spirituality, but to remain keenly aware of our customary duties as well as the urgent needs which call for our effective response. In addition to our own efforts, we also depend on the collaboration of the laity, who have become closely involved in the ministry of different Units. If, on the one hand, they can assimilate our spirituality by living and working with us, they likewise can help us to remain closely connected with reality and life’s daily problems.

6. We do not want to give the impression that we are discussing this subject of spirituality simply because it is fashionable today. We are aware of the present popularity of spirituality and even its commercial success. There exists a veritable supermarket of spirituality, ranging from “New Age” to assorted esoteric sects, which seduce many of our contemporaries. This phenomenon has little in common with the demands of a revealed faith, which begins by an obedient listening to the Word and aims at a responsible encounter with a person, Jesus Christ.

7. Spirituality is something which should unite the entire Congregation. Nonetheless, we must not forget the great diversity of its situations and expectations. This is true both of Regions and cultures as well as of individuals. There are some confrères who are fortunate to possess a stable and solid spirituality, while others are confused and yet others who see themselves still searching for something which seems to elude them. These interior states, in which the grace of God mingles mysteriously with the events of one’s life, are not limited to any particular age group. Each Unit should be aware of these different situations and adapt these reflections appropriately.

The reasons for this choice

8. We must ask ourselves first of all: why did the Chapter choose the subject of spirituality as the most important challenge for the whole Congregation in this sexennium? A response to this question will enable us to make our first entry into the urgency of the theme. We are convinced that the following reasons provide some answers to this question. However, we expect that our thinking will be examined in each community.

9. The Congregation has evidently identified an excessive activism in our life or, at the very least, an insufficient measure of reflection in the face of the abundant activity we undertake. We need to rediscover the deepest reasons for what we do. For Redemptorists, these reasons should bring us back essentially to a person, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer: “the one thing necessary” (Luke 10, 42). The Chapter itself clearly recognised this need when it said that our “principal concern ought to be the place which God occupies in our existence”(Final Message, n. 3). This is a reality we dare not ignore. We will find human fulfilment and realise ourselves as Redemptorists according to the measure in which we do indeed make God the centre of our life.

10. A further reason for this choice by the Chapter is clearly linked to the present moment of Redemptorist history. Many of us remember our formation — we refer to the years preceding the Second Vatican Council — which was greatly inspired by the norms and values of observance. In the wake of the Council, another understanding became popular and emphasised the fulfilment of the person and his freedom. The events of recent years suggest that these models are not mutually exclusive. If in the judgement of some, the first model had at times favoured “an observance without heart”, in the opinion of others, the second model at times created “a freedom without direction”. As a frequent result, dialogue within the community has just been marking time, apostolic projects proved to be of short duration and there came about a crisis of identity. We believe that the General Chapter saw in spirituality an element capable of making sense of the concept of freedom in community by outlining a possible and more credible way forward for the immediate future.

11. The urgent choice of spirituality may have yet another explanation. We live in an era of constant change and of ever increasing technological progress, even though not on at an equal rate in all the Regions. It requires an effort to keep in step with the times in which we live. Not only technological and scientific changes but, in a more profound way, the cultural changes that surround us severely test the standards by which we live. If in the past our Rule, our traditions, heroic confrères or the Saints on our altars have all constituted certain credible points of reference for us, today we find ourselves unsure as we face a new world in which the relevance of these models is not easily recognised.

To be able to speak convincingly of “following Christ” in a world which apparently has no one to follow, we ourselves need a steady anchor which prevents us from drifting with the tide and living in a purely superficial manner. We recognise the need for something which would help us achieve a synthesis within ourselves in order to arrive at an inner cohesion, independent of external factors that are forever changing. This “something” the Chapter has glimpsed in spirituality.

12. Our difficulty in achieving this inner cohesion has roots, too, in some developments in theological thinking. Consider how much more broadly the notion of Redemption has been conceived in recent times. Those of us who have been formed with a certain emphasis on the salvation of the soul, have gradually seen this concept extended to include the salvation of the whole human person (Const. 5) and we now understand that “Copiosa Redemptio” places us in a new relationship with other cultures and religions. We cannot exclude from its scope such issues as ecology, the defence of human rights, etc. On the purely theoretical level it is not difficult to understand this relationship, but in practice how many of us have experienced a decrease of missionary zeal, precisely because we are faced with a new purpose which often seems to be beyond our own personal resources?

13. We have had many opportunities for study and ongoing formation, whether on extraordinary occasions, such as the centenaries of our saints, beatifications, etc, or in the normal programme of the various Units. We have to admit, however, that a profound renewal of our life is not always commensurate with the considerable effort made in organising these initiatives. We must surely admit that we feel in the deepest part of ourselves that rupture between faith and life which continues to be one of the disconcerting signs of our time. Precisely because we have so many possibilities to increase our knowledge and be renewed, we are all the more distressed by the difficulty we experience in incarnating in our ordinary life all that we are learning.

14. Our way of praying reflects clearly this dichotomy between faith and life. Already the Chapter of 1991 recalled that “we abandoned ‘spiritual practices’ considered inauthentic or unsuited to the present day without substituting others capable of filling the vacuum produced” (Final Document, n. 33). This has resulted in the recurrent lack of a programme of common prayer and, in general, in a certain spiritual void in which many confrères have difficulty in finding their way. Given the spiritually listless atmosphere of some communities, we might well ask ourselves whether it is legitimate to speak of these as a religious community at all? We have to ask if it is right, in the light of our consecration, to be passively resigned to such a secularised ambience. We must ask ourselves if this manner of presenting our community life — or rather not presenting it — can have even a minimal attraction for the younger generation? Each confrere must search for his own personal responsibility in this area.

15. This spiritual void has often been the reason for confrères searching elsewhere for other forms of spirituality or ecclesial movements: seeking outside what they could not find within the community. No one, of course, can be denied the right to his own personal spiritual development. But where this phenomenon continues to exist, certain questions should be asked. Is the community capable of creating a suitable environment for the fulfilment of the confrères? Does it offer that human space necessary for the expression of our deepest desires? Does it seek to respond to these desires in the context of “a well ordered community” (Const. 44-45; Stat. 041) and in an satisfactory programme of prayer?

16. We cannot remain indifferent either to the number of confrères who leave the Congregation after a few years of profession or ministry. The very fact that some of them are still unhappy after leaving makes it imperative to ask if we have helped them to fulfil themselves humanly and spiritually. Even though similar phenomena have appeared in periods before ours and are perceived in other religious families as well, we cannot exempt ourselves from posing certain questions. What did these confrères seek and not find in a Redemptorist community? Do we consider ourselves fraternally responsible for each other’s vocation? These questions naturally ought to make us think not only of the confrères who leave, but also of those who, while remaining in the Congregation, have nonetheless adopted, in an imperceptible way, an aimless style of life which calls in question the very basic reasons for our living together.

17. In a more general sense, we must admit that in our daily life, in our interpersonal relations and in our pastoral work, we do not always succeed in communicating the real reasons for our consecration and our ministry, answering “anyone who asks us to explain the hope we have in us” (1 Pet. 3,15). Have we learned to share our religious experiences among ourselves? What would the world lack today if suddenly it were deprived of the Redemptorist charism? What have the insights of Alphonsus to say to our culture? Are we succeeding in showing how our Redemptorist spirituality is contemporary and apt for today and are we offering it to the laity that they may share it? Are we proposing it to young people as a way of life ? In what way do we understand ourselves to be “a school of true evangelical spirituality”(Vita Consecrata, 93)?

18. These questions not only call for serious consideration, but also for an effort to recover our particular identity and to restore our authentic family milieu. Perhaps a good way of gauging where we stand spiritually is the measure to which, as individuals and as members of a community, we are content and at peace. We all ought to recover a sense of belonging and a healthy pride in being a Redemptorist. Perhaps this is the fundamental reason which led the General Chapter to opt for spirituality.

Elements of redemptorist spirituality

19. Those who took part in the XXII General Chapter, followed it via the Internet or have read the Final Message, the Orientations and thePostulata, are aware of what the Chapter wanted to say to the Congregation. They have probably noticed that the Chapter spoke more frequently of spirituality rather than Redemptorist spirituality. We do not suggest that there exists a dichotomy between these values. Basic spirituality lived out according to our proper vocation becomes Redemptorist spirituality. Here we wish merely to draw attention to the language of the Chapter. Its insistence on the use of the simple word “spirituality” implies at least three consequences.

20. The first is that we are becoming aware of the need to return to the fundamentals of our spiritual life. Much more than any specific knowledge of our charism, we need to rediscover the true structure of a life of faith and the basic meaning of our consecration. If knowledge of our specifically Redemptorist charism becomes an end in itself, it runs the risk of becoming simply an academic exercise.

21. The second consequence is that we must not err by being short sighted, that is, by focussing our attention simply on what is specific to us and forgetting the wider horizon of spirituality in which the Redemptorist charism is to be found. “In the vast holy Church, the Congregation is not a side chapel. Its mission places it right in the choir of the Church, where the altar is and where is celebrated the Passover of Christ for the salvation of the world. It is called to perform that which is essential, to prolong Christ and the process of salvation which is in Christ. What then is its specific mission within the whole Church? Its specific mission is to carry out the essential mission of the Church, fully and intensively” (F. X. Durrwell, C.Ss.R). We cannot claim that our spirituality has exclusive elements, marking us out as distinctive in the Church. Many of the factors traditionally considered as Redemptorist — preaching to the poor, parish missions and the Devout Life — can be found in other forms of spirituality and in other religious Families. It is rather the manner in which these elements are bound together which, in a certain sense, characterises us. This manner in its turn includes many other factors: personal life-style, how we relate to others, how we speak to them and a specially friendly community atmosphere. All these elements make those who approach us and know us well say instinctively “he is a Redemptorist”.

22. A third consequence, and surely the most important, is that the choice of spirituality, even before that of “Redemptorist spirituality” obliges each one of us to focus our attention on our personal relation with Christ, to see if this is “the primary motivating force of our way of life” (Final Message, n. 1). “Whatever the context, we believe that all Redemptorists are being called at this time to focus on a central aspect of our spirituality, i.e., on how we nourish and express our relationship in faith with Jesus (Final Message, n. 3). It is the Holy Spirit who ceaselessly draws us to this relationship and energises it. It is He who awakens the desire to respond fully, making each one of us configured to Christ (Vita Consecrata, 19). It is He who convinces our intellect, making it accept in joy and love what in the eyes of the world may appear as foolishness.

23. Turning more directly to our Redemptorist spirituality, we will find in our Constitutions ample material to define it. By praying them and studying them, we can understand the meaning of our vocation and the essential traits which characterise it. These pages provide us with the means to understand the various aspects of our Redemptorist identity, which substantially consists in “the following of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, by preaching the word of God to the poor” (Const.1). A growing familiarity with our “Rule of Life” will enable us to discover a cohesive vision of our spirituality which will otherwise remain rather vague and intangible.

24. In the light of this basic choice and of our tradition which has developed from it, we can single out some constituent elements among which we must always distinguish what is essential from that which is peripheral. We draw these to your attention without claiming to have the final word or to follow a strict methodology:

We are Redemptorists: our spirituality is rooted in the theology of the Incarnation.
We are missionaries and therefore essentially proclaimers of the Gospel, the heart of which is mercy.
The Redemptorist is “popular” in that he has an easy way with people and uses simple language.
Redemptorist spirituality is at once the source and the fruit of Mission (Final Message, n. 6).
The Redemptorist has compassion for the poor.
Our pastoral involvement, especially with the poor and abandoned people, is a constitutive element of our spirituality (Final Message, n. 8).

25. We believe likewise that our devotion to the Mother of Perpetual Help should be greater and more apparent in our spirituality. The zeal and creativity of Redemptorists have made this icon the most widely known in the world; it can help to make our charism better understood. Furthermore, the title of “Perpetual Help” is completely in line with the meaning of “Copiosa Redemptio“.

26. Our spirituality has a communitarian dimension. It is in community that we absorb it. It needs to be evident in certain community structures, especially in the common celebration of the Word of God, the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist (cf. Const. 27). As we recall the story of our own vocation, we will admit that we did not learn spirituality from books, but rather from our confrères: from their life-style, from their particular way of carrying out their apostolate, which we observed and gradually assimilated.

From its very beginning, our Congregation was characterised by the way it made certain pastoral decisions. For example, Christ’s preference for the poor was represented in the founding of our houses in more remote places, inhabited by the most abandoned people. This should lead us to ask ourselves if today we are really seen by others to be giving concrete witness to this preference in the places where we minister, and if our community and apostolic structures are consonant with this witness.

27. The choice which the Chapter has made in favour of Redemptorist spirituality is therefore of vital importance for us, at least for three basic reasons:

  • a psychological reason, meaning that in our spirituality our very identity is at stake. It is on the Redemptorist charism that we have wagered our lives. It is through this intuition of the Spirit that we first discovered the person we should be. The particular difficulties of our times or the inadequacy of our structures are of course problems, but they can be overcome if we all have at heart a similar objective;
  • a theological reason, recalling the words of our Founder: “God wishes all of us to be saints, each one according to his state; the religious as religious, the secular as a secular, the priest as a priest, the married as married, the merchant as merchant, the soldier as a soldier and so on of any other state” (Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ, Opere Ascetiche, 1, p. 79). If each one is called to be a saint according to their state in life, we also are called to embrace our situation and to search as Redemptorists for the will of God today;
  • an apostolic reason, reminding us that to go to the poor without bringing God with us runs the risk of merely exploiting them. It was from his experience of the love of God that Alphonsus better understood the needs of the poor. If we devalue our spiritual life and still claim to be credible in the eyes of the poor, we are deluding ourselves and deceiving the poor. Our apostolic work itself is open to failure.

Some reflections on our life

28. “We believe that the Congregation is being offered today a great grace of conversion to the Redeemer”. This phrase from the Final Message of the Chapter (n. 5) risks being taken for just another of the many recommendations for the renewal of our life which often go unobserved. In certain cases it has become difficult to face up to the problem of conversion, for fear of challenging what have come to be regarded as acquired rights or sacrosanct life-styles. The Chapter’s emphasis on spirituality is not meant to foster in us a sense of guilt or failure, but rather to open us here and now, if we so desire, to the newness of God. “Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Is. 43, 19).

29. Every conversion is for today. “O that today you would hear his voice! Harden not your hearts” (Ps. 95, 8). Given our present situation, to defer this conversion could be fatal for the future of the Congregation and for the very purpose of our mission. Today we must understand more clearly what it means to continue the work of the Redeemer among the abandoned. Today we discover how the world is suffering from a spiritual hunger and thirst. Today we perceive that this hunger and this thirst are more acute because of the lengths to which these needs are masked or exploited. Today we still have at our disposition sufficient personal and moral energy to make concrete and courageous decisions.

30. The choice of spirituality implies that we urgently recover a fundamental conviction, whose genuineness will be gauged by the extent to which it sustains our apostolic mission. We are called to develop “a contemplative outlook on life” (Orientations, Introduction) in such a way that we rediscover the richness of our interior life (cf. Const. 24). Exploring this life more deeply, we can speak with God as sons and recall the steps which He has taken in the story of each one of us as he drew us to Himself. In order to be credible Redemptorists, each one of us must really believe that he himself is redeemed. Obviously a style of life which is perpetually superficial, incapable of meditation or concentration on the Word of God or even to observe silence, is not a sound foundation for any form of spirituality. The problem becomes all the more crucial when this state of affairs has become the life-style of the community. It is understandable that there are times when it is not easy to preserve a climate of silence and prayer, either in community or on mission. Nevertheless, each community should address this problem and seek the most appropriate way to correct the imbalance between the felt need for spirituality on the one hand, and on the other, the times and methods of prayer which ought to be in place to satisfy this need both at the personal and community level.

31. If conversion causes us to look within, it should invite us simultaneously to look outwards to the Church and the Kingdom of God, within which our charism has its meaning. In practice, this requires that we establish right relations with the local ecclesial structures, that we come to know better the charisms of others and that we be ever more generous in our service. It also requires us to commit ourselves to know more about how the Congregation lives and carries out its charism today, often heroically and creatively, in the different Regions of the world. We ought to strive to have a far greater appreciation of the real value of the service the Congregation offers to the Church and to the world.

32. This turning outwards requires us above all to approach the subject of spirituality having as a criterion our service to the mission. “Our spirituality is also shaped by the challenge to enter into the struggles of the poor, where Jesus is revealed as a suffering servant” (Final Message, n. 6). Hence in common with the Capitulars, all of us must ask ourselves “in what practical ways our commitment to the poor is an expression of our spirituality, and in what ways it helps us to develop a more authentic spirituality” (Final Message, n. 8).

33. It is important that we keep these questions in mind when considering spirituality and in deciding on our style of personal and community prayer. It usually happens that our spirituality is shaped by events which affect us personally and cause us to ask ourselves serious questions: by news which upsets us, by moments of conflict within ourselves and with others, at certain stages of our life when we are particularly tormented. We believe that a Redemptorist, in both personal and community prayer, always must have at heart the cry of the poor, their insecurity and problems of daily life, and the unjust and oppressive situations in which they find themselves. This will enable him not only to contribute his share to the “Copiosa Redemptio“, but to purify still more his vision in the service of a generous and effective apostolate.

34. Spirituality challenges each one of us to identify ourselves with the poor. It was when face to face with the poor that many Redemptorists, beginning with St. Alphonsus, experienced a decisive conversion. Has this challenge had any concrete repercussions on our life-style, making us more satisfied with what is simple and essential? Are we sufficiently on our guard against the risk of consumerism ? How can our ears remain sympathetic to the poor, when the noise of the world deafens us to their voice and our way of life is so different from theirs?

35. Likewise this spirituality inspired by our concern for the poor should lead us to serious reflection on the society in which we live. All of us should strive to understand the theological and apostolic reasons for our desire to serve the poor at this time in our history, when the collapse of great ideologies has resulted in those who were already abandoned becoming more marginalised. We must have the courage to make a new start from questions like the following: In what way is our spirituality a sign of contradiction for the society in which we live? Does our being in the world make us resigned in an uncritical and passive way to the logic of the world (Jn. 17, 11, 14)? Are we conforming ourselves to society or are we a sign for it? Is our proclamation of the Gospel and our living out of the Redemptorist charism prophetic? Is our charism sufficiently clear and credible so as to attract young people? Where do we stand in the dialogue with other Churches, religions and cultures?

36. These questions may appear demanding to the point of discouragement and may give the impression that the General Government regards the present and future of the Congregation with a certain pessimism. On the contrary, we want to say categorically that we have great confidence in the role that history is calling us to play in our present service of the Church. Spirituality, moreover, offers us the occasion to be more credible in this role and more effective in our service. Our history gives us confidence because in it we can find roots sufficiently deep to still produce sap today. Even today our Redemptorist tradition presents the extraordinary witness of holy and happy confrères, who, while certainly not free from problems, even humanly speaking find fulfilment in their Redemptorist vocation. Their enthusiastic communion with Christ, the Redeemer, and their readiness to recognise him in the poor tell us that the challenge continues, because Christ (Mt. 28, 20) and the poor (Mk. 14, 7) are always with us. We shall never lack the “prime matter” for our generous dedication! And the spirituality with which the Redemptorists have always carried out this dedication will not cease to be sufficient for our times.

37. All Superiors are called to grapple with the many problems characteristic of our era. Faced with the manifold demands made on them, and especially without those helps which were once in place, such as the Rule, the fixed time-table, absolute obedience, etc, they can feel unprepared and discouraged. Spirituality challenges them to examine the profound reasons for their service: fraternal love and attention to the well-being of the confreres. It asks them to be pastors before administrators. This spirituality, which should be the source and inspiration of their service to the community, will doubtlessly serve to bring to Superiors a renewed sense of purpose and the confidence to generously continue their ministry.

Conclusion

38. We feel that this Communicanda should help in the process of discernment already set in motion by the General Chapter, particularly where it is just getting under way. It is a process from which no one, beginning with the members of the General Government itself, should feel dispensed. The choice of the General Chapter will become effective if it finds a response in initiatives and projects promoted at local level. Even if it be necessary to attend programmes organised at (V)Provincial level, (formation courses, days of reflection, assemblies or Chapters), it is also true that each community can and should provide occasions for reflection and decision on the subject of spirituality. These could be revision of life or days devoted to the study and practice of prayer. These occasions would provide an opportunity to produce together that “plan of community life” requested by the General Chapter (Postulata 3.1).

39. The Orientations on the Subject of Spirituality, taken together with this Communicanda, should be of great help in the implementation of the Chapter’s choice of spirituality. In entrusting these Orientations to the different Units, the Chapter has provided them with substantial material for possible initiatives and projects at local level. In them, each Unit should discern what is necessary and suitable for its own situation. It would be well to keep in mind in this context the help which we can receive from the Redemptoristines, from our collaborators and from the Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer.

40. For its part, the General Government proposes to develop “a renewal programme for the confrères, based on Alphonsian and Redemptorist sources, if possible at the historic Alphonsian sites”(Postulata, 4.1) and to “pursue the idea of providing more courses in spirituality in a form which is appropriate” (Postulata 4.2). We recall that “meetings of major superiors and regional superiors in the Regions are planned for the mid-point of the sexennium to evaluate the response of the Units to the XXII General Chapter” (Orientations, 10.1). In addition, the meetings of newly elected Major Superiors, already experienced as positive in the last sexennium, are to continue. Furthermore we believe that thisCommunicanda can and ought to be of help during the visits of the General Government to the (V)Provinces, as it provides ample material for discussion and for its application in real situations. However, we consider the collaboration of the (V)Provinces to be indispensable in carrying out these programmes and, even more important, we need to have a response from the various (V)Provinces which answers at least these questions: What points of the Communicanda most closely reflect the problems at local level? What concrete decisions are to be taken? What help is expected from the General Government?

41. We entrust, dear confrères, this series of reflections to the fruitful and creative action of the Holy Spirit in this year which the Church wishes to dedicate in a particular way to the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. May He “make us savour his friendship, fill us with His joy and consolation, help us to overcome moments of difficulty and to rise up with trust after we have fallen; may he make us mirrors of the divine beauty. May he give us the courage to face the challenges of our time and the grace to bring all mankind the goodness and loving kindness of our Saviour Jesus Christ” (cf. Vita Consecrata, 111).

To all of you our most cordial and fraternal greetings, which we ask you to convey to our Sisters, the Redemptoristines, to the other women religious of the Alphonsian family, to our Co-operators and to the Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer.

On behalf of the General Council,

Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.,
Superior General

(The original text is Italian.)
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