The Annual Retreat for the V. Province of Majella this year 2nd to 6th October was preached and directed by the Vicar General of the Congregation, Fr. Enrique Lopez, C.Ss.R. He chose to reflect with us and guide us on the Call to Mercy in this Jubilee Year, a call that is fundamental for us Redemptorists who follow Jesus the Redeemer, the Merciful Face of the Father. Fr. Lopez reflected with us on the situation of the Congregation worldwide in the context of the 25th General Chapter next month and took us through the Working Document especially Part B on the Concerns and challenges facing the Congregation. In this context he invited us to relook and revisit our life as Consecrated Religious, our Call to Authentic Witnesses as envisaged through the Constitutions and Statutes and invited us to renew our commitment to being Evangelizers of Plentiful Redemption to the Abandoned especially the poor (migrants who form the principal addressees in our Apostolic priority) in our own land. Fr. Lopez then took us through Misericordiae Vultus of Pope Francis and showed us how as Redemptorists we are called to be ministers of Mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and through social action. He final presented Mary, the Icon of Mercy, as a model and intercessor for us in our Redemptorist journey. His lively talks, personal experiences, concrete life situations, depth of knowledge of Scripture and especially the Gospel of Luke as the ‘Redemptorist Gospel’, the Tradition of the Church and contextual Moral Theology made a deep impact on all the confreres. The prayer sessions conducted by the Confreres, the Eucharist together at which Fr. Lopez shared the homily, the times of personal and group sharing enabled the confreres to make both personal resolutions in the Alphonsian Tradition which we shared with each other. Each of the 6 communities too gathered together and made community resolutions to implement with immediate effect as a concrete way of living the Spirit of Mercy that the Retreat generated.
The Redemptorists of The V. Province of Majella are grateful to Fr. Enrique Lopez for coming to us as a Brother, sharing our live, challenging us and leading us to follow the Redeemer with dedication and commitment.
Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R.