Rome, October 16, 2017
Prot. No. 0000 188/2017
Feast of St. Gerard Majella, C.Ss.R.
To Redemptorist Missionaries, Sisters, Lay Missionaries and Associates:
Witnesses of the Redeemer:
In Solidarity for Mission to a Wounded World
Dear Confreres, Sisters and Brothers in the Redeemer,
On November 12, 2017, we celebrate once again the Day for the Promotion of the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation. Because this annual celebration occurs on the second Sunday of November, it is closely linked with the Foundation Day of our Congregation on November 9 – this year marking 285 years. Moved by the Holy Spirit, St. Alphonsus and the first missionaries gathered in Scala to respond to the call of God ‘to follow the example of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, by preaching the Word of God to the poor’ (Cons. 1). This small group of men has grown into a worldwide family of professed Redemptorists, Sisters, and lay men and women who share the one charism.
On behalf of the General Council, I encourage you to mark this ‘Day’ creatively and joyfully in all of our communities, Churches, Shrines and ministries. This year, it would be appropriate to highlight some of the Decisions from the 25th General Chapter, especially the theme for the sexennium: Witnesses of the Redeemer: In Solidarity for Mission to a Wounded World. We know that the most effective promotion of our vocation is the joyful, welcoming and prophetic witness of each one of us and of every community. It would also be important to highlight the vocation of the Redemptorist Brother and the Lay Missionary of the Most Holy Redeemer.
It would be fitting to plan some events during the week before and on the weekend of November 12. Where possible, it would be good to pray and celebrate together with members of the Redemptorist family – confreres, Sisters, and laity. We also encourage initiatives such as a Triduum in parishes or shrines, encounters with youth and young adults, vocation displays in our Churches, retreats and other ways of promoting the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation. These could include:
– Using various means of communication and social media, such as Redemptorist or parish websites, newsletters and bulletins.
– Personal and community prayer for vocations in our Churches.
– Prayerful reading of our Constitutions and Statutes during the week before our Foundation Day on November 9.
– Intentions in the weekend Masses on November 11 – 12.
– Presentations on our Charism (Video, Talks, Multimedia) November 9 – 12
As we creatively and joyfully promote our Redemptorist Missionary Vocation, which is the responsibility of each one of us, we also want to give thanks to God for those of you in each of our Units appointed to this ministry. We thank you and their collaborators – professed and lay – who have accepted the challenge to devote your energy and enthusiasm to this service. May the whole Redemptorist family support you with our prayers, our encouragement, and our cooperation.
Brothers and sisters, this Day is a privileged opportunity for us to remember above all the gift of our vocation, and to give thanks to God for having called us each by name. May Mary, our Mother of Perpetual Help, St. Alphonsus and all our Saints, Martyrs and Blessed confreres accompany us and inspire us by their lives of joyful dedication. May the Holy Spirit guide us with wisdom and the gift of discernment as we follow Jesus more closely.
Your brother in the Redeemer,