(Reunion) The three Redemptorist Missionaries of the Royal Malagasy have swarmed for more than eight years in the small island of Reunion and the local Bishop H.E. Mons. Gilbert Aubry, has offered them the parish of St. Andrew, as a field of work with a population more than 54,000 inhabitants, and about 35,000 Catholics, formed by various ethnic groups (Malagasy, Indian, Mauritian, European, Chinese, which gave rise to the Creole ethnic group).
This community was born after the Assembly of REGIO Malagasy celebrated in 2009, which wanted to bestow the apostolic field beyond Madagascar. Its main purpose was also to provide financial help and support for the future to the REGIO, which in the meantime has become vice-province and soon it will become a Province in a country where the currency is very devalued (eg: 1 Euro = 4.050 Ar)
The Redemptorists sent to this island (2000 Km / 2.) did not come “naked” but with their wealth of studies and Redemptorist spirituality. They too came with their black cassock with a white collar, the cross and the rosary, with the host of all their Saints and Blessed and above all with Our Lady of Perpetual Help who, to their surprise, had already preceded them with his prodigious icons in some families and chapels.
The Redemptorists have made known their presence little by little and especially in the days of their memories, feasts and solemnities, the Saints and the Blessed of the Congregation and above all the Most Holy Redeemer, the Madonna of Perpetual Help. A small and graceful statue of Saint Gerard is placed in the monumental church of St. Andrew the Apostle.
The diocesan Catholic library “AROD” has been initiated since two years, on the ground floor of a building not far from the parish, which has included several books by Saint Alphonsus, images of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, novena in her honour and many images of St. Gerard Majella. Thus, not only with the word and example but also with the press and especially with the writings of Our Holy Founder, we proclaim the Good News in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious world.
Our “challenge” is to be able to expand and reach the “Plentiful Redemption” in all the islands of the Indian Ocean, above all Rodrigues, Mauritius, Seichelles. May the Lord send us and give us many more good and holy vocations, because the harvest is plenty.
Fr. Vincenzo Sparavigna, CSsR.
Missionary in the “REUNION”