“Young man, Christ lives and loves you”
“What a joy it is to see the brothers together!
Altogether 26 Redemptorist students gathered together in Saint Alphonsus Juniorate Formation house, in San Salvador, El Salvador from 16 July to 21 July 2019. Nothing better to describe the joy of meeting as a Redemptorist family to live the fraternity, hospitality, Redemptorist identity. This VIII meeting was aimed at deepening the Apostolic Exhortation “Christus Vivit” of Pope Francis, who gave a boost to our missionary vocation, because it motivated us throughout the meeting to believe that we are “the now of God”, words that also Father Jesus María Rojas Quesada, Provincial Superior, reminded us at the opening Mass.
The meeting of 26 young people was attended from the three educational institutions: Initial stage (Gaspar Stanggassinger House) Las Trojes Honduras, Postulants of San Clement, San José Costa Rica and Juniorates of San Alfonso, San Salvador, El Salvador. Also at present our junior brothers from Northern Peru and the juniors who completed the pastoral year. We were accompanied to the meeting by Fathers Guillermo Hernández, an in charge of the formation of the Seminary of San Clemente and Father Jesús María Rojas Quesada, Provincial Superior.
In this VIII meeting, unlike the previous ones, the subjects were taught by the students themselves, who gave us the most important topics of those days.
- Introduction of the exhortation “Christus Vivit”
- Chapter III – Youth: you are God’s today
- Chapter VIII – The vocation
- Chapter IX – Discernment
In general, on these issues, we have seen the importance of youth today, as instruments for transmitting to Christ as hope for a world immersed in unbelief. Therefore, we must be young people who transmit joy, show that religious life has a happy face and relevant today. We were taught as a youth to listen to the call that God makes to be collaborators in his work of love, asking as a requisite a generous heart in surrender and making the ordinary somewhat extraordinary journey of holiness.
The spaces of coexistence have strengthened the bonds of brotherhood, moments of great joy. In addition, great enthusiasm has been experienced both in the moments of sport and in the singing and live vocational competitions. It is something worth appreciating since all the houses tried their best to present the assigned activities. The proof of this has been demonstrated in the cultural night, where the ability in the typical dances, the songs and the things proper of every country have been well presented.
Creativity was also present in the moments of spirituality that were directed by the different houses of formation. The signs and symbols were presented within the Holy Eucharist, which was focused on the life of St. Alphonsus, St. Clement and Blessed Gaspar Stanggassinger. The homilies of Father Jesús María Rojas Quesada, provincial superior and Father Guillermo Hernández, set the tone for the day. An important aspect for this was the silence, knowing each other, letting oneself be touched by God and asking the light of the Holy Spirit to listen, to discern and respond to the call that Jesus continues to make in this beloved congregation.
We can say that this coming together left us a pleasant experience for all of us and the changing the environment was always healthy for everyone. So we can say that in these days it has helped us to renew not only our “yes”, but also the strength to continue to believe and continue the journey, knowing that we are today of the Congregation. Moreover, it is in our hands the discernment and the free response of love, to the call that God gives us, as a gift for our personal realization and for the good of the Province at the service of the Holy Mother Church in this beloved Congregation.
With affection and prayers, in Christ and in Mary.
San Salvador, El Salvador, 25 August 2019.