(Rome) The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day for Consecrated Life 2020 was the occasion to celebrate the solemn liturgy at the Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Rome on Sunday, February 02. Fr. Michael Brehl C.Ss.R., Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, presided the celebration and held a homily to the Redemptorist community and the gathered faithful.
Fr. General shared his reflection about a religious vocation as a gift for the Church. He referred to the proclaimed Gospel and the words of Pope Francis spoken a day before to the many members of religious congregations present at the Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Fr. Brehl pointed out three important characteristics of the religious life: the first is the seeking for God, a steady desire to contemplate God’s countenance, then the availability, an eagerness to serve at the other, especially those abandoned, marginalized and wounded. As the third characteristics he indicated the joy, quoting religious the well-known phrase from Pope Francis’ Circular Letter to Consecrated People that reads “Wherever there are religious, there is joy”.
After the homily, the Redemptorist fathers and brothers renewed their religious vows as a sign of their permanent commitment to the way of the evangelical counsels and the charism that was entrusted by the Holy Spirit to St. Alphonsus Liguori.
With Fr. General together concelebrated Fr. Alberto Eseverri C.Ss.R., Vicar General, Fr. Joannes Römelt C.Ss.R., Coordinator of the Redemptorist Conference of Europe, and Fr. Giovanni Congiu C.Ss.R., superior of the local community and rector of the church. The youngest Redemptorists who took part at the liturgy are members of the Inter-provincial Studentate at San Gioacchino, Rome. They were specially addressed by Fr. General at the end of the solemn liturgy.
The video below contains selected moments of the liturgy and the broader pieces of Fr. Brehl’s homily (Italian language).