Rome, March 20, 2020
Dear Confreres, Sisters, Lay Missionaries and Redemptorist Associates,
The world is experiencing a very serious moment of crisis through the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19. As I write these few words to you, we know that this virus has been detected already in 159 countries, and it may spread even further. Many countries have taken very strong measures to prevent the spread of the virus – closing borders, schools, parks, stores, restaurants, athletic events, concerts, churches and other places of worship.
Many of us are confined to our homes and residences. We cannot even celebrate public prayer and Eucharist with the People of God to whom we are sent. Many of us feel helpless: we cannot visit the sick or meet and talk with people. Many of our daily ministries are curtailed. We are used to ‘doing for others’, and what can we do now? The two Unions of Superiors General based in Rome – representing both men and women religious in every continent – have called for a special day of prayer and solidarity on Sunday, March 22.
In the spirit of solidarity with Pope Francis and all religious men and women, I urge all of us to join our sisters and brothers around the world in prayerful solidarity. Pope Francis invites us to pray for all who have been infected and those who have died, for their families and those who are caring for the sick, especially doctors, nurses, care workers and volunteers. We cannot forget the abandoned and the poor, many of whom have lost work and income.
Attached to this letter are links to the website of the Superiors General, with a message, prayer and short video from Pope Francis. Like the Holy Father, may we creatively reach out to others and “witness to the hope that is in us” (Cons. 10). This “hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
Your Brother in Jesus Christ our Redeemer,
Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.
Pdf document: Message – Superior General – March 20 2020