(Rome) November 9, on the 288 anniversary of the foundation of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Fr. General Michael Brehl CSsR presided over the solemn Mass in the Shrine of the Mother Perpetual Help. The Mass was concelebrated by members of the international St. Alphonsus community. There were also the students from Redemptorist Studentate of the Conference of Europe present, together with their prefect, fr. Jacek Zdrzałek CSsR.
Fr. General in his homily pointed out the modest beginnings of the Redemptorist Congregation and then the dynamic development of the Congregation:
From that small group of six men gathered in the hills above the Amalfi coast, this Congregation has spread to more than 80 countries, with more than 5,000 priests, brothers, students, candidates – and many more lay associates and oblates who are vital members of our Redemptorist family. Following the example of Jesus the Redeemer, and with St. Alphonsus to inspire and guide us, we continue to proclaim the Good News to the abandoned and the poor through word and witness.
In connection with the mass readings, Fr. General said:
In the gospel today, Jesus speaks of the temple, which is his body. […] The Body of the Risen Christ is the new temple where men and women encounter God! In the Body of Christ, God dwells among us. […] Through Baptism and the Holy Spirit, we are transformed into the Body of Christ living and acting in the world today. It is this Holy Spirit who makes us ‘one Missionary Body’, with Jesus the Redeemer as our head.
Built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, accompanied by Mary, our Perpetual Help, Alphonsus Liguori, and all our Saints, our Congregation is built from living stones – all of us called to continue this charism as one missionary body. We are the living stones – and the building continues.
This evening, we recognise among us a new generation of Redemptorist Missionaries. They are ‘living stones’ for building on the same foundation on which we stand: Giuseppe, Sergio, Paul, Fabrizio, Gianluigi, Massimo …
– said Fr. Brehl at the end of the homily, as he presented to the faithful gathered in the church the youngest members of the Congregation, present at the celebration of foundation day: the students and the postulant. And Fr. General concluded:
The Congregation continues to grow and expand in order to witness and proclaim the Gospel ever anew, as St. Clement Hofbauer taught us … Thanks to you and thanks to the thousands across the world who share this rich and wonderful charism! Long live the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer!