(Rome) The Community of St. Alphonsus concluded the celebration of the 200th death Anniversary of St. Clement Mary Hofbauer with the Eucharistic celebration in the Church of St. Alphonsus on 15th March at 6.30 pm. Fr. Michael Brehl, Superior General presided over the Holy Mass, concelebrated by the confreres of the community. On this occasion, the community too thanked God for the Jubilarians Fr. Emilio Lage (60 years of priesthood) Fr. Manuel Rodriguez (50 years of priesthood) Frs. Roberto Etcheverry (25 years of priesthood) and Oleg Zymak (25 years of religious profession).
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown, many celebrations and programmes were cancelled all over the world. But in spite of all these the community at St Alphonsus, Rome found its ways to celebrate the day meaningfully. The community gathered together for half a day of recollection on the 12th of March. The 15th of March was a special day for all of us as we continued to reflect the life and works of St. Clement Hofbauer through community prayers, fellowship meals, and finally culminating the celebration with the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Michael.
During the Holy Mass, Fr. Michael, the superior general reflected on the life and ministry of St. Clement who is called as the second founder of the congregation. St. Clement in his ministry found new ways to evangelize the poor and the most abandoned. His personal motto, “To preach the gospel ever anew – in every age and to every generation, in words that people can understand, we must preach the gospel ever anew” became very popular and even today we as the members of the congregation continue to reach out to the needy through social ministry and new initiatives. St. Clement’s message for us empowers us today when he says: “Never give up! Find a new way! Don’t lose hope!”.
Every ending has its beginning. We, the Redemptorists, accompanied by the spirit of St. Clement, are inspired and encouraged to continue the mission of Christ with zeal to continue to preach the gospel ever anew. We also thank God today for the confreres who celebrate their Jubilee of the priesthood. We thank God for their priestly vocations in the Congregation. Fr. Manuel Rodriguez recalls his priestly vocation as he writes, “Fifty years ago, on June 20th, 1971, I was ordained a Redemptorist priest. This year I thank the Redeemer for his fidelity to me, rather than my fidelity to Him. I have experienced his wonderful presence in my life during all these years of my priestly and consecrated life.” We continue to pray for all the confreres and the missionary works carried out all over the world.
For more photos kindly open the link: Feast of St. Clement Hofbauer