(Michalovce, Slovakia) Today, March 23, 2021, the Greek Catholic Redemptorists of the Vice-Province of Michalovce commemorate the 75th anniversary of their canonical foundation. The Vice-Province of Michalovce was already established on December 21, 1945, by Superior General, Very Rev. Patrick Murray, C.Ss.R., in Rome and promulgated in Michalovce on March 23, 1946. The first appointed vice-provincial was Fr. Dominik Methodius Trčka C.Ss.R.
The Redemptorists of both rites came to Slovakia 100 years ago and founded their first monastery in Stropkov in the Autumn of 1921. They began to do popular missions all over Slovakia, not only in the eparchy of Presov but also in the eparchies of Mukachevo and Križevacka. They also devoted themselves to spiritual exercises, unionism, spreading devotion for the Mother of Perpetual Help, establishing various communities, publishing the “The Missionary” magazine and other publications. In 1931, the construction of the first Greek Catholic Redemptorist monastery in Michalovce was completed, and this monastery later became the seat of the new vice-province. At the time of its foundation, the Michalovce Vice-Province was part of the Prague Province and had three monasteries in Michalovce, Stropkov, and Sabinov. It consisted of 14 priests, 11 religious brothers and 3 students of theology, and many candidates to the priesthood (students of the so-called “Juvenate”).
At present, the Vice-Province of Michalovce belongs to the Province of Bratislava-Prague and has 29 members, including 2 Religious Brothers, 1 permanent deacon, and 26 priests. The Greek-Catholic Redemptorists of the Vice-Province are active in three monasteries in Slovakia (Michalovce, Stropkov, Stará Ľubovňa) in two monasteries in Ukraine – Korolevo and Uzhhorod. Their main missionary activities are popular missions, school missions, pastoral ministry in Parishes, and the Minor Basilica in Michalovce.
The first vice-provincial, Fr. Methodius Dominic Trčka, died a martyr’s death in Leopoldov on March 23, 1959, and was declared a blessed martyr by the Holy Father, John Paul II, in Rome on November 4, 2001. From among the Redemptorists of the Vice-Province of Michalov, 3 bishops were chosen: Michal Rusnák, Milan Chautur and Marián Andrej Pacák. The Redemptorists of the Vice-Province of Michalov have a publishing house, “The Missionary”, and they also publish a monthly magazine, “The Missionary”.
This year the Redemptorists in Slovakia commemorate several other anniversaries: 20 years since the beatification of Blessed Methodius Trčka, C.Ss.R., 30 years of their renewed missionary activity in Transcarpathia, 25 years since the founding of the first monastery in Transcarpathia in Korolevo, 90 years since the founding of the monastery in Michalovce, 110th birth anniversary of the first Slovak Redemptorist Servant of God, Fr. Jan Ivan Mastiliak, and especially, 100 years of their permanent apostolic presence in Slovakia and the founding of the first monastery in Stropkov.
Fr. Metod Marcel Lukačik C.Ss.R.