From Saturday 27 March to Sunday 4 April 2021, we were on mission in the Dominican Republic.
The mission was organized by Fr. Emilcy Jeune Pierre, C.Ss.R., vocation promoter of the Dominican Republic. The Redemptorist missionaries working in the Dominican Republic participated, as well as 2 confreres from Haiti and Fr. Gerardo from Puerto Rico. Four sisters from the Sacred Heart of Jesus Congregation participated in the mission. We were also joined by 36 lay men and women and our aspirants from the Dominican Republic.
The experience took place in 7 parishes in the north of the country. We were working in very poor communities in spiritual need because of the pandemic, the communities were very cold and needed hope and encouragement.
The people of the parishes were very happy to receive us and they saw the need for an encounter with the Lord. Our lay people animated the communities and one could feel the enthusiasm and missionary dynamism.
The programme included 3 days of retreat from Monday to Wednesday. We visited the sick and anointed them, and we also did the house visits. There were many confessions, and we developed the themes with the children and the youth and adults.
The Easter Triduum was carried out according to the protocols and was celebrated in the places that the parish priests assigned to us. In some places it was the first time they had celebrated an Easter Triduum.
The people received us with great joy and our presence helped them a lot as a community of faith. They were able to experience the closeness and depth of the Redemptorist charism, the Alphonsian spirit of the missionaries. Many of the missionaries experienced letting themselves be evangelised by the poor, they said that we went to bring Jesus and we realised that it was He who received us.
In a simple way there was a wonderful experience of living the spirit of restructuring and working with the poor and wounded of our reality.
P. Gerardo Hernández Carrasquillo, C.Ss.R.