Dear Confreres, Sisters, and Lay Partners in Mission,
When Pope Francis was admitted to hospital for his recent operation, I invited all of us to pray with and for him, and for his recovery. In the name of the whole Congregation, I sent a note to the Holy Father promising our prayers for his recovery.
Recently, I received this handwritten note in response from the Holy Father. As you note, he thanks us for our closeness to him, our prayers, and our affection for him and for the Holy See. He is praying for us, and sends us all his blessing.
As he continues his recovery, I ask you to keep him in prayer. As he announced in the Angelus recently, he will soon travel for the final Mass of the Eucharistic Congress, and then he will visit Slovakia. We pray that this apostolic visit will bear great fruit for the good of the Church in this country, and for our confreres in the Province of Bratislava-Prague and the Vice-Province of Michalovce.
The Papal Visit will occur just days before the celebration of 100 years of Redemptorist missionary presence in Slovakia. May it be a blessing for our continued missionary presence in this country and in central Europe! We will be united with our confreres, and with the Holy Father, in a great communion of prayer.
As we celebrate St. Alphonsus this weekend, may the example of his great love for the Church, and especially for the Holy Father, inspire us to follow in his footsteps and his prayer.
In Christ our Redeemer,
Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.