Brazil: Seminary of the Most Holy Redeemer in Sacramento in peoples’ memories



St. Paul, passionate for Jesus Christ, rightly says: ‘The love of Christ constrains us.’
(Alphonsus Mary Liguori – The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ).

On August 28th, 2021, the Live Memorable was the launching of the collective work Historias y Memorias del Seminario Santísimo Redentor de Sacramento, MG – Miradas de los que allí pasaron [Stories and Memories of the Most Holy Redeemer Seminary of Sacramento, MG – Views of those who were there]. The dynamics of the Live was unique because, in it, each of the segments registered in the work: formators and parish priests, Brothers, officials, Oblates, seminarians and relatives of the ex-seminarians (children and wives) took the floor to allude to the work on the canvas because it was written in a collective and participatory and memorable way.

The launching of the work took place in the context of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Seminary of the Most Holy Redeemer in Sacramento, MG. This House of Formation and experience of Redemptorist spirituality in its redemptive dimension was the realisation of the dream of Father Antônio Borges de Souza, its idealiser. A place that could be a point of passage and a meeting point between the distant lands of Goiás and São Paulo. The city of Sacramento – in Minas Gerais, a abyssal town as Carlos Drummond de Andrade says and where the sun shines in a different and baroque way, like the colour of gold, both at dawn and at dusk – was presented on the afternoon of the launch of the collective work as a sign, as a sacrament of invisible things lived there in visible ways in the lives of each and every one of those who have shaped their lives there in time and space. Sacrament, therefore, of Redemptorist priests who marked and mark as sacrament in the lives of Antônio Borges de Souza, Victor Coelho de Almeida, Luiz Carlos de Oliveira, Eugenio Antonio Bisinoto and so many others. Today, the former Redemptorist house of formation and spirituality continues to carry out its vocation as a public good to the people of Sacramento through the Centre for Social Care, paying homage to Father Antônio Borges de Souza.

Live Memorable Book Launch

The Saturday of the launching of the collective work was a memorable Saturday, for the memory of the work, for the memory of the day where it was celebrated in the liturgical calendar, after the feast of St. Monica, his son, St. Augustine, for the memory of the Redemptorist spirituality itself out of the hands of St. Alphonsus Liguori and Blessed Mother Maria Celeste Crostarosa as living memory, the memory of the Redeemer, the memory of the plentiful redemption always present. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, in his work Itinerario de la mente para Dios, in Chapter III, The Contemplation of God through his image impressed on the powers of the soul, says that “the activity of memory consists in retaining and representing not only present, human and temporal things, but also contingent, simple and eternal things. It retains past things by recollection, present things by vision, future things by foresight”. May it be the living memory: the memory of the plentiful redemption as the past; it is present, it is the future. It is, therefore, because it exists in history, in tradition, in simple and eternal experiences. Therefore the collective work is a memorial, as the title says, of those who passed there, retaining memories of the past. And, perhaps, on Saturday, on the day of the celebration of St. Augustine, a day not accidental, but which is linked to the beautiful work – synthesis of the scientific Theologia Moralis underlying it all the poorest poor of Naples, the goatherds of the mountains – The Practice of Love of Jesus Christ, for there, Augustine and Alfonso meet: Love and do what you will!

Thus, in the Live Memorable – retaining the things of memory present with the vision – was made the memories of the Memory, the Living Memory of living memories, because in the School of Alphonsus and Celeste, which is the School of Jesus Christ, Living Memory! This is the meaning, sign, sign, sacrament of the Seminary Most Holy Redeemer and, of the looks of those who passed there, in Sacramento das Gerais! And in this School, which was also the School of Bernhard Häring, where we learn the gesture of grateful memory! A collective work, therefore, of grateful memory!

In the various and diverse sayings of each one, of each one of the segments inscribed in work, the life of each one, of each one, immersed in popular devotion, in public policies, in the ecumenical dimension, in the lay life in the church and the world, was revealed a little, in the family, in Oblate life, in Latin American and Caribbean culture, in other words, each segment – of those who have been there – continuing the spirituality of the Redeemer in the various dimensions of human existence in the world. Thus, this form of meeting in the form of a Memorable Live was revealed to us as a way of Walking Together – a model of Church so dear and desired by Francis, the Pope – and that makes this singular and particular Session of the UNESER (Union National of the Redemptorist Ex-Seminarians of Brazil), from the experience/living from the Most Holy Redeemer Seminary of Sacramento, establishes a way of being/being of UNESER in Brazil with Latin American-Caribbean dimensions in a pluralistic manner, because today the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer is redesigning itself in its geo-political-religious in Latin America-Caribbean. It is the charism and the spirituality of redemption that is translated, therefore, in Our America.

Fathers Alberto Pasquoto and Luiz Carlos de Oliveira, as well as Miguel Alcânjo Soares spoke pointing, now, from memory to future things as foresight, opening new horizons as ways to continue the Redeemer, because celebrating on earth to celebrate forever in heaven. Decisive words in the sense of updating the living memory of the Redeemer by committing oneself in it, with it and for it, establishing a UNESER as an ecclesial, theological space of friendship and love, thus building: a Redemptorist laity in an ecumenical dimension in harmony with the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes of the Second Vatican Council, a way of being an Oblate enlightened by the Redemptorist spirituality, an attunement with the popular devotion of our Latin-American Caribbean people as recommended by the Document of Aparecida (DAp) – 2007 and as it was for Alfonso in Naples in the 18th century, a form of construction of the common good involved with the necessary public policies, mainly for the poorest of Latin America and the Caribbean, and a presence of the family, where women and sons and daughters are signs, actualisers and continuers of the charism of redemption.

History taught us in the Live Memorable that, unable to attend the ceremony in person in the city because of the pandemic, allowed the participants to “be Sacrament” in the virtual ceremony because on that day, we all went there. As reported by Messias dos Reis Silveira, who studied there, the Redemptorist missionary action integrated with the population and collaborators of the event, “Sacramentalised us”. Thus, in the dialogue as protagonist, in work published in a collective and participative way, we walked then, from that House of Redemptorist Formation to many other spaces in openings of horizons expanding the Redemptorist spirituality.

Finally, and it could not be different, the process of construction of the collective and participative work Historias y Memorias del Seminario Santísimo Redentor de Sacramento, MG – Miradas de los que allí pasaron and the realisation of the Live Memorable were only possible thanks to the gestures of assertiveness and conductivity from the hands of Vicente de Paula Alves and other collaborators. Many thanks to them because it made those who did not pass through the Seminary Santíssimo Redentor de Sacramento begin to make, since then, part of this beautiful and living memory of living memories, thus to be known with the reading of the appreciated work.

Edivaldo José Bortoleto / Vicente de Paula Alves – 10th September, Winter 2021.

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