Sunday, October 17, 2021, was indeed a day of grace for our Congregation and especially for our Province of Rome.
We celebrated the 75th anniversary of the religious profession of Fathers Raffaele Bellonia, Vincenzo Ricci and Giuseppe Scelzi. The three confreres belong to our two Roman communities of St. Joachim and Monterone. Even today, despite their 95 years of age, they continue to carry out their mission as Redemptorists in the preaching of the Word of God, in the sacrament of Reconciliation and spiritual direction.
To thank the Lord for the gift of perseverance of the three confreres, our Provincial Superior, Fr. Antonio Cirulli, presided over a solemn Eucharistic celebration in our church of St. Joachim, where our confreres live and work. The celebration was attended by several brothers and many friends and relatives who wanted to pay homage to the three fathers with their presence.
At the end of the celebration, Fr. Vincenzo, on behalf of all three fathers, addressed words of thanks to the Lord for the gift of the Redemptorist vocation and to all those (parents, superiors, confreres, friends) who made it possible to overcome the difficult moments and persevere in religious life.
Finally, the Provincial addressed words of thanks for the precious gift of these three confreres who have always worked full time for the good of the Congregation.
Fr. Raffaele carried out his mission in animating various communities and managing the Province’s economy. Fr. Vincenzo devoted himself entirely to teaching, to the animation of the communities as Provincial for several years, to challenging and demanding tasks in the government of the Congregation as an envoy of the Superior General, to the study of the works and of Alphonsian spirituality. Fr. Giuseppe devoted himself to the itinerant preaching of the Word of God with popular missions and pastoral work as a parish priest and collaborator in various communities.
The Superior General prayed and thanked the Lord for this anniversary during the Holy Mass on the feast of St Gerard the previous day in St Alphonsus Church.
Finally, all of us feel obliged to thank these three brothers who have shown us that by persevering in our vocation. We can show the world “the joy that comes from meeting the Lord, the joy of remaining faithful!” (Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, The gift of fidelity and the joy of perseverance, n. 42).
Gianluigi M. Colucci, C.Ss.R.