(Rome) On the occasion of the 289th anniversary of the founding of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Fr. Michael Brehl CSsR, Superior General, presided over the Eucharistic celebration with the international Redemptorist community of St. Alphonsus House in Rome on Tuesday, November 9.
“Today we want to give thanks to God for 289 years of the Congregation and for all the good things, which God has worked through our institute, through the Redemptorist missionaries: for the people, for the poor, for the abandoned, for the Church” – Fr. Brehl began his homily. – “We thank God for St. Alphonsus and for all our ancestors who were so great and for all the confreres who over the decades have dedicated their lives to live and develop this great gift of the Institute of the Most Holy Redeemer for the good of His people”.
Fr. General recalled the historical circumstances of the foundation and the humble beginnings of the Institute in Scala. Referring to some sentences from the biography of St. Alphonsus by Fr. Antonio Tannoia, he recalled the atmosphere of the first years of the new religious congregation and the intention of the founder:
Since Alphonsus wished to design this great work for the glory of God and for the benefit of the Holy Church, he did not fail, as a wise architect, to form the plan. The only intention proposed was to unite in one body so many zealous priests who had no other end than the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Above all, an Apostolic way of life, completely in keeping with the Sacred Life of Jesus Christ, that is, humble and poor, totally dispossessed of itself and of the things of this earth. [A. M. Tannoia, Della Vita ed Istituto del venerabile servo di Dio Alfonso M. Liguori…, Libro II, cap. I].
In the conclusion of his homily Fr. General shared his conviction that St. Alphonsus is saying the same words to us, the members of the Redemptorist Congregation, as we prepare for the next General Chapter. – “We want to continue to build this work of evangelization when we want to re-imagine the Redemptorist charism for the world today. When we want to respond to this call of the Redeemer with the same generosity. When we want to continue building on the foundation that that architect, our founder, laid so many years ago. And he is telling us: never forget that there is no other proposal but the one I have offered you from the beginning – to love Christ, to follow Him, to live the apostolic life and to serve the poor and abandoned.”