Rome, January 1, 2022
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Dear Confreres, Sisters, and Lay Partners in Mission,
On this solemnity of Mary, which is also the first day of the New Year, I greet you with blessings of hope and joy. Today is also the World Day of Prayer for Peace, and we pray with Pope Francis, the whole Church, and all people of goodwill, for the peace which only God can bring to our wounded world. May we cooperate with God by establishing the conditions which can make this peace possible for all, especially for the abandoned and the poor.
For many of us, 2021 has been a difficult and challenging year, like any other year, blessed with hope and joy, but also touched by suffering and disappointment. The pandemic continues to afflict millions of our brothers and sisters. The devastating effects of climate change threatens all of us. And many nations are still living with armed conflict and violence.
At the same time, 2021 has witnessed heroic efforts to care for those most at risk. The development of vaccines has opened new possibilities for health and recovery. Perhaps humanity has finally awakened to the climate crisis and the need for fundamental change. Many of us have experienced great moments of personal blessings as well.
We stand on the threshold of 2022. Perhaps we too wonder what this year will turn out to be, for us and for our wounded world.
For the Redemptorist Family, it is the year of our 26th General Chapter, for which we have already been preparing. In January, the first of the First Phase Meetings, for Africa and Madagascar, will take place online due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. This will be followed by the First Phase Meetings for Europe, Latin America-Caribbean, North America, and Asia-Oceania. Please continue to pray and prepare for these meetings! Your participation is very important. And, of course, the Canonical Phase will be celebrated in Rome from September 11 to October 7.
However, the New Year, like our vocation to the Redemptorist Family, is fully lived in the local communities, day to day. You continue each day to witness to the Redeemer in the wounded world you call ‘home’. May you, like Mary in today’s gospel, treasure all that happens, ponder it in your heart and recognize how God is present in our midst each day.
Wishing you all a Blessed New Year!
In Christ our Redeemer,
Michael Brehl, C. Ss. R.
Copiosa Apud Eum Redemptio.