The First Meeting of Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer of our Congregation was held on 27 November. It took place through the Zoom platform, with more than 160 participants, including the Superior General, Coordinators, Major Superiors, Religious and Lay people who accompany the Partnership in Mission in the Congregation, and many Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer.
After welcoming all the participants, Fr. Pedro López, General Consultor and Head of the Secretariat of Evangelisation, recalled the path travelled in the Congregation in a matter of Partnership in Mission and the latest achievements with the elaboration of the Directory and the Ratio Formationis for the Partnership in Mission.
He pointed out various and legitimate forms of living in Partnership in Mission in the Congregation. Then Fr. Pedro recalled the reasons leading to the celebration of this meeting with the MLSR, one of the forms, instituted by the XXI General Chapter of 1991: “they are the fullest expression of collaboration and participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the Congregation”, as Fr. Lasso de la Vega said in his “Comunicanda 4”.
Anne Walsh, responsible for the Office of Partnership in Mission and the General Commission, presented the objectives of the meeting. They responded to the desire expressed by some members of the Commission to have a first meeting with the Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer (MLSR): to get to know each other, to understand how we are living our vocation as MLSR, and to study ways for the future. Ann Walsh presented then the dynamics of the meeting.
After an introductory prayer led by Rafael Junquera and Pili Hernán, MLSR of the Province of Madrid, Fr. Michael Brehl, Superior General, took the floor to express his joy for the celebration of this meeting – “the first global meeting at Congregational level that brings together so many lay and religious Redemptorists”. He said that the meeting of the MLSR embraces a large part of the Redemptorist Family and implies a strong commitment to being present in this wounded world. He encouraged the MLSRs to incarnate their vocation in their concrete reality at the moment we live and thus actively participate in the apostolic life of the communities in prayer and mission.
During the rest of the afternoon, the MLSR from the Units in which this lay vocation has taken shape, and other Lay Associates who actively participate in the spirituality and mission of the Congregation, presented to their groups the experience of their vocation in their respective Units and their missionary activity. It was a precious time with a thousand experiences that showed the richness of the laity in our Congregation.
Participants decided to postpone the presentation of the Directory and the Ratio Formationis for the Partnership in Mission to the next meeting. They also agreed to continue with these meetings that bring together the MLSR on an annual basis.
Our thanks go to all participants of the meeting, the translators who facilitated the communication, and the General Commission for Partnership in Mission which imagined the online event and made it happen.
Fr. Pedro López, C.Ss.R.