Letter from Fr. Michael Brehl, Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, to Fr. Serafino Fiore, C.Ss.R., Superior of the Province of Naples, on the occasion of the Feast of Blessed Gennaro Sarnelli.
WITNESSES OF THE REDEEMER: In Solidarity for Mission in a wounded world
Dear p. Serafino, Confreres, Sisters and Lay Partners,
With great joy, I join in celebrating this Solemn Feast of the Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli, friend and companion of St. Alphonsus, native son of Ciorani, and zealous Redemptorist Missionary. Although I would like to be with you in person, the work for our 26th General Chapter prevents this possibility. Together with the General Government and the Coordinators, we join you in communion of prayer as you gather at the Diocesan Sanctuary of our Blessed Confrere.
Blessed Gennaro Maria truly embodies the theme which has animated our Congregation in this Sexennium. Both in word and deed, he is a witness to the power and presence of the Risen Redeemer (C. 51). A tireless preacher, both in the pulpit and through the written word, he proclaimed the Good News of Jesus to those most in need. Faithful companion of St. Alphonsus (SG 05), he was an integral member of the Redemptorist community, coordinating the General Mission in the peripheries of Naples. His special closeness to the poor, especially women in dangerous and difficult circumstances, flowed from his solidarity with God’s abandoned poor (C. 5). This solidarity with and closeness to the abandoned poor revealed to Blessed Gennaro Maria the wounds of his world, and the wounds which his Redeemer continued to suffer in the peripheries of the 18th century Naples.
Today, we are not only inspired by his personal holiness and closeness to Jesus Christ. We also want to follow Jesus Christ our Redeemer as he brings Good News to the poor today From him we learn again that our Redemptorist apostolic life comprises at one and the same time a life specially dedicated to God and a life of missionary work (C. 1).
May God bless you with renewed apostolic zeal as you celebrate this feast. Through the prayers of Blessed Gennaro Maria, may you become ever more faithful and authentic witnesses of the Redeemer in our wounded world today!
Your brother in Christ our Redeemer,
Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.
Rome, June 30, 2022