IX Meeting of Redemptorist Formandi of the Province of Central America

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Under the motto: “Redemptorists faithful to the mission, in active participation and full communion”, those of us who are in the process of initial formation have been called together. Gathered from 13 to 20 July at the San Alfonso Theologate, San Salvador, El Salvador, we have had the participation of the Brother aspirants of the Gaspar Stangassingger House, located in Trojes, El Paraíso, Honduras; of the Brother postulants of the San Clemente Seminary, located in San José Costa Rica and, among them, 2 postulants from the Province of San Juan; and the host house, the San Alfonso Juniorate.

The aim of this meeting is to provide a space to get to know each other, to share our faith, the vocation to which we have been called and, in a special way, to be able to enrich the Redemptorist charism from the diversity of gifts and cultures, framed in unity. Pedro López, CSsR, who spoke to us about synodality and the Congregation; with Fr. Marcelo Araujo, CSsR, we spoke about the XXVI General Chapter and the Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean; and with Fr. Gerardo Carrasquilla, CSsR, we spoke about the reconfiguration and the new Province of Central America and the Caribbean.

The moments of dialogue have enriched each of the topics we dealt with, the recreational spaces have helped us to integrate, the spaces of prayer to feel as companions on the journey; and the whole meeting as such has become a sign of hope for those of us who are in the process of initial formation. We see the effort of the members of our Province and of the whole Congregation to continue to carry forward the proclamation of the abundant redemption.

As formandi we have come to know the hopes, dreams and illusions, as well as the fears, in the face of reconfiguration as part of the process of restructuring. The fruit of this meeting is not only to have a broader knowledge, but also, on seeing the panorama as such, of what is an imminent reality that we are living as a Congregation, we do not feel as spectators or merely external agents to these pneumatological movements, on the contrary, we feel part of this process and, from what we are and have, we want to contribute so that this work that the Redeemer himself, with the strength and discernment of his Holy Spirit, has begun, can be brought to a successful conclusion.

A very important moment was the visit to the birthplace of the martyr Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero, in Ciudad Barrios, San Miguel; celebrating the Eucharist in an atmosphere of encounter and under the intercession of this great saint of the people, symbol of the prophetic vocation to which we are invited to participate, has confronted and encouraged us so that, like Monsignor Romero, we are not afraid to let ourselves be surprised by the Redeemer and, even more, we are not afraid to announce him with our words, with our works and with our gestures. As formandi, we recognise that, today more than ever, the Church needs witnesses who can truly reflect communion in active participation in the proclamation of the Kingdom and, in our case, in fidelity to the mission which, implicitly or explicitly, the Redemptorist charism gives us.

The joy of knowing that we are brothers, companions on the journey, agents of restructuring, passionate for the mission, in active participation to put the gifts we have received from the Lord at the service of others; seeing the reality of the Church in a synodal key, seeing the process of restructuring our Congregation and seeing the progress of the new Province of Central America and the Caribbean, lead us to conclude that in truth the dream of St. Alphonsus M. de Liguori is well worth living.

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