Rome, October 19, 2022
Prot. N.: 0000 200/2022
Feast of St. Paul of the Cross
To all professed confreres, Vocation Promoters and Formators, Aspirants, postulants and novices, Vocational Youth, Redemptorist Youth (JUMIRE), and Lay Associates to our mission.
- On November 13, 2022, the entire Congregation will celebrate the Annual Day for the Promotion of the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation. It is a time when all professed confreres, young people in formation, our aspirants, and lay associates are invited to remember the call that the Lord of the harvest and Shepherd of the flock has made and continues to make to each one to follow him in their way of life. This day is an invitation to return to the first love that brought us here, renewed every day in the Eucharist, in our prayer experience, and our work with the poorest and most abandoned, and causes us to persevere. Praying for vocations and promoting them is a commitment of each of us as Congregation members (Const. 79-80), of our formandi, aspirants and lay associates to our mission! We need missionaries of Hope in the footsteps of the Redeemer, Redemptorists, and laity!
- Therefore, I ask with all my heart that the Units of the Congregation may, on this day, in all their internal celebrations, in parishes, shrines, popular missions, youth groups, social networks, wherever there is a Redemptorist presence, pray, celebrate and present the beauty of our charism to the People of God, especially to the youth. We are missionaries of Hope, Priests, and Brothers, in the footsteps of the Redeemer, and we have to communicate this joy of being Redemptorists – missionaries and laity. Constitution 20 fills us with enthusiasm. Redemptorists are apostles “strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal…in humility of heart and persevering in prayer….as apostolic men and genuine disciples of Saint Alphonsus, they follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy; denying themselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, they share in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life and language, that they may bring people plentiful redemption.” The Congregation is alive! The Redeemer walks with us. Therefore, let us allow ourselves to be taken up by the joy of proclaiming the Gospel, as our Constitutions ask of us (cf. Const. 4-5).
- On this day, we also request the collection of the Solidarity Fund. As presented at the XXVI General Chapter, the Solidarity Fund finances initial formation in Africa and Madagascar, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Asia, scholarships for the students of the Major College, disaster relief, and other projects of the Congregation. Therefore, we strongly invite the consolidation of the spirit of solidarity among the Units of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. Recent General Chapters have called us to solidarity in very concrete ways, for example, the institution of the annual collection to strengthen the solidarity fund. However, the response has not been as expected, and we all must contribute responsibly to this goal.
- To give you an idea, I share with you the data on the income and distribution of the Solidarity Fund during the year 2021. We received the collaboration of only 17 Units of the whole Congregation! We need to grow in the dimension of solidarity among us!
- In 2021, the total income was as follows: Investments of the General Government: (316.173 Euro) and collections of the C.Ss.R. Units. Seventeen (17) Units contributed: (125.282 Euro). The total income was: (441,455 Euro). These donations were distributed in 2021 as follows: Scholarships for students of the Units at the College (132,152 Euro), aid for initial formation in the C.Ss.R. Units – Africa and Madagascar (134,336 Euro), Latin America and the Caribbean (126,687 Euro), Asia 35,000, Europe (10,000 Euro) and other C.Ss.R. projects (3,280 Euro). The total of donations collected for the Solidarity Fund was 441,455 Euro. Thank you very much for the valuable contribution you offered! The money donated, often given with much sacrifice (cf. Mk 12:42), and gratefully received is well used and is a very beautiful way of being co-responsible for our initial formation, as well as offerings to Units, which have few resources, specialized formation so that they can respond with fidelity to the charism offering a good missionary service to the People of God and the Church.
- In humility, let us all do our part. We must cast our nets into deeper waters (cf. Lk 5:1-11). We often have to take risks and face the sea and its dangers, but the Lord will protect our boat. It would be sad if we were always to stay on the shore. May Our Mother of Perpetual Help, our saints, blessed and martyrs, encourage us to explore ever-new seas with the joy and enthusiasm of our experience with the Redeemer and the poorest and most abandoned.
Fraternally in Christ, the Redeemer,
Fr. Rogério Gomes, C. Ss. R.