From Saturday, 19 to Monday, 21 November, the first National Meeting of Redemptorist Men took place at the San Alfonso Convent in Villa Allende, province of Cordoba, under the motto “Called by your love, we respond in service and mission”.
A diverse group of men from different Redemptorist communities, together with Fathers Ariel Cattaneo and Charlie (Carlos) Furmento, Brother Gonzalo Sotelo and Victor Colombani (a lay missionary from the Redemptorist community of Rosario), met at the Spirituality Centre to pray and share about the being a man in the face of the challenges that today’s culture (sometimes so polarised and pulled by different ideologies) is presenting as a challenge to our being Christian.
The proposal revolved around the invitation of Pope Francis, reiterated in many of his provocations, pointing to the dynamism of the See-Judge-Act. Thus, first of all, we focused on the question, “What have we brought with us? How are we doing?”, with the awareness that extremism always de-centres us from what is essential and truly important.
We then focused on two other questions to discern our reality: What is proper to our being men, and what is proper to our being Christian men, where the figure of St. Joseph has been the inspirational ideal, since the Letter of Francis “With a Father’s Heart”, to think and re-think ourselves as men of faith-men of God, who aspire and want to be also “just men”.
Finally – taking a step further in the search for and reflection on our true identity, living and sharing the Redemptorist charism – we wanted to allow ourselves to be inspired and encouraged by the traits of Jesus’ masculinity, since He, more than anyone else, is the goal towards which we want to walk. He is THE MAN, in capital letters.
These have certainly been days marked by an atmosphere of joyful communion and fraternity, from a deep spirituality anchored in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Redeemer, who became a man to enrich our humanity and reveal to us the true face of the man and of God himself.
We have returned to our communities animated by the joyful commitment and the firm purpose of incarnating, in the midst of our environments, the richness and the contribution that we can bring to the Church from our masculinity.
Fr. Carlos Furmento and Br. Gonzalo Sotelo