From 26 to 31 January 2023, the XVIII Provincial Chapter of the Warsaw Province of the Redemptorists gathered at the Redemptorist retreat centre in Rowy for a reporting and election session combined with work on a draft apostolic plan for the next four years. The Chapter was attended by 41 confreres, who represented the province members working in countries of Western and Central Europe, beyond the eastern Polen’s border and in North and South America.
During the meeting, Fr. Dariusz Paszyński, elected earlier in general voting, took over the office of Superior of the Warsaw Province. He thanked the previous Superior, Fr Janusz Sok, for having presided over the Province for the past 12 years. The Chapter elected new consultors who, together with the Provincial Superior, formed the Provincial Government. They became Fr Mariusz Mazurkiewicz, Vicar of the Provincial Superior, Fr Sylwester Cabała, Ordinary Councillor, Fr Łukasz Drożak and Fr Sylwester Pactwa, Extraordinary Councillors.
The Superior General, Fr. Rogério Gomes, addressed the Chapter participants in his video message presented on the first day of the gathering. He thanked them for their help to Ukraine and reminded them of the essential elements of being “missionaries of hope”: identity, mission, consecrated life, formation and governance. He reminded us of the excellent advice of the Founder, St Alphonsus Liguori, for difficult times: a) not to be afraid of the times in which we live; b) never to distance ourselves from God; c) to be faithful to one’s conscience; d) to read the signs of the times; e) not to forget the poor.
The Chapter participants evaluated the reports of the Provincial and the Provincial Treasurer as well as the activities of the respective secretariats and institutions of the Province in the last four years. The other presentations reported the life and work of our confreres outside Poland, the shared experience of the Cooperation Area of the Slavic Units and the Conference of Redemptorists of Europe. The Chapter devoted much time to the work on the draft apostolic plan, which will soon come into force and be presented separately.
The Provincial Superior concluded the Chapter proceedings by reminding us that we are for evangelisation, which is not even the most important but the only task of the Church and, therefore, of the Congregation. Everything else is to serve this. The lay partners in this work are not collaborators but co-responsible for the mission.
He concluded with the words of St Alphonsus that “life is not given to us for rest, but to merit eternal life”, encouraging all to make a concerted effort to be “missionaries of hope” and to follow the Redeemer.
The guests took part in the Chapter: Fr Johannes Römelt – Coordinator of the Redemptorist Conference of Europe; Fr. Volodymyr Borejko – Superior of the Lviv Province; Fr. Jozef Mihok – Superior of the Bratislava-Prague Province and Fr. Miroslav Bujdoš – Superior of the Michalovce Vice-Province.
Fr. Mariusz Mazurkiewicz CSsR