From 25 to 27 April 2023, the Redemptorist missionaries of the five Units (Lisbon, Madrid, France, Rome and Naples) were meeting in Rome. There were 7-8 missionaries from each of the five units, together with the Vicar General Fr. Francesco Stanula and the coordinator of the Conference of Redemptorists of Europe, Fr. Johannes Romelt. The meeting was organised to offer an opportunity to get closer and know each other better because these five Provinces will form the new Province of Southern Europe from 1 January 2024.
In addition to this, by no means a secondary aspect of a mutual acquaintance, an in-depth study on the theme of “human mobility” was offered as a formative proposal, presented by Fr Fabio Baggio CS, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, declined in a particular way to the theme of immigrants and refugees. Fr. Baggio, with great expositive clarity and argumentative lucidity, offered a statistical reading of the migratory phenomenon and an analysis of the social, ecclesial, and pastoral challenges that this human mobility poses to the world and the Church today.
He also outlined some possible evangelical responses to these challenges, short, medium and long-term responses that always have Christ’s incarnation – his union with every man – as a constant reference point and the power of his Easter as a source of energy. In particular, the sober and veiled invitation to recognise in this contemporary migratory phenomenon the signs of the times, linked to the formation of new peoples, which, just like a birth, will emerge not without fatigue and pains, and above all, to recognise in the migrant the new paradigm with which to question today the fidelity to the charism of the Congregation, and with which to reread the category of the abandoned whom, as Redemptorist missionaries, one is called to serve. It emerged that in the wake of the paradigm of the migrant and solidarity with the abandoned, several missionaries – some of whom were present at the meeting – are already living far from their country of origin, migrating to this part of the world to serve the Gospel. What a beautiful example, and what an incentive!
From some reflections and sharing, associating the theme of migrants with that of mutual acquaintance among the missionaries of the five units, it emerged that to overcome the fears that might arise in the process of union, it is vital to get to know each other, to welcome each other, and to promote all those opportunities that help to integrate traditions, cultures and perspectives that will lead to the generation of a “new people”, the missionaries of Southern Europe.
P. Massimiliano Mura, CSsR