The Redemptorists of Northwestern Europe form four administrative units (provinces) so far. There is a province for Ireland (Dublin), a province for Great Britain (London), a province for Northern Germany, the Netherlands, Flanders and Switzerland together (St. Clement) and finally, a province for the Southern part of Germany and Austria together (Vienna-Munich).
These provinces have been talking to each other for quite some time with the aim of establishing a federation. This is happening in the context of the reconfiguration movement in the Congregation. The future of apostolic life, of mission and of the living presence of our charism in North-West Europe is the leading principle. Structures are a means to this end.
In the week from 1 to 5 May, the governments of the provinces mentioned met in Ciampino, near Rome, together with the coordinator of the Conference of Europe and with father Nicolas Ayouba, a member of the general government. During this meeting, the leadership wanted to further develop lines together. They were aware that this is not just a structural process or a reorganization. It is a process that also requires spiritual discernment, integral leadership and cultural sensitivity. That is why the governments were facilitated in this by the Discerning Leadership Program of the Jesuits, led by Fr David McCallum SJ.
Partly thanks to this guidance, the four partners came closer to each other and closer to their goal. Roads were mapped out, which will be worked out in the near future, involving as many confreres and partners as possible. It is about concrete planning processes, to ‘put living flesh on the bones’ of the changing structures and to inspire them with a ‘life-giving spirit’.