Redemptorist Spirituality Course 2023: Nurturing the spirit of St. Alphonsus

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The English-speaking Confreres and a lay partner from various nationalities gathered today in Rome to commence the Redemptorist Spirituality Course for the year 2023 on 5 June. This three-week course aims to delve deep into the teachings and practices of Alphonsian Spirituality, a cornerstone of the Redemptorist tradition. Under the guidance of Fr. Piotr Chyla, C.Ss.R, the Director of the Redemptorist Spirituality Center, with the gracious presence of Fr. George Puthenpura, C.Ss.R. and confreres, the participants are set to embark on a transformative journey of spiritual enrichment.

The participants are Fr. Piotr Chyla, the Director of RSC, and Fr. George Puthenpura from Bangalore, Frs. Sebastian Dassi and Pierre Nguessan from West Africa, Fr. Ranmal Fernando from Colombo, Lucy McNamara (Lay partner from Baltimore), Frs. Charles Vijay, Christopher Pratap, Elangovan from Bangalore, Fr. Titus Mutiku from Kenya, Frs. Yusuf Frenademetz Hopelewo, Arnoldus Yansen Tao, Paulus Sani Koten and Vinsensius Nani Bili from Indonesia, Frs. Peter Pattarapong Srivorakul, John Kokiat Deesri, James Peerapat Wijitwong, and Joseph T. Sawangthammakul from Thailand, Frs. Richard Ravi, Prem Cutinha and Andrew Dantis from Majella, Frs. Jerome Abila, Jose dela Cruz from Manila, Frs. Senen Javier, Julius Martin Malacas, Constantino Puzon, and Gilbert Dandoy from Cebu, Fr. Grzegorz Ruszaj, the director of communications in Rome.

The program for the Redemptorist Spirituality Course 2023 was presented by Fr. Piotr Chyla during the introductory session. With careful consideration of the participants’ spiritual needs and the rich heritage of Alphonsian Spirituality, the course has been designed to offer a holistic and immersive experience. Through a combination of lectures, workshops, prayer, reflection, and visits, the participants will engage in a profound exploration of the spiritual treasures bestowed by St. Alphonsus. During the course, the participants will delve into several key themes intrinsic to Alphonsian Spirituality. These themes include but are not limited to understanding the immense love and mercy of God and the transformative power of redemption through Christ, learning from the lives of Saints, Blessed, and Martyrs, embracing various forms of prayer, including mental prayer, meditation, and the role of Marian devotion in deepening one’s spiritual life, embracing the missionary spirit of the Redemptorists and the call to serve the most abandoned and marginalized in society.

Fr. Rogério Gomes, C. Ss. R. the Superior General presided over the Holy Mass. In his homily, he said, “This Spirituality course is a way to renew the missionary ardour in each of you. You have been sent by your (vice) provinces to have an experience of God, to remember the memories of redemption present in these places. And not only there, but those present in your heart that make you persevere as a Redemptorist and as a consecrated layperson in our mission.”  Further, he continues, “We need to revitalize our own spiritual life and our many communities, and you have this task to help them with this. You must communicate this experience to the confreres and renew the missionary ardour in the communities where you are assigned. You must encourage the confreres to deepen their spiritual life and never forget the importance of Ongoing Formation. This course of spirituality is part of Redemptorist Ongoing Formation.” Except for Fr. Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R. (being out stationed), all the General Consultors were present during the Mass.

Read the whole homily of Fr Gomes, CSsR

To further enrich their understanding of St. Alphonsus and his spiritual legacy, the participants visited in the afternoon, the significant places in Rome associated with the life and ministry of the saint. These visits provided a tangible connection to the roots of Alphonsian Spirituality and inspire the participants to live out their faith with renewed vigor and purpose.

As the Redemptorist Spirituality Course 2023 begins, we extend our warmest wishes and prayers to all the participants. May this time of spiritual exercise and reflection be transformative, deepening their relationship with God and strengthening their commitment to live out the charism of St. Alphonsus. Through the guidance of Fr. Piotr Chyla and confreres, may the participants be inspired to embrace the Alphonsian Spirituality, carrying it forth in their Redemptorist ministries around the world. May their hearts be filled with zeal, compassion, and a burning desire to proclaim the redeeming love of Jesus Christ to all whom they encounter.

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