On the morning of Monday, August 21, in front of the original Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Rome, the course of spirituality in Portuguese and Spanish was officially opened. The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by the Vicar General, Father Zdzislaw Francisco Stanula. Also present, representing the General Government, were Brother Laurence John Lujan and the Secretary-General, Father Edward Chacon.
In his homily, Fr. Stanula encouraged the participants to live with intensity these days of grace and renewal, more as pilgrims than as tourists because in experiences like these, the attitude of the tourist is to demand but that of the pilgrim is to be grateful. On the same day, Monday, there was a visit and an induction to the General House and to the different sections such as the Alphonsian Academy, the General Curia, the Historical Archives of the Congregation, and other places of interest in this house.
The participants of the course come from different units where they carry out their mission: Laureano Del Otero (Albania), Edgar L. Torres Santos (Puerto Rico), Gustavo R. Doldan and Marcos Copa Ruiz (Resistencia), Celso Vieira da Cruz, Celso Martins Júnior and Marcos Teixeira Borges (Campo Grande), Andrzej Jakub Cwik (Warsaw), Thierry Raphaël (Port-au-Prince), Jesús Alberto Franco, Edilberto Mejía Quintero, and Leonel Vásquez (Bogotá), Benedito Lima da Silva, Lucas Emanuel Almeida, and Francisco de Jesus dos Santos (São Paulo), Aldo Escobar and Alfredo Reyna (Buenos Aires), Thiago Gomes de Azevedo and Carlos José de Oliveira (Goiás), Stanislaw Wilczek (Bahía), Cleandro de Oliveira Pessoa and José Julio da Costa Maia (Fortaleza).
The course will be held over three weeks; the first week in Rome and the following two weeks in Ciorani. During his initial presentation, the course director, Fr. Piotr Chyla, spoke of the need to live the course not only as an academic experience but also as a spiritual one. For this reason, the visit to the historical places of the Congregation will ask the participants to engage their senses and their ability to reimagine the charism in the light of their experiences. Fr. Chyla compared the course to a mosaic, where the participants will receive small portions of Redemptorist spirituality, but at the end, each one will have to articulate and give meaning to it in his own life.
We accompany the course participants with prayer so that they may continue to be strengthened as missionaries of hope who follow in the footsteps of the Redeemer.
Fr. Cristian Bueno, CSsR.