The 6th of October 2023 marked a historic day in the annals of the Redemptorists worldwide, in Rome, for the Province of Naples and for the Alphonsian Academy. Our very own Alfonso Vincenzo Amarante was ordained an Archbishop in the Basilica of the Most Holy Saviour and the Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist in the Lateran. His Eminence Most Rev. Joseph Cardinal Tobin, C.Ss.R. was the presiding celebrant and ordaining prelate along with His Eminence Angelo Cardinal de Donatis, the Vicar General of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Diocese of Rome and His Eminence José Cardinal Tolentino de Mendonça, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education.
There were 20 Archbishops and Bishops along with the Abbot of Sorres (the titular See of the newly ordained Archbishop Amarante). The Letter of Pope Francis nominating Alfonso Vincenzo Amarante of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer as the Rector Magnifico of the Pontifical Lateran University and designating him as Archbishop of the Titular See of Sorres as well as giving him his particular mandate and assuring him of his prayers was read by Fr Antonio Donato, C.SS.R. the acting Preside of the Alphonsian Academy. Addressing a packed Basilica of Redemptorists from the General Curia, from the Community of San Alfonso in Rome, from the Province of Naples (the Province to which Amarante belongs), from different Units in Europe, along with Priests, Seminarians, Professors, Students of the Lateran University, Religious male and female and the lay faithful especially from the towns of Pagani (the home town of Amarante) Ciorani, Avelino and other Redemptorist parishes from the Province of Naples, Cardinal Tobin cited the example of the life and mission of another great but very humble Redemptorist Bishop, St. John Neumann. Cardinal Tobin underlined the importance of Mission being at the heart of the Church and therefore at the heart of the vocation of every Bishop of the church. He called on Alfonso Amarante to follow the example of the Good Shepherd who is not afraid of the wolves but stands up to them in protecting the sheep entrusted to his care in the manner of the life and example of St. John Neumann.
At the end of the Eucharist and after imparting his first Episcopal Blessing to the Cardinals, Bishops, and all present in the Basilica the newly consecrated Archbishop and Rector Magnifico of the Lateran University, Mons. Alfonso Vincenzo Amarante, C.Ss.R. spoke about his hope for the same University that theology would be Christocentric and would manifest the true face of the Lord Jesus to all. His desire that the University of the Holy Father, the Lateran would truly be Catholic in welcoming people from all cultures and from all over the world to feel at home as well as work together in building bridges through strengthening relationships among each other at all levels in the university. He expressed his gratitude to his parents who due to age were not able to be present, his family, the Redemptorist family, the former Rector of the Lateran and to all present in his very sincere yet touching words where he expressed his desire to continue to walk the simple life of a Redemptorist Missionary devoid of attachment to material benefices reminiscent of the two great but humble Bishops, our own founder St. Alphonsus and St. John Neumann.
Later after the very solemn and beautiful service, there was a simple gathering to toast the newly consecrated Archbishop in the courtyard of the Lateran Curia.
Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R.