A farewell with a festive flavour, the closing of the province of Madrid could not have been better celebrated. A thanksgiving for 160 years of missionary proclamation. It has been two days of commitment with the contribution of many Redemptorist missionaries and lay partners in a multifaceted mission represented in each guest contribution at this meeting.
In the entire programme (see the photo below), you can see the different fields and areas in which the Spanish Redemptorist community has sown a seed that continues to grow more and more every day, even in the face of a society that is becoming more and more complex and closed to the proclamation of abundant redemption.
On Wednesday, November 8, some talks were given on the history of the Redemptorist Province of Madrid, the theological contribution of the Spanish Province, theology and missionary proclamation (parishes, publishing houses, foundations, publications), the popular missions in Spain (and abroad), social pastoral, youth pastoral, partnership in mission.
These were the testimonies and works that appeared in the concluding speech on the following day, Thursday, November 9, pointing out signs of missionary identity and ways of holiness that have sprung up in the Province of Madrid.
All this richness can be perceived in the final words of the Provincial, Fr. Francisco Javier Caballero CSSR, which we propose (as a downloadable text in Spanish – here): “In honour of a past with a present and a future”.
In his homily at the closing Eucharist of Thanksgiving, Fr. Caballero said:
“We have listened these days, with emotion, to the immense effort and the fruits that, throughout history, the Redemptorist Congregation, by being a mission, has left in these lands of Spain and other countries.
Because the identity of our being missionaries does not consist in feeling ourselves qualified to indoctrinate but to give life, share it and leave the mark of our witness of totality.
The mission is not teaching but witnessing.
We are Redemptorist missionaries, lay and religious, men and women conformed to Christ. We are a channel of his grace. We are a manifestation of his commitment to redemption and self-giving.
This opens us to availability to all, openness to all, and broadening of the heart.
A new territory for mission awaits us: a broader and more plural fraternity.
May the Holy Spirit allow us to see the hope of what he places before us.
May we allow ourselves to be cared for by Mary of Perpetual Help, who counts on everyone and invites us all to live the fruitfulness of the mission, being a home of hope for our humanity”.