First post-pandemic meeting of the Redemptorist History Group of North America


Fifteen people interested in the history of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer participated in the first post-pandemic meeting of the Institute for Redemptorist Historical Studies/North America on November 14. Ranging from Redemptorist historians and archivists to Partners in Mission and Redemptorist alumni and friends, the resurrected group plans to meet by Zoom again after the New Year and start preparations for a conference proposed in 2025.

In 1987, a group of Redemptorist archivists and historians from throughout North America met at Mount St. Alphonsus in Esopus – in part to fulfil the dream that Superior General Juan Manuel Lasso de la Vega y Miranda expressed at a meeting of Redemptorists historians he convoked in Rome in the summer of 1986. He challenged them to write the history of the Congregation.

At the time, he envisioned a look back to detect currents of interest that guided Redemptorists in the past.

“We do not wish to repeat the past in the present,” he said, “but we want to know the deeds of the past and what motivated them, in order to discover our own way of being and acting in the world … remaining always faithful to that which is lasting, and to the development of creativity, itself essential to fidelity.”

Those gathered shared a love of Redemptorist history in North America, and hoped to share their wealth of knowledge. Although the group has gone through several different names since then, the desire to study and share the Redemptorist history of North America has remained. Over the years, the group has shared that history in various ways.

They published the Redemptorist North American History Bulletin. The first edition was published in April 1994, and the bulletin has been published regularly ever since. The bulletin offers interesting articles about the Redemptorist presence in North America.

They published several additional works, ranging from „Working for Plentiful Redemption. A history of the Redemptorist Vice Province of New Orleans” by Fr. Gerry Bass to “The Civil War Diary of Rev. James Sheeran, C.Ss.R.: Confederate Chaplain and Redemptorist”.

Since 1999, the group has offered eight public conferences on Redemptorist North American history. The last conference was in 2019 at the Redemptorist Retreat Center in Oconomowoc. The next conference already has been scheduled on May 20-22, 2025 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Houston. 

by Rich Luberti, C.Ss.R,
(Denverlink, issue of December 15, 2023)

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