Online Triduum for the feast of St. John Neumann in English (2nd to 5th January)


Greetings my dear brothers and sisters, confreres, Redemptorist Lay partners on mission, associates, and collaborators,

On the 5th of January we, the Redemptorist family celebrate the feast of St. John Neumann. On this occasion, we have another Triduum Online preached by Fr. Ivel Mendanha, CSsR, General Consultor for the preparation of the feast. So, each of these days in preparation for the feast we will reflect on the following themes.

Day 1 (2nd January): Life of John Neumann

Named after the fourteenth-century martyr Saint John Nepomuk, John Nepomucene Neumann was born on March 28, 1811, in Prachatitz, Bohemia, the third of six children in a well-to-do Roman Catholic family. At boarding school, Neumann was drawn to the natural sciences and determined to study medicine. But he was also accepted at the seminary at Budweis in 1831 and from that moment never gave another thought to any vocation except the priesthood. 

     In 1833 Neumann earned a spot in the provincial seminary in Prague and soon felt called to become a missionary in the U.S. He finished his studies in 1835, but because his bishop was not performing ordinations that year, Neumann decided not to wait, having heard that the bishop of Philadelphia wanted German-speaking priests to minister to the immigrants in his diocese. Neumann left home on February 8, 1836, but during his journey across Europe he learned that Philadelphia no longer needed him. Neumann took his savings and booked his passage to New York anyway.

Download the PDF file to read the full article.

Day 2 (3rd January): Uniting oneself with the will of God and Trust in Divine Providence

Although the practical matters of ministering to far-flung rural flocks occupied his every day, Neumann was not a man who focused on the problems of daily living. Rather, he saw this life as a stepping stone to eternal life, and he urged all those to whom he ministered, whether immigrant farmers or wealthy aristocrats, to detach themselves from their worldly cares and devote themselves to God.

He was a man who endeavoured to unite himself to the will of God. His one aim was to seek to God’s will and to give God glory. He spent his life trying his very best to focus on the will of God which was the furthering of the Lord’s kingdom. Neumann’s spirituality can inspire us to shift our emphasis, for most of us focus on our physical or emotional needs to the exclusion of our spirituality. As he urged his flock, if we first seek God’s kingdom, the way may be difficult, but we will eventually have all our hearts can desire.

 Download the PDF file to read the full article.

Day 3 (4th January): Zeal for the Mission and Suffering  

Zeal consists in the effort to detest, flee, to prevent or repel everything opposed to the will of God or the glory of his name. (Neumann’s ‘note book’)

We’ve all encountered people who are on fire with the Spirit, who want to convert us, to help us be born again. Do we trust their zeal? Would we trust Neumann’s zeal, the enthusiasm that enabled him to travel miles on horseback through the wilderness to preach the gospel to poor farmers?

Neumann believed that allowing Catholic immigrants to remain empty of the Word was contrary to God’s will. Further, he believed that God wanted him to be the messenger of the gospel to those isolated from the Church. So, he embraced his calling with what we might deride today as ‘all the zeal of a missionary.’ Yet for him it was a sacred trust.

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Feast Day (5th January): A missionary with a heart for the Poor, Simplicity and Humility, rooted in the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to Mary.

The decade of 1860 would witness major shifts in the American identity.  It was the time of the American Civil War.  As the era began, on January 5th, a lesser known event also took place.  A bishop, just five feet, nine inches tall who spoke with a German accent, had some business to see to with a lawyer; on the way to the office, the bishop wanted to stop by the local post office to check on a chalice needed by a poor, rural pastor to say Mass.  It seemed to have been lost in the mail.  The bishop, who described himself as “a sturdy mountain boy,” never completed his task that morning.  He died on his way, on the steps of a local Protestant homeowner, without the surrounding prayers for the dying with which his confreres would have ushered him into heaven in more normal circumstances.  That city was Philadelphia and its bishop’s death happened unannounced.

By the time of his death, this Bishop John Nepomucene Neumann had given almost twenty-fours of service in the ministry to the immigrants of the United States who escaped political and religious struggles in the Old World and sought a place of refuge in the new land.  During these years, Catholics grew from an insignificant minority into the largest single denomination in the United States.  Confused by their new surroundings and customs, and often separated further by language, the Church provided a place of security and comfort for the immigrant. “Language saves faith” was an expression used by those who worked with the immigrants, and Neumann did his part.  Before he had sailed for America, he was conversant in German, Czech, French and English; but concern for the peoples he served in the U.S. compelled him to add Italian and Gaelic to the list of languages used to hear confessions and be with his flock. 

Download the PDF file to read the full article.


We will hear each day how St John Neumann understood and explained each of these aspects which have become the core of our Redemptorist Spirituality.

Each day will be uploaded before the start of the Triduum (from the 1st of January evening) so that those you can get the link to the video, reflect upon and pray with us any time of the day.

Scala News

One can view the recorded videos uploaded each day on Social media platforms:


YouTube: (Scala News)

Facebook: (C.Ss.R. – Redemptorists English)

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