On Jan 7, The Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, fifteen people became associates with the Redemptorist, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer at St. Gerard Parish in Baton Rouge, Dever Province, in the United States.
– During our 10:00 am Mass, Fr. Tuan Pham, local superior, led the group in taking their oath and then gave them certificates as Redemptorist Partners in Mission. – reported Fr. Rick Potts CSsR., associate pastor – They also received Redemptorist crosses and were encouraged to wear them as a way of spreading the news of the Redemptorist mission at St. Gerard’s and beyond. After Mass, the local community hosted a small reception in the Redemptorist residence.
– This journey began with spirituality meetings completed monthly with Father Tat Hoang, CSsR, for a year, studying the spirituality of St. Alphonsus, and determining the partner’s mission. It’s truly perfect timing that we celebrated the installation of the Partners in Mission on the Epiphany of the Lord in more ways than one. Like the three kings following the star to behold and become closer to Jesus, this group of people who came from all across Baton Rouge and from other church parishes felt called to be here to learn more about the deep spirituality of St. Alphonsus and Our Mother of Perpetual Help while serving and working alongside the Redemptorist Missionaries who provide: authentic compassion to people in the church, school and neighbourhood, providing food, assist with sheltering the homeless, educating children, providing spirituality opportunities to adults open to all denominations, all from this church – wrote Gina Leyrer, one of the group, on the parish’s Facebook.
The group wanted to take on a ministry that would connect with Alphonsus’ desire to serve the poor and most abandoned and support the Redemptorist ministry in the parish. – After much investigation and discussion – commented Fr. Rick – they chose to focus on the Redemptorist St. Gerard School, which was a primary focus for Fr. Tat during his first four years as pastor. As a way to show support and encouragement for the teachers, staff and students, the group has provided special meals for the teachers and staff, as well as a Christmas party and some small gifts. They have also been helping the teachers with school supplies.
Based on reports published on Parish’s Facebook page and Denverlink, issue of Jan 19, 2024.