On 24 January 2024, a thanksgiving Mass was celebrated at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Peru, for the 140 years of presence of the Redemptorist Missionaries in Rímac (Lima, Peru).
The celebration was presided over by Mons. José Ignacio Alemany Grau C.Ss.R., bishop emeritus of the diocese of Chachapoyas (Peru), and concelebrated by Father Boris Calzadilla Arteaga CSsR, first provincial superior of the Bolivia-Peru Province, together with a large group of Redemptorist priests and other religious and diocesan orders. Among the numerous people of God, there were also many religious men and women present.
In the homily, Bishop Alemany Grau, who is 89 years old and has been a Redemptorist for 71 years, delivered a beautiful reflection on what the mission of the Redemptorist means. He recalled the missionary life of the founder Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, famous for the depth and simplicity of his preaching and his writings. Then, with an example taken from real life, he explained to all those present how the mission entrusted by Pope Pius IX to the Redemptorists developed in Peru, giving them the icon of Perpetual Help, telling them to “make it known to the whole world.”
“From the time I arrived in Peru in 1963 until I was appointed bishop in 1995, I dedicated myself fundamentally to the missions. Always seek new ways to evangelize better, said Mgr. Alemany, We visited distant and remote villages, abandoned villages, but with people thirsty to know the Mother of God.”
At the end of the celebration, Father Boris Calzadilla took the floor to thank the Redemptorist missionary bishop and all the Redemptorists who retraced the history of the children of Saint Alphonsus in the Peruvian lands, but above all to thank the entire Peruvian community who made it possible the presence of a Redemptorist Family in Peru, made up of priests, lay people, men and women religious, families, young people, children and the sick, catechists and collaborators who have lived and live the Alphonsian charism with commitment.
Father Boris commented: “We thank God for this Redemptorist house which has witnessed the faith of many young people who have formed a community of prayer, service and communion. There are 140 years of Redemptorist mission in Peru which has seen joys and sorrows, growth and crises, but has always remained faithful to its vocation to announce the Gospel and commit itself to justice and peace. As in the past, when we arrived in a mission land, today we look to the future with the enthusiasm of all those who accompanied us to transform us into that living and active family. And we commit ourselves at the feet of our mother to continue to be that supportive and prophetic missionary family.”
Happy anniversary of the Redemptorists in Peru!