As of the afternoon of Thursday, January 25, 2024, in the history of the Congregation, a new Province was born, as the Province of Europe South, consisting of the former Provinces of Rome, Naples, Madrid, Lisbon and France. It is the first Province to be born within the continent of Europe after the result of the reconfiguration process. The Solemn Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Fr. Rogerio Gomes, the Superior General at the Redemptorist Church of San Gioachino in Rome. The Provincial House of the new Province is at San Gioachino in Rome.
The date, already significant in itself because of the liturgical feast of the Conversion of St. Paul and the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, saw the entire General Government and all the Coordinators of the Conferences (the current and also the former) gather in the church of St. Joachim in Rome, an extraordinary meeting for the beginning of the year being held at the Generalate.
This rich coincidence made it possible to place the event within the whole process of reconfiguration that the Congregation is undergoing, but also to recall as Fr. Rogerio Gomes, the Superior General did in his homily, “the fact that we are all Redemptorists part of a single missionary body, and that the structures are related to mission, whose zeal was embodied in an extraordinary way by Paul of Tarsus.” Fr. Rogerio himself urged courage and confidence, in the path that the new province must take, without giving up in the face of challenges and contraries.
The Provincial of the newly erected Province, Fr Gennaro Sorentino was installed at the inaugural mass this evening, the 25th January 2024. During the celebration, which was attended by a large number of confreres and lay faithful, touching moments were the Profession of Faith and the Oath of Commitment pronounced by the new Provincial Superior Fr. Gennaro Sorrentino, C.Ss.R., so far Vicar of the Province of Naples and Superior of the Community of Pagani. The rest of the Council is composed of Fr. Desiré Zante, C.Ss.R. (Vicar, hitherto Provincial Superior of France), Fr. Francisco Caballero, C.Ss.R. (Ordinary Councilor, hitherto Provincial Superior of Madrid), Fr. Rui Santiago, C.Ss.R. (Ordinary Councilor, hitherto Provincial Superior of Lisbon), Fr. Massimiliano Guardini, C.Ss.R. (Ordinary Councilor, from the Province of Rome), Fr. Alberto Eseberri, C.Ss.R. (Extraordinary Councilor, from the Province of Madrid), and Fr. Raùl Peralta, C.Ss.R. (Extraordinary Councilor, from the Province of France).
We wish best wishes to the new Father Provincial and his Council for a good work and fruitful ministry. The very experience lived by St. Paul teaches that God’s grace is decisive, beyond our merits and efforts, so that we can render effective service to the Plentiful Redemption (Copiosa Redemptio). And it is good that another coincidence marks the beginning of Europe South, and that is the one that sees 2024 as the Year of Prayer, proclaimed by Pope Francis only a few days ago. The great medium of prayer reassures the new Provincial Government that there will be no lack of light and strength in the fulfilment of its service.
Fr. Seraphim Fiore C.Ss.R.