The General Council on Retreat at Francavilla al Mare on the Adriatic Coast in Italy


The Community of the Most Holy Redeemer which includes the Superior General, the Secretary-General, the Economo General and the entire General Council went on retreat from the 12th to the 16th of February 2024  in the Redemptorist Community at Francavilla al Mare on the Adriatic coast. 

Fr Sabatino Majorano, C.Ss.R, professor emeritus of the Alphonsian Academy and member of the Province of South Europe guided the retreat. Fr Majorano using his vast knowledge on Alphonsian Spirituality and Moral Theology along with his years of experience as a professor of Moral Theology and as confessor in the Alphonsian tradition took up themes that are necessary today in the context of leadership in the Congregation. He invited the Council to take this time of retreat as a time of Rest in the Love of the Lord. In the first reflection, he emphasized that Authority in the Church is a Gift of Service from God and not a Power to be imposed. He reminded the council not to be timid in exercising authority but at the same time, it must be exercised with charity and prudence. He highlighted the necessity of synodality today in leadership as well as the theme of the Jubilee Year, we are Pilgrims of Hope.

In the subsequent reflections he took up the following themes: The Redeemer, Evangelizer of the Poor, Hope for us today; The Spirit at work in the Life of St Alphonsus and its relevance for us today; the Intuition of St Alphonsus as a way to respond to our times today; The Trinitarian Christology of Crostarosa as a key to live Viva Memoria in and as a Missionary Community today; The meaning and relevance of the Vows as consecration to the Redeemer; and the essence of Mercy in the light of Mary, Mother of Mercy. 

Fr Majorano in his reflections was deeply profound and provocative at the same time, sharing from his own personal experiences. He made the retreat together with the Council as each member presided at mass and shared the homily on the readings of the day. The Council celebrated Ash Wednesday together embarking on this Lenten Journey with a reminder of the joy of living as missionaries of Hope in the footsteps of the Redeemer. The council also made a pilgrimage to Lanciano to pray at the site of the first Eucharistic miracle and then a visit to Ortona to pray at the tomb with the remains of the Apostle Thomas. The General Council is grateful to Fr Massimiliano Guardini the Superior and the community at Francavilla al Mare for their hospitality and their witness of life, living as a missionary community with the pastoral care of two parishes and a chapel. The General Council returns to Rome rejuvenated in the Spirit of the Lord, Our Redeemer to live as Light to the World (Communicanda I February 2024)

Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R.
General Consultor

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