First Council of the Conference of Redemptorists of Latin America and the Caribbean

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The First Council of the Conference of the Redemptorists of Latin America and the Caribbean of the new reconfigured Provinces was held from May 1 to 3 at the San Gerardo Spirituality House in Cotuí, Ramírez Sánchez Province in the Dominican Republic. Fr. Rogério Gomes (the Superior General), Fr. Jairo Díaz (General Consultor), and the Provincial Superiors of the 7 reconfigured Units of Latin America and the Caribbean attended the conference.

This meeting took place during the fifth week of Easter, during which the voice of the Risen Lord continues to resonate, urging us to be his disciples and animators of this process that is so rich, so varied, with very specific features, and that, united with the Father, the worker, Jesus Christ, his Son, helps us bear good and abundant fruit.

The meeting began the day the Church reminded us of the example of San José Obrero as a space of unity that, in the midst of diverse social, cultural, political, and religious situations and widespread poverty, encourages us to open ourselves to projects of God not always understood but with availability, like Joseph the simple worker, the righteous man of silence who opens himself to action.

We have felt that the work of Saint Alphonsus must have the trait that Pope Francis so insists on… “ being out ”, seeking and getting closer to the recipients of our charisma. We, as missionaries, know well the life of the People of God from within, their fatigues and their joys, their needs, and their riches. That is why we feel strongly invited and committed to recovering the Redemptorist missionary role that today asks us always to offer with determination and vitality the current message of Abundant Redemption.

These have been days of meeting, prayer, dialogue, listening, and sharing, and many challenges have arisen. That is why we need to join forces, brotherhood, and embrace this itinerary of reconfiguration with the recommendations and decisions of the XXVI General Chapter. We also need to continue reimagining and strengthening Redemptorist confreres and doing so in Latin America and the Caribbean. Missionaries for the entire World! Let us not be afraid to embrace restructuring and reconfiguration with all that it implies.

In the seven new units, there are realities to be resolved, very beautiful projects, and many desires to continue announcing the Good News in the style of Saint Alphonsus. The Congregation will not advance without everyone’s effort and commitment.

 “If there is no new way of living, nothing changes. The pure structures do not change anything. The people who direct the structures and everything will change, but there is no major change.” (Cardinal Jorge Jiménez Carvajal).

We believe that our leadership, our service of animation, and our fraternity will help the brothers change. It is not easy, but the invitation is to keep trying.

We have entrusted the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lady of Altagracia, and the Perpetual Help of the Dominican people with continuing to show us the path that leads to the Way, to the Truth, and to the Life.

José Araya, CSsR.