The Lord who instructs us to rekindle the gift of God who dwells within us

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Letter of Father General on the Solemnity of Pentecost

Do we, as Christians and consecrated people, believe that the Spirit of the Lord is upon us, animating us in the mission of the Redeemer who rekindles God’s gift in us and in the world? With this question, Fr Rogério Gomes invites the whole Redemptorist family to reflect on the reality of Pentecost in our lives.

The Holy Spirit who accompanies us from the beginning

The Holy Spirit is evidently acting in the history of our Congregation. From this comes our hope today that, With his encouragement and harmony, the Congregation is taking its shape with the process of restructuring so as not to deviate from its charism and remain faithful to its mission, writes Father General in his letter for the Solemnity of Pentecost.

The Holy Spirit empowering us for mission

We all professed members, associates and collaborators are required to strive continually to be “free and faithful to Christ”, with a deep sense of belonging and availability for mission. The Congregation, in the person of each confrere and of all those associated with our mission, with its multiculturalism and creativity, is a Pentecost that announces God’s redemptive smile to humanity, especially to the poorest and most abandoned.

The Holy Spirit renews us and makes us grow in our vocation

Pentecost is for us a call to abandon the walls that protect us from fears and do not allow us to perceive other horizons, that requires us to use new languages to communicate the experience of Christ’s paschal mystery, which transformed the lives of the first communities and has come down to us through the witness of faith. It is a new way of understanding the mission of Jesus.

Father General recalls the role of ongoing formation in the process of personal conversion and growth in the understanding of religious consecration. General Constitution 90 speaks of this ongoing formation from the perspective of mission: “Redemptorists will become more efficient as missionaries the more they are able to constantly adapt their skills in a suitable way in the work of the apostolate. With this adaptation, they will unite continual self-renewal in spiritual, scientific, and pastoral matters (…)”.

In conclusion, Father General greets and encourages the whole Redemptorist family:

Through his Holy Spirit, the Lord instructs us to rekindle in us the gift of mission, for we are “Missionaries of Hope in the footsteps of the Redeemer”. Together with Mary, our Mother of Perpetual Help, and accompanied by our Saints, Blessed, Martyrs and Venerables, let us make of our religious communities, pastoral actions and the whole Congregation, cenacles that radiate pastoral creativity, missionary daring and the joy of embracing the mission of the Redeemer in this world in which we live with its joys and sorrows (cf. GS, 1) to communicate in Him the joy of the Gospel (cf. EG, 1) that comes to us from the Spirit. The Spirit of the Lord is upon each of us….


Read the full text:

Prot. N.: 0000   093/2024
Rome, 19th May 2024
Solemnity of Pentecost

Missionaries of Hope in the Footsteps of the Redeemer
YEAR DEDICATED TO FORMATION FOR MISSION
The Lord who instructs us to rekindle the gift of God who dwells within us

Const. 77-90, SG. 050-085; Mt. 10: 5-15, Lk 9:1-6, 2 Tm. 1:6

When the Paraclete comes, whom I will send to you from the Father . . . he will bear witness to me, and you also will bear witness, for you have been with me from the beginning” (Jn. 15:26-27).

Dear Confreres,
Formandi,
Lay Associates and Redemptorist Oblates,
Redemptorist Youth Missionaries (RYM),
Former Redemptorist Seminarians,
Redemptorist Family;

  1. Certainly, we can celebrate Pentecost with Jesus’ own words spoken as a mission programme in the synagogue of Nazareth: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Lk. 4:18-19). As Christians and consecrated people, do we believe that the Spirit of the Lord is upon us, animating us in the mission of the Redeemer who rekindles God’s gift in us and in the world? If we do not believe in this, we will not be able to withstand the difficulties of the world and our witness will be sterile. The Spirit of the Lord is upon each one of us…. we are called to be the light of the world! (Communicanda 1/2024).
  2. Since the foundation of the Congregation, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, has assisted us and will continue to do so. His work will continue to the end, even if there may be headwinds or the presence of those who try to stop it (cf. Acts 5:38-39). With his encouragement and harmony, the Congregation is taking its shape with the process of restructuring so as not to deviate from its charism and remain faithful to its mission. This demands of every professed member and from all the men and women who draw from our spirituality, a constant effort not to make of the Congregation a work in their own image and likeness, but to be “free and faithful in Christ” (cf. Gal. 5,1) with a deep sense of belonging and availability for mission. If we want to possess the Congregation, then we lose the sense of mission and deviate from the charism and little by little the charism weakens because we do not allow the newness of the Spirit to touch all the dimensions of our apostolic life. The Congregation, in the person of each confrere and of all those associated with our mission, with its multiculturalism and creativity, is a Pentecost that announces God’s redemptive smile to humanity, especially to the poorest and most abandoned.
  3. The experience of Pentecost was a new way of understanding the mission of Jesus. It required everyone to open up and leave the security of their own world to re-learn the new things of the Spirit. Thus, Pentecost is for us a call to abandon the walls that protect us from fears and do not allow us to perceive other horizons, that requires us to use new languages to communicate the experience of Christ’s paschal mystery, which transformed the lives of the first communities and has come down to us through the witness of faith. It is a new way of understanding the mission of Jesus. We have received this treasure, which cannot remain with us, but must be shared through the missionary work of the Congregation (cf. Ch. I, Const. 3-20).  How do we make the experience of Pentecost where we are a missionary presence? How do we relate to the world and to the men and women of today? What walls do we have to break down? What doors and windows do we have to open so that our mission can be realised?
  4. To break down walls, open new windows and doors, we need working tools and keys to do so. We find all this in the cenacles of our communities and in the different aspects of ongoing formation. Through lifelong learning, we can receive the gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, intelligence, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and the fear of God. Moreover, it is a manifestation “of personal conversion, of understanding and deepening of our consecration as a discipleship response to the Lord who calls us and of our commitment to his mission to the People of God” (cf. Letter on the Year of Formation for Mission, n. 9, Prot. N. 0000 052/2024).
  5. Constitution 90 reminds us of this: “Redemptorists will become more efficient as missionaries the more they are able to constantly adapt their skills in a suitable way in the work of the apostolate. With this adaptation, they will unite continual self-renewal in spiritual, scientific, and pastoral matters. Therefore, every member should eagerly try to give new life to his ministry. He should endeavour to make it more fruitful by constant study of the sacred and human sciences, and by fraternal sharing with his confreres. The (vice)provincial superior, moreover, must make provision for the continual and progressive formation of all the members. This should be done by means of theological and pastoral courses or institutes, by availing of courses in colleges and universities, or by attending regional or national conferences.  In addition, following in the steps of our holy founder, our Congregation promotes higher studies of the sacred sciences, in order to attain its missionary purpose more successfully.”
  6. Through his Holy Spirit, the Lord instructs us to rekindle in ourselves the gift of mission, for we are “Missionaries of Hope in the footsteps of the Redeemer”. Together with Mary, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, and accompanied by our Saints, Blesseds, Martyrs and Venerables, let us make of our religious communities, pastoral centres and the whole Congregation, cenacles that radiate pastoral creativity, missionary boldness, and the joy of embracing the mission of the Redeemer in this world in which we live with its joys and sorrows (cf. GS, 1) to communicate in Him the joy of the Gospel which comes to us from the Spirit. May the Spirit of the Lord be upon each one of us…

Fraternally in Christ Our Redeemer,

Fr. Rogério Gomes, C.Ss.R.
Superior General

Original Text: Spanish