Hundreds of participants joined the Redemptorists community in Tucson for a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Redemptorist Renewal Center (RRC). Provincial Superior Harry Grile and his Council members – Provincial Vicar Bob Halter and Provincial Consultor John Schmidt – were among the guests of honor commemorating the three-day celebration that began with a dinner and dance on November 7. The festivities concluded with the Mass and Open House on November 9.
Fr. Tom Santa, former director, singled out the strengths of RRC and the animating community during Mass. He said that it is a community formed and sustained by the Eucharist, the community that gathers daily in the Church of Our Lady of the Desert. It is a community that actively seeks and practices a contemplative perspective and welcomes others who are also committed to contemplative practice in many different and varied forms.
It is a community of hospitality, accepting people as they are and not as they should be, understood as the manifestation of the Redemptorist charism “through Him there is plentiful redemption for all.” Fr. Tom also noted the fragility of RRC, a fragility that any desert dweller acknowledges in the normal order of things. In particular, he said the fragile Redemptorist community must consist of men who are committed to the Eucharist, contemplative practice and hospitality. They must be willing to engage in the work and in the relationships that make such a response possible.
This challenge for the local Redemptorist community also extends to the Redemptorist Provincial Council, which must commit to this vision, and a bishop who understands the dynamic that has been established between the communities of the RRC, The Church of Our Lady of the Desert, and Santa Catalina Parish, and who is willing to enable and encourage it. He concluded with, “Next time you see Bishop Kicanas, give him a hug!”
Fr. Greg May, CSsR