The General Visitation of the Province of St. Clement took place from April 24 to May 26, 2015. Fr. Enrique Lopez and Fr. Juventius Andradre (General Consultors), Fr. David Louch (from the Edmonton-Toronto Province) and Fr. Jacek Zdrzałek (Coordinator of the CRE) were delegated by Father General to carry out the visit. The Superior General Fr. Michael Brehl was present during the last days of the visit.
St. Clement’s Province was officially inaugurated on the 1st of August 2005 in Matran (Switzerland) but the process of the uniting the four former Provinces (Amsterdam, Flanders, Cologne and Helvetica) into one Province had already started in 2003.
Being a big Province (in both area and numbers) in four different countries with different histories, three languages, different state laws, and different mentalities, the Province needs good communication between the Provincial Council, the communities and the confreres. In all four countries the Provincial Council designated so-called “delegates” to be the first contact persons for the Provincial in each country. The Province publishes a monthly bulletin called “Inter Nos” as well as “St. Clemens Info” which comes a few times a year.
There are 197 Redemptorists in the Province with an average age of 77 with only 15 members of the Province under 60 years of age.
St. Clement’s Province is involved in many pastoral projects e.g. “Klooster Wittem” (a shrine of St. Gerard) in the Netherlands; the “Youth Community” in Kirchhellen and the “Collegium Josephinum Bonn” (CoJoBo) in Germany; a new project is being developed in Ghent in Belgium. The Province has created a very interesting program for young adults called “Redemptorist Volunteer Ministries”, which offers to young people the possibility of one year of volunteer work in various social projects with a Redemptorist community in a foreign country. The social dimension is strongly present in many of projects in the Province.
There has been a policy of collaboration with the laity for many years with several groups founded and/or guided by Redemptorists; recently 12 “lay associates” were welcomed into the Province.
The Province has it’s own Vice-Province of Matadi (Democratic Republic of Congo) and is still officially responsible for the missions in Iraq and Lebanon, however the process of transferring the mission in Lebanon to the Liguori Province (India) is underway. Besides that, members of this Province are also working in Bolivia, Indonesia, Brazil and Suriname.
Fr. Jacek Zdrzałek CSsR