Historical Institute


Contact: Fr. Adam Owczarski, CSsR, director; e-mail: aowczarski(at)tiscali.it

Origin and History

Under the leadership of the then Superior General, Fr. Leonard Buijs, the Redemptorist Historical Institute was founded on December 11, 1948. Its purpose was and still is to promote the historical research of the origins, evolution and various activities of the Congregation and its members since 1732.

The first members were: Maurice de Meulemeester (Belgium), President; Oreste Gregorio (Napoles), Secretary and Peter Bernards (Cologne). In 1968 another group was appointed to work in the Institute: Frs. Louis Vereecke, President; Giuseppe Orlandi, Secretary; Oreste Gregorio, Andreas Sampers e Fabriciano Ferrero. During the following years the members of the Institute included: Samuel J. Boland, Carl Hoegerl, Otto Weiss, Manuel Gómez Ríos and Noel Londoño (President).


The staff of the Historical Institute is composed of two types: permanent and associate. All are appointed by the Superior General, after having heard the current members of the Historical Institute. They are first appointed for one year, after which they may be confirmed for a longer period of time. The permanent members reside in Rome. During the current sexennium, the permanent members are: Adam Owczarski (Warsaw) President and Director; Alvaro Córdoba (Bogotá); Emilio Lage (Madrid) and Martin Macko (Bratislava-Prague).

Experts in the field of history, even though not members of the Congregation, collaborate by writing for both the Spicilegium Historicum C.Ss.R. and the Bibliotheca Historica.


The Historical Institute publishes the magazine Spicilegium Historicum C.Ss.R. and the collection Bibliotheca Historica. The first issue of Spicilegium Historicum appeared in 1953. It is a biannual magazine that contains articles, documents, communications, chronicles, reviews, announcements, biographical data, etc., regarding the history of the Congregation. The number of copies printed each semester is 700, of which 420 are sent to the Provinces and Vice-Provinces of the Congregation and 140 are exchanged with other magazines or Institutes of historical research. During the years 1997-2007, volumes 45 (1997) to 55 (2007) were published.

The collection, Bibliotheca Historica, is made up of single volumes on individual subjects and publishes documents and sources of particular importance for the Congregation as well as other studies on wider subjects. The first two volumes were published in 1955 and 19 volumes have been issued since.

Other Activities

In addition to the above publications and collaboration in the new History of the Congregation, the members of the Historical Institute are involved in other activities such as lectures, courses and meetings, and Consultors to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Future Plans

  • To continue research into the origins, evolution and activities of the Congregation with the publication of the magazineSpicilegium Historicum and the collection Bibliotheca Historica.

  • To continue the publication of the Alphonsian bibliography and the bibliography of the Redemptorists, begun by Fr. M. de Meulemeester (Bibliographie générale des écrivains Rédemptoristes, 3 vols., Louvain 1933-1939).