Historical Institute



Contact: Fr. Adam Owczarski, CSsR, director; e-mail: storia.gen(at)cssr.com

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 appointees were Fr. Maurice de Meulemeester (Belgium), president; Fr. Oreste Gregorio (Naples), secretary, and Fr. Peter Bernards (Cologne). In 1968 another group was appointed to work in the Institute: Fr. Louis Vereecke, president; Fr. Giuseppe Orlandi, secretary; Fr. Andreas Sampers and Fr. Fabriciano Ferrero. In the subsequent years, the following were also members of the Institute: Fr. Samuel J. Boland, Fr. Carl Hoegerl, Prof. Otto Weiss, Fr. Manuel Gómez Ríos, Fr. Giuseppe Orlandi, Fr. Gilbert Enderle.


The staff of the Historical Institute is composed of two types: permanent and associate. All are appointed by the Superior General. Initially, they are appointed for one year, then for a longer period. Permanent members reside in Rome. Currently, there is one permanent member Fr. Adam Owczarski (Warsaw).

Some experts who are not members of the Congregation also collaborate, writing for Spicilegium Historicum C.Ss.R. and for the Bibliotheca Historica.


The Historical Institute publishes the journal Spicilegium Historicum C.Ss.R. and the collection Bibliotheca Historica. The first issue of Spicilegium Historicum appeared in 1953. It is a six-monthly journal containing articles, documents, chronicles, reviews, information, biographical data etc., relating to the history of the Congregation.

The Bibliotheca Historica collection consists of single volumes dealing with specific topics. Documents and sources of special importance to the Congregation are published, as well as in-depth studies on topics of wider scope. The first two volumes were published in 1955. Since then a further 21 volumes have been published.

Other Activities

In addition to the mentioned publications, the members of the Historical Institute are involved in other activities, such as writing articles for the manual History of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, offering courses and various conferences. In addition, Fr. Adam Owczarski serves as General Archivist of the Congregation and Consultor of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Future Plans

  • To continue the investigation into the origins, evolution and activities of the Congregation, with the publication of the journal Spicilegium Historicum, the collection Bibliotheca Historica, the manual History of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.
  • 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).