" Grant that I may never again seek any pleasure other than that of pleasing You, of visiting You often, of speaking with You... "
St. Alphonsus Liguori
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Messages from Fr. General

WITNESSES OF THE REDEEMER:
In Solidarity for Mission to a Wounded World 2019

st dr alphonsus and fr general cssr

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Redemptorist Associates and friends,

Each year we celebrate the feast of St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori in a spirit of gratitude and joy for the gift that he is for the whole Church, for the Congregation and the Redemptorist Family, and for each one of us personally. This year, as we celebrate the Mid-Sexennium Meetings and the important decisions that we will make about the Apostolic and Restructuring Plans in each Conference, we are especially grateful for the example of openness to conversion and to the will of God that Alphonsus has given us in his life and his writings.

For St. Alphonsus, ‘conversion’ is not only conversion from sin, but much more importantly conversion to the will of God and to the practice of the love of Jesus Christ. This conversion is a lifelong process, which involves a spirit of openness, willingness to learn and to change, to read the ‘signs of the times’ in the light of the Gospel and to respond to the real needs of God’s people – especially those on the peripheries, the abandoned and the poor.

Even in his final years in Pagani, in 1785, Alphonsus gives us this witness clearly in his reply when he is told about the mission of Clement Hofbauer and Thaddeus Huebl who are sent ‘beyond the Alps’ to establish the Congregation. Alphonsus recognized that new situations and new ages will call for adaptation and growth – but the heart of our missionary vocation remains the same as we follow the example of Jesus Christ our Redeemer preaching the Gospel to the abandoned and the poor (cf. Cons. 1).

Since the 25th General Chapter in 2016, we have been listening carefully to the Holy Spirit as we have engaged in this process of discernment – through study and dialogue, reflection and prayer, in every (V) Province, Region and in every Conference. The Conference Commissions for the Apostolic and Restructuring Plan, as well as Assemblies, Chapters, and Councils, have worked together with perseverance and openness. Together, we seek to make this spirit which animated Alphonsus our own spirit.

Message of Fr. General CSsR for the Feast of St. Clement Hofbauer, CSsR

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“To preach the Gospel ever anew”

March 15, 2019

Dear Confreres, Sisters, associates, and friends,

As we approach the Mid-Sexennial Meetings, and the approval of the Apostolic and Restructuring Plans of each Conference, the story of St. Clement Hofbauer offers us great hope and remarkable insights into the ways in which God calls people to share in the missionary vocation of our Congregation.

Clement Hofbauer was almost 33 years of age when he was accepted into the Redemptorist novitiate, along with his friend Thaddeus Hübl. Although he had a strong sense of vocation to the missionary life and to the priesthood, various obstacles kept disappointing his hopes of realizing this dream. Nevertheless, Clement did not stop searching for a way to respond to what he experienced as the call of God. He studied theology in Vienna, spent time as a hermit and catechist in Tivoli, read spiritual books (including some works by Alphonsus Liguori), developed a deep prayer life, and went on a pilgrimage to Rome. In Rome, he met the Redemptorist Missionaries working in the church of San Giuliano and requested admission to the Congregation.

WITNESSES OF THE REDEEMER:...

fr general lent 2019

In Solidarity for Mission to a Wounded World

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Redemptorist Associates, and Friends,

“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit through the wilderness, being tempted there by the devil for forty days” (Luke 4:1)

With these words from the Gospel on the First Sunday of Lent, we enter into our “journey of conversion” in preparation for the celebration of the Paschal Triduum of Christ’s passion death and resurrection (Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2019). This journey of conversion is a constitutive part of our Redemptorist identity and vocation: we are called to a constant and continual process of conversion of heart and renewal of the mind (cf. Const. 40, 41). We make this journey not only as individual disciples but also as communities of missionaries (Const. 42).

This year, in his Message for Lent, Pope Francis offers us some reflections which are very much in harmony with our Sexennial Theme. He invites us to recognize and touch the wounds of the world which cry out for Redemption. To do so, we must also recognize the wounds in ourselves, in those to whom we are sent, and in the society in which we live. Pope Francis recognizes that the root of these wounds is sin, which “has disrupted our communion with God, with others, and with creation itself… this rupture of communion with God likewise undermines our harmonious relationship with the environment in which we are called to live, so that the garden has become a wilderness.” With Jesus, may the Spirit lead us into this wilderness to touch and heal these wounds which continue to afflict us all as well as our common home.

Fr General CSsR writes - Feast of the Holy Cross 2018...

crestCONGREGATIO SS. REDEMPTORIS

Superior Generalis

September 14,2018

Feast of the Holy Cross

Prot. 10.0000 138/2018

"I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me;

insofar as I now live in the flesh. I live byfaith in the Son of God

who has loved me and given himselfup for me. " (Galatians 2: 19b-20)

Dear Confreres,

Today, as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Cross, we remember the first Novena that St. Alphonsus preached in Scala, from September 6 - 14, 1730, in honour of the Holy Cross venerated in the cathedral of that city. This Novena strengthened his conviction about his vocation to preach the Good  News to the abandoned poor. He offered himself to be crucified with his Redeemer so that Christ's life might be made manifest in him and the Copiosa Redemptio more freely available to others.

Perhaps this message is more important to us than ever this year as we celebrate the Holy Cross. For this reason, I have decided to write specifically and directly to you as my beloved brothers, professed together in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

My brothers, so many confreres have spoken to me in recent weeks of their discouragement and disillusionment in the light of the recent revelations and scandals, both the abuse and the coverup, and now the overt and public attacks on Pope Francis. Many of you have asked me: "Is the Institutional Church beyond Redemption? Why do we stay, and how can we continue to preach Good News when this bad news is all around us? When and how will this scandal end?" Certainly, in tlle north and west, we have seen our Churches empty, our people lose faith and trust, and young people give up. And now this crisis seems to be growing in the south and east, and we are no longer surprised by situations such as Chile and Peru. 

The Provincial writes 2nd Sept 2018...

provincialsletterhead

2nd September, 2018

Dear Confreres and friends,

As we move into the autumn, I hope that those who have been able to take a holiday have returned refreshed. I am hoping to have a break in October.

This coming week, Fr. Richard and I will be attending a meeting of Provincial Councils of Europe in Wittem, Holland. There, among other things, the proposed Apostolic Plan for the Conference will be discussed.

Also in the coming days, the Preparatory Commission for the Provincial Chapter will be sending out nomination sheets for the next Provincial Superior and also ballot papers for membership of the Provincial Chapter for the new quadrennium. Obviously with members of the Province and Region in many places, some time will be required for the return of the ballots. However, as in previous years, it will be accomplished, and I thank the members of the Commission for this work.

Fr General writes for St Alphonsus 2018...

CONGREGATIO SS. REDEMPTORIS

Superior Generalis

August 1st 2018

Solemnity of St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

Prot. No 0000 115/2018

WITNESSES OF THE REDEEMER:

ln Solidarity for Mission to a Wounded World

"When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd"

(Matthew 9:36)

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Lay Missionaries and Associates,

Once again, we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, C.Ss.R. in a spirit of joy and gratitude for the great gift of our Missionary Charism which we received through his faithful following of Jesus the Redeemer.

One year ago on this feast, I wrote you to announce the Extraordinary Visit of the General Government to the whole Congregation. ln the spirit of the 25th General Chapter (Decision 44), this Extraordinary Visit has gathered Confreres, Sisters, and lay Redemptorist Associates from different (V) Provinces, Regions, and Missions for Assemblies in every Conference and on every Continent. As we celebrate the feast of St. Alphonsus this year, I would like to share with you some reflections on this extraordinary event in the life of our Congregation.

As I write to you, the General Government with the Conference Coordinators has already conducted over 80% of the Assemblies of this Extraordinary Visit. The Assemblies of the Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean and of the Conference of Africa and Madagascar have been completed. The remaining Assemblies will be completed before November this year. lt is already clear that the large majority of confreres, of all ages, have participated in these Assemblies, along with many Sisters from affiliated Congregations and lay Redemptorist Associates. ln addition to the Assemblies, we have also met with most of the Major Superiors and Councils in the Congregation. As well, the Conference Commissions for the Apostolic and Restructuring Plan have been meeting regularly and carefully considering the reflections, recommendations and suggestions which you have contributed at each Assembly.

Once the whole Extraordinary Visit has been completed, the General Government will evaluate the experience, taking into account the evaluations we have received from you during each Assembly. At this time, I would like to offer you some reflections on the experience so far as we begin the Conference Assemblies at which the first draft of the Conference Apostolic and Restructuring Plan will be presented.

First of all, the General Government would like to express our gratitude to all of you who have participated in this Visit. Confreres of all ages, from novices to seniors, engaged fully in the Assemblies. Others who were unable to attend an Assembly sent their contributions through the community preparation. Many who could not attend supported the Visit in their prayer, especially our infirm confreres, as well as many Sisters and lay associates. Thank you for your generous and enthusiastic response to the invitation contained in my letter of August 1, 20171

Every Assembly affirmed the value and importance of this Visit. Many confreres and lay associates thanked the Consultors and Coordinators for their closeness and availability, and they also expressed the conviction that they went home from the Assemblies with a much better understanding of the process of restructuring. More importantly, the majority of participants made concrete personal commitments to continue to engage fully in this process of renewal and revitalization of our Congregation.

The Assemblies strongly affirmed the importance of the day of retreat on the Theme of the Sexennium. I urge you to continue your reflection on this theme in each local community, and in your personal prayer. As we move forward with the work of the Commissions and the Conference Assemblies, we recognize that we are in a process of discernment, attentive to the movement of the Holy Spirit and the call of the 'signs of the times'. May St. Alphonsus, an expert in discernment, continue to accompany and guide us in this process!

Recognizing the reality of the Congregation at this time, many Confreres expressed a greater openness to the reconfiguration of their (V) Provinces and Regions in order to create stronger Provinces more capable of carrying out the mission to which we are called. At the same time, you expressed your concerns and fears, as well as criteria and concrete proposals for this reconfiguration. Each Conference Commission has found this information very helpful, and these Commissions will continue to pay close attention to your reflections and further contributions after you have received the first Draft of the Plan for your Conference. This Draft will be sent to each Unit once it has been approved as a working document by your Conference Assembly. This should be received in time for consideration in local communities, as well as in Assemblies and Chapters as we prepare for the next quadriennium.

As we continue this process of preparing the Plan in each Conference, we are also beginning the discernment of the kind of leadership we need for the next quadriennium. As you know, this discernment relates not only to the choice of Superiors, but also their Councils. This leadership will be very important as we continue the process of restructuring and renewal of the Congregation. We need leaders with the courage to face the risks involved, and to animate the (V) Provinces and Regions for the sake of our mission.

The ongoing participation of every confrere will continue to shape this process. As we celebrate the feast of St. Alphonsus this year, it is our hope and our prayer that we remain faithful to his vision and attentive to the 'signs of the times' today, so that we will continue our mission to "follow the example of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, by preaching the word of God to the poor..." (Const. 1).

We are living in an extraordinary era, a time of great challenges and great opportunities. ln communion with the whole Church, guided by the leadership of Pope Francis, we commit ourselves once again to the theme of this sexennium: WITNESSES OF THE REDEEMER: In Solidarity for Mission to a Wounded World.

As genuine disciples of St. Alphonsus may God bless us with the grace to follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy. Denying ourselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, ffiay we share fully in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life and language, that we may bring to people the gift of plentiful redemption (cf. Cons. 20)

May our Mother of Perpetual Help accompany us always.

Your brother in our Redeemer,,

Michael Brehl CSsR

Superior General

Message from Superior General - Holy Redeemer...

stemma7cssr

CONGREGATIO SS. REDEMPTORIS

Superior Generalis

Nairobi, Kenya, July 13, 2018

 

WITNESSES OF THE REDEEMER:

In Solidarity for Mission to the Wounded World

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Associates and Friends of the Redemptorists:

On Sunday, July 15th, we celebrate once again the Solemnity of the Most Holy Redeemer. This feast has a very particular significance for the Redemptorist Family: we are privileged to bear his name. God sends us ‘as helpers, companions and ministers of Jesus Christ in the great work of redemption’ (Const. 2). We remember that ‘at the heart of the community, to form it and sustain it, is the Redeemer himself and his Spirit of love’ (Const. 23).

This year, each (V) Province, Region and Mission is beginning the process of prayerfully discerning the leadership we need as we continue the process of Restructuring and Apostolic Planning mandated by the 25th General Chapter. This weekend, every Redemptorist community around the world will spend some time in prayerful discernment. It is this Spirit of love, the Spirit of the Redeemer, whom we ask to help us and guide us.

I especially invite all of our Redemptorist Sisters, Associates, and friends to join us this weekend in communion of prayer that we might listen attentively to the voice of God in this period of discernment. May Jesus, our Redeemer, who calls us his friends and witnesses, accompany us every day and strengthen our missionary availability to preach the Gospel ever anew.

May you all experience a joyful, blessed and prayerful Solemnity of the Most Holy Redeemer! May his Mother, our Mother of Perpetual Help join us in prayer as she gathered the disciples. May she accompany us as we continue to follow her Son, our Redeemer.

Your brother in Christ our Redeemer,

Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.

Superior General

Fr General CSsR and Creation...

general creation

WITNESSES OF THE REDEEMER:

In Solidarity for Mission to a Wounded World

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus our Redeemer,

On September 1, 2017, we once again celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which was instituted for the Catholic Church by Pope Francis in 2015. I write this brief message to encourage all of us to celebrate this day – and to remember it in our weekend Eucharists (September 2-3).

We remember the concern of the 25th General Chapter which urged all of us to promote and deepen the spirit of Laudato si as an essential part of our Witness to the Redeemer (25th General Chapter, Decision 12). The world, our ‘common home’, is wounded also by human exploitation and abuse of the ecology and environment.

I offer the following reflection from Pope Francis on this World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation:

As Christians, we wish to contribute to resolving the ecological crisis which humanity is presently experiencing. In doing so, we must first rediscover in our own rich spiritual patrimony the deepest motivations for our concern for the care of creation. We need always to keep in mind that, for believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man for our sake, “the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us” (Laudato Si’, 216). The ecological crisis thus summons us to a profound spiritual conversion: Christians are called to “an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them” (ibid., 217). For “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience” (ibid.).

Fr General's Letter for St Alphonsus M de'Liguori CSsR...

alphonsus  general

Our Challenges and Opportunities...

Easter Message from Fr General CSsR 2017...

WITNESSES OF THE REDEEMER: In Solidarity for Mission to a Wounded World

“Through this total dedication to the Mission of Christ, Redemptorists share the self-renunciation of their crucified Lord, the virginal freedom of his heart, and his whole-hearted offering of himself for the life of the world. They must therefore become signs and witnesses before people of the power of his resurrection, proclaiming the new and eternal life”  Constitution 51

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Partners in Mission, Associates and friends:

As we celebrate the great mysteries of our Redemption during Holy Week and Easter, it is a great joy to greet you and to offer these brief reflections. Constitution 51 captures the very heart of our missionary vocation – we are called to participate fully and whole-heartedly in the paschal mystery of Jesus our Redeemer so that we become living signs and prophetic witnesses of the power of the resurrection!

The Gospels remind us forcefully that the power of the resurrection does not erase the wounds of the crucifixion. Jesus continues to bear these marks in his body, and on his soul. He invites Thomas to touch them, and to place his hand in his wounded side. As the Theme for this Sexennium reminds us, it is in this wounded world that we are called to witness to the power of the resurrection to heal and transform, and to accompany those who suffer with compassion.

As Holy Week began we were confronted by the news of the terrorist attacks in Egypt, which followed closely on the attack in Stockholm, and the news of chemical attacks and air raids in Syria, and violence in so many parts of this wounded world. Ukraine, Venezuela, Philippines, Congo, Syria, Iraq and so many other places call us to a new solidarity in mission among all people of good will. The fear of refugees and migrants in Europe, the United States, Australia, and among so many other nations, calls not for building walls to keep people out, but for a prophetic witness to compassion and welcome.

Anniversary of the founding of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, letter from Father Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R., Superior General...

fr mike brehl 2 m

Pattaya, November 8, 2016

Prot. N° 0000 155/2016

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Lay Missionaries and Associates, and friends:

Tomorrow we celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in 1732 in Scala. This year as we remember our Foundation Day, the Congregation is assembled in the Canonical Phase of the XXV General Chapter in Pattaya, Thailand. This is a unique opportunity for us as a whole Congregation to joyfully celebrate the great gift of our Redemptorist Missionary Vocation:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19).

“Jesus began by saying to them, ‘Today, this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing’.”(Luke 4:21).

St. Alphonsus believed that he was called to “follow the example of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, by preaching the Word of God to the poor” (Const. 1). Priest and Brother, Sister and lay associate, we are all called and sent as missionaries. Filled with the Holy Spirit, accompanied by Mary, the Perpetual Help of God’s people (Const. 32), as genuine disciples of St. Alphonsus, we follow the Redeemer with hearts full of joy. This is our feast! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

On November 9, I invite all of you to renew your missionary dedication. I encourage you to read and pray Constitution 20, in community where possible, and to allow these words to penetrate your very heart.

Fr General writes about Cardinal-designate Tobin CSsR...

superior general current and emeritus

Feast of St. Gerard Majella, C.Ss.R.

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Associates and Friends:

On Sunday, October 9, 2016, Pope Francis announced the names of new Cardinals to be created at the Consistory on November 19. Among those named was our brother, Archbishop Joseph William Tobin of the Denver Province, Archbishop of Indianapolis, USA.

Cardinal-designate Tobin embodies in so many ways the description of the Redemptorist Missionary in Constitution 20:

“Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, in humility of heart and persevering in prayer, Redemptorists as apostolic men and genuine disciples of Saint Alphonsus follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy; denying themselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, they share in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life and language, that they may bring to people plentiful redemption.”

Shortly after the announcement, Cardinal-designate Tobin explained how he understands this appointment: “Pope Francis is a grace for this time, and he really needs to choose his collaborators carefully. I am aware of how vast the Catholic Church is, and how many great leaders it has. The new Cardinals were chosen for the present needs of the Church… to represent the catholicity or universality of the Catholic Church.” It is clear to me, and to his brothers in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, that Pope Francis has chosen wisely!

Fr General and Haiti...

general and haiti

Confreres, Sisters, Associates and Friends,

Peace to all of you in Christ Jesus our Redeemer as we prepare to celebrate this weekend the feast of our brother, St. Gerard Majella, C.Ss.R!

As you know, Hurricane Matthew swept across the Caribbean causing great loss of life, and enormous damage and destruction. This devastation was most serious in the country of Haiti. We grieve with all those families who lost loved ones. We are grateful that all of our confreres survived without serious injury. And we recognize the great need for immediate help with food, medicine, and other necessities, as well as the long term costs of reconstruction. Haiti is still recovering from the earthquake of 2010. And now another blow has struck them.

The Holy Father entrusted the people of Haiti to the tender and maternal embrace of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, patroness of Haiti. As a community in Rome, we celebrated Eucharist before the Original Icon for the intentions of the Haitian people on Saturday, October 15. We continue to hold the people of Haiti in our prayers.

Many Provincials and others have asked how they can send financial aid. Some have arranged special collections in their parishes and Churches. Others would like to make a donation. The General Government will gratefully welcome all donations. Please send them to the Economato in the ordinary way, but make sure that you include “Aid for Haiti” in the transfer of funds. Any Sisters or friends who would like to contribute are welcome to do so through their local Redemptorist (V)Province or Mission. As the situation becomes clearer, The Region of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, will make more concrete plans for reconstruction. In the meantime, we want to respond as best we can to the immediate and urgent needs. Thank you for your generosity.

May Our Mother of Perpetual Help, who stood by her Son on the Cross, stand with and accompany the suffering people of Haiti.

Your brother in the Redeemer,

Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.

Memorial of Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa, O.Ss.R., September 11, 2016...

beata crostarosa ossr copy

It was a great joy for us to witness the Beatification of Mother Maria Celeste Crostarosa in Foggia on June 18, 2016. At that celebration, it was announced that her Memorial would be celebrated each year on September 11.This year, the Memorial occurs on the 24 Sunday of Ordinary Time. Of course, the celebration of the Sunday liturgy takes precedence over the Memorial of Blessed Maria Celeste! However, I encourage you to remember Mother Celeste and the Redemptoristines in a petition of the Prayer of the Faithful, and perhaps with a reference at the beginning of the Eucharist or in the Homily.

beata celeste ossr6The Liturgical Texts for future celebrations of her Memorial have been prepared and approved in Latin and Italian. The translations in other languages are presently being prepared for approval by the Congregation for Divine Worship. I expect that these will be available before the liturgical celebration of her Memorial on September 11, 2017! When they are ready, they will be sent to every Redemptoristine Monastery and Redemptorist Unit.

In communion with the Sisters of the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer, let us joyfully celebrate Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa! We thank God for the witness of her life, for her vocation as Foundress of the Redemptoristines, and for her important role in the foundation of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. We ask her intercession for the ongoing fidelity of all called to this missionary vocation – and especially for her Sisters, sent as communities to be “Viva memoria” of the Redeemer.

fr. general crostarosaa

Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.

Superior General

CSsR Vocation Sunday World wide...

Fr General writes...

stemma7cssr

Rome, November 1, 2015

Solemnity of All Saints

Prot. N.0000 253/2015

 

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Lay Associates and friends,

 

On Sunday, November 8th, in every Redemptorist community, parish, church, and chapel throughout the world, we will celebrate the first annual Day of Prayer for the Promotion of the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation.

 

I have been delighted and encouraged to hear from so many communities about your plans to mark this day with events for youth and young adults, hours of prayer and adoration, special prayers during the Sunday liturgies, audio visual presentations of our Missionary Vocation, and so many other creative ideas. With you, I pray that all these efforts to share the joy of our Redemptorist Missionary Vocation will bear fruit, attracting men and women to give their lives for plentiful redemption as Brothers, Priests, Sisters, Lay Associates and Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer.

 

The liturgical readings for this Sunday, November 8th, invite us to reflect on what it means to give our lives for others. In the first reading and the gospel, we are presented with the witness of two widows who give not from their abundance, but from their poverty. They give all that they have to live on. And in the second reading, we encounter Jesus, the Redeemer, who offers himself – who sacrifices his very self – so that we might have life.

Message from the Superior General - Feast of St Alphonsus...

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ (Luke 4:18-19)

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Associates and friends of the Redemptorists,

          Greetings to you all on this feast of St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, our confrere, brother and found of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. In fact, I am writing to you from Scala, where I will celebrate the feast day in the Grotto in which Mary appeared and spoke to St. Alphonsus at the very beginnings of our Institute. Together with the Redemptoristine Sisters from Scala and others here from ten other monasteries, we will remember all of you in our celebration.stalphonsus window

            As we celebrate the feast of St. Alphonsus today, we remember that we are in the middle of the Year of Consecrated Life. As Pope Francis invites us, we look to the past with gratitude, live the present with passion, and embrace the future with hope.

   Here in Scala, reminders of our history are all around me. With great gratitude to God, we celebrate that Alphonsus responded generously to the call to give his life for plentiful redemption. We are also grateful as we celebrate 150 years of Perpetual Help, and 150 years of mission in Surinam.

            Celebrating with confreres and sisters from around the world, it is obvious that we continue to live the mission today with passion and generosity. May St. Alphonsus deepen and direct this passion in the service of the poor and abandoned. May our passion for the Good News help us to be open to the voice of God in the Synod on the Mission of the Family, and the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

            As we prepare for our XXV General Chapter, we embrace the future with hope. God who has blessed us over many years, and who is with us in the present moment, will surely accompany us into the future – wherever it may lead as we follow the Redeemer.

            May St. Alphonsus continue to inspire us and teach us how to live our Consecrated Life and Mission to the full. May our Mother of Perpetual Help accompany us in all that we do. May God bless each one and every community so that we may be faithful as we give our lives for plentiful redemption, and proclaim the Gospel ever anew!

           Your brother in the Redeemer,

            Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.

            Superior General