" That which is important for me... are the simple eternal truths: the Incarnation, the Redemption and the Holy Eucharist "
Bl Kaspar Stanggassinger CSsR
  • main
  • main2
  • main3
  • main4
  • main5
  • main6
  • main7
  • main8
  • main9
  • main12
  • main14
  • main15
  • main16
  • main17
  • main19
  • main20
  • vocations7
  • CSsR Voc Pic

Messages from Fr. General

PENTECOST - Message from Superior General CSsR...

brehl pentecost

Click above to receive the message...

Easter Greetings 2020 from Fr General CSsR...

Holy Week and Fr General CSsR message...

Dear Confreres, Sisters, and Brothers,

Once again, I greet you from Rome and the Church of St. Alphonsus. Thank you for your greetings, and most especially for your prayers.

Each day, we come before the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help to pray for all of you – for the whole Redemptorist Family and for the whole world. We pray for those suffering from COVID-19, and for those who are caring for them. We pray for the poor and the abandoned, and for those who are hungry and lost. We pray for so many of you reaching out to them with a message of hope through social ministries, with welcome, food, and shelter. We pray for the army of health care workers and volunteers of every nation and religion who are serving those in need. And we pray for the healing of our world which is wounded and in pain.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. After forty days of Lent, we come once again to Holy Week.

Perhaps some of you are wondering: “How can we celebrate Holy Week this year? In the midst of this historic pandemic which is ravaging our people, our nations, our world: how can we celebrate?”

Our Churches are closed and locked. We cannot gather with the faithful to celebrate this holiest of weeks. Processions are canceled. No way of the Cross. No concerts or sunrise celebrations on Easter morning. In many places…

(See the full message in the video)

 

Message from Fr General CSsR - 27th March 2020...

mrpgeneralis

 

Fr General CSsR sends greeting for St Clement 2020...

saint clement engeneral

Christmas message from Fr General 2019

Fr General writes... November 2019...

 CONGREGATIO SS. REDEMPTORIS

Superior Generalis

November 1, 2019

Solemnity of All Saints

Prot. No. 0000 229/2019

 

WITNESSES OF THE REDEEMER:

In Solidarity for Mission in a Wounded World

 

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Lay Missionaries and Associates, 

As we prepare to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation on November 10, I invite you to prayerfully reflect on these words from Pope Francis:

The mission of being in the heart of the people is not just a part of my life or a badge that I can take off; it is not an ‘extra’ or just another moment in life … I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world. It follows that every form of pastoral activity, formation and spirituality should be seen in the light of our Christian vocation (Christus Vivit #254).

Although Pope Francis addressed these words especially to young people, I believe that they are also addressed to all of us who have been called to live the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation. This has been at the very heart of our prayer, reflection, discernment and decisions during the Mid-Sexennium Meetings in every Conference. Our missionary vocation is the very core of the restructuring process and our apostolic plans: as “one missionary body” (Const. 2), we are prophetic witnesses of the Redeemer in our wounded world today. 

More than ever, we are called to live this vocation in a spirit of profound faith and trust in the presence of Jesus our Redeemer who promised to remain with us always. We encounter his presence with the joy and peace he offers when we encounter in a spirit of solidarity our brothers and sisters most in need.

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

\

“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...