" My Jesus, my love, my all, gladly would I endure hunger, thirst, heat and cold to remain always with You in the Blessed Sacrament "
Saint John Neumann C.Ss.R
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Messages from Fr. 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...

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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...

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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...

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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

Fr General CSsR writes this Easter '15...

 

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CONGREGATIO SS. REDEMPTORIS

Superior Generalis

Roma, 2 April, 2015

Holy Thursday – Paschal Triduum

Prot. Nº 0000 116/2015

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Lay Associates and Friends,

This evening with the celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we begin the Sacred Paschal Triduum of the Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Each year, we are invited to enter into this mystery through prayer and contemplation, liturgical celebration and service to those in need. “As helpers, companions and ministers” (c. 2), of the Redeemer, he “continues to fulfil the will of his Father by carrying on the redemption through us” (c. 52). What a wonderful and privileged vocation is ours! With joy and hope, let us say “yes” to this invitation with heartfelt gratitude.

As we approach these feasts, it is important for us to celebrate the deeper meaning of the Resurrection. As Pope Francis teaches in Evangelii Gaudium (#275-276), when we are tempted to think that nothing will change in this world of ours, we need to recall that Jesus Christ has triumphed over sin and death, and that not only is change possible, it is promised and guaranteed! “Christ’s resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated this world. Where all seems to be dead, signs of the resurrection suddenly spring up”. As our Constitutions remind us, we must “become signs and witnesses before people of the power of his resurrection, proclaiming the new and eternal life” (c. 51). 

To celebrate Easter in this Year of the Consecrated Life reminds us that we walk the same path as Jesus who gave himself up to death and ascended victorious through his resurrection: this path is the “way of virginity, poverty and obedience, the way of service and sacrifice of self unto death” (c. 50). This is the call to leave the upper room, to open the doors locked out of fear, and to enter the markets and the peripheries, the byways and the cities with a message of joy! 

LETTER FROM THE SUPERIOR GENERAL ON THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN IRAQ...

Michael Brehl

Dear Confreres and friends,

 

All of us are very aware of the serious humanitarian crisis in Iraq. Not only must we pray for peace, and support international efforts to negotiate an end to the violence and war, but we are very aware of the needs of thousands of families who have been forced from their homes. As our confrere, Archbishop Bashar Warda, C.Ss.R., recounts in his letter, many tens of thousands are now refugees relying on the assistance of the Christian community of the Archdiocese of Erbil.

 

Again this week in his Angelus address, the Holy Father appeals to all people of good will not only to pray for peace, but also to offer concrete assistance to the suffering people of Iraq. Through Archbishop Bashar, we are offered the possibility of responding concretely to their needs. I encourage you to be as generous as you can in the face of this crisis so that the Archdiocese of Erbil and the whole Christian community can come to the aid of these refugee families. In their name, I thank you for your generosity.

 

Fr General CSsR writes - June 2014...

 

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CONGREGATIO SS. REDEMPTORIS

perpetual

Superior Generalis

Prot. No. 0000 134/2014

Roma, June 27, 2014

“Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’

Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’

And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.”

(John 19:26-27)

 

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Associates and friends,

 

Greetings from Rome as we celebrate the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Like the beloved disciple, we have welcomed Mary into our homes and into our hearts. We “relate to her as a mother with all the love and veneration [we] owe her as sons [and daughters].” (Cons. 32).

 

The Gospel passage above is taken from the Liturgy for this feast day. It is powerful and moving. From the Cross, as Jesus pours out his life for us, he speaks these words. As Pope Francis reminds us in Evangelii Gaudium (No. 285), “these words of the dying Jesus are not chiefly the expression of his devotion and concern for his mother; rather, they are a revelatory formula which manifests the mystery of a special saving mission.” Jesus gives his mother a mission – to be the maternal expression of God’s love and tenderness for all people.

Fr General sends us Easter Blessings...

general cssr easter

Our Mother of Perpetual Succour...

 

 

olpssaints

“Make her known to the world!”

 

Dear Confreres, Sisters, associates and friends,

 

Grace and peace to you from Rome and from the Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help! As we celebrate the Season of Lent, may her perpetual help accompany and assist you on your journey of conversion and renewal.

 

April 26, 2016 will mark the 150th Anniversary of the restoration to public devotion of the original Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in the Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome.

 

For 300 years, the Icon was venerated on this site, in the Church of St. Matthew. In 1798, as a result of war and persecution in Rome, the Church of St. Matthew was severely damaged and subsequently levelled. The Icon was taken by the Augustinians to their monastery chapel at St. Mary in Posterula. However, on April 26, 1866, the Icon was again restored to public veneration in St. Alphonsus Church.  Pope Pius IX entrusted her to Fr. Nicholas Mauron, Superior General of the Redemptorists, with these words: “Make her known to the world”. Redemptorist missionaries have certainly taken these words of the Holy Father to heart, and Our Mother of Perpetual Help is now one of the best-known and best-loved images of Mary worldwide.

 

The General Government believes that it is important to mark this anniversary throughout the Congregation, and indeed, throughout the world. For this reason, we will declare 2016 as a Year of Jubilee in honour of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.  Although the official declaration will be published later, in order to prepare for this jubilee year I have appointed a Central Commission to begin planning. In April, 2014, they will present their initial plans to the General Council. They are proposing a three year process: 2015 as a special year of preparation, 2016 as a year of Jubilee and Celebration, and 2017 as a year to further develop our call to make her known.

Fr General - Lent 2014...

 

Dear Confreres, Sisters, associates and friends

 

fr generalAs we begin the Season of Lent, we are invited once again to enter the path of conversion, following Jesus the Redeemer who “though he was rich, yet for your sakes became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). The path of Jesus reminds us that the call to conversion is not only for our own personal holiness, but also for the sake of others, and especially for the sake of the most abandoned and the poor. Conversion must always lead to action for justice and peace, especially in a world torn by violence and division. “Spending themselves for others in this way for the sake of Christ (cf. 2Cor. 4:10ff), they will acquire that interior freedom which brings unity and harmony into their whole life.” (Cons.41). This ismissionary conversion – which brings true freedom (‘distacco’) so that we can truly “preach the Gospel ever anew”.

 

As Redemptorist Missionaries, sisters and associates, we know and appreciate the value of continual conversion. “For conversion of heart and continual renewal of mind should characterize their whole daily life.” (Cons. 41). The Season of Lent is a special time of grace in which we more consciously engage in this process of conversion and renewal. It is a constant reminder that formation for mission is a lifelong process.

 

Fr General CSsR writes - 9th November 2013...

 

 

 

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CONGREGATIO SS. REDEMPTORIS

 

Superior Generalis

 

November 9, 2013

Prot. No.

FEAST OF THE DEDICATION OF ST. JOHN LATERAN

FOUNDATION OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE MOST HOLY REDEEMER

 

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Lay Missionaries and Friends,

 

1. Greetings from Rome! It is with joy and gratitude that I write to you as we celebrate the 281st Anniversary of the Foundation of our Congregation on November 9, 1732 in Scala. In the Second Reading for this Feast, we read these words of St. Paul:

 

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ… Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? … For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16, 17b)