Life as a Redemptorist
General Takes Office
Most Rev Father Michael Brehl C.Ss.R. takes office as Fr General C.Ss.R.
CONGRATULATIONS FR GENERAL
OUR BEST WISHES AND PRAYERS GO WITH YOU!
The Letters - C.Ss.R....
If you come across these letters stamped in a book, written after someone's name or even painted on a church wall, you can safely bet that you have come across Redemptorist territory!
The four letters are a simple abbreviation of
Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris
- which is Latin for
Congregation of the most Holy Redeemer.
Every Redemptorist brother or priest always signs his name with these postnominal letter to show clearly his membership of the Redemptorist family.
The Author C.Ss.R.
Fr. Andrew Burns CSsR reflects on The Vows we make.
We live in a world where things are constantly on the move. People rarely stay in the same place for long. They keep moving on in search of a better life, for work, for security, for a new beginning. Change is the only constant. We are not happy with what we have today. We want more. We want better. And we want it now.
In such a world people find it hard to make commitments, whether to work or to relationships. The door of opportunity must always be left open.
This is the backdrop against which Redemptorists take their vows. They have discovered the unchangeable, unshifting foundation for their lives that is the love of God. While everything else changes and disappoints us, God's love is never ending. The saving love of Jesus Christ is available for every human person - and, it is available now.
A vow, therefore, is a commitment to the love of God whose love for us is everlasting.
Our vow of chastity is commitment to love God above all else and to love all people for God's sake. It is a commitment to be av
ailable for Christ and the work of his kingdom. It is a witness to a world obsessed with sex that chaste and celibate loving is not only possible, but is a consequence of being captivated by the love of Jesus Christ.
You are at the great crossroads of your lives, and you must decide.
Pope John Paul II Edinburgh, 1982.
Our vow of poverty gives witness to a world obsessed with material possessions that our treasure is in heaven, where thieves cannot steal nor rust corrupt. To posses and be possessed by the love of Jesus once again sets us free to pursue the things of God, knowing that God is the source of all we need.
Our vow of obedience is a witness to a power mad world that we desire to submit our life and world to whatever God wants. While many people find fulfilment in exersising power over others, our desire is to follow Jesus, who came 'not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many'.
The vows are, therefore, a challenge to the values that are so precious to people of our day: possessions, pleasure, power. The freedom to which they aspire often becomes a new slavery to fashion or an addiction to desires that can never be satisfied. The love of Jesus, however, sets our hearts free to love.
To reinforce our commitment to the person and mission of Jesus, Redemptorists take a fourth vow of perserverance. Right from the beginning St. Alphonsus understood the power of the world to take hold of our selfish hearts and to draw us away from Christ. By vowing perserverance, we recognise our need to rely on Jesus to help us remain faithful to our commitment to him and to his mission. It is to him that we pledge our lives.
In a world that is instantly changing, we make a public profession that we have put down roots, that we are building our house on the rock that is the everlasting love of God which is revealed in Jesus Christ.
Fr. Andrew Burns CSsR, spent many years in South Africa and is currently based at our inner city mission in the heart of Middlesbrough.
Formation for the Future in the London Province Today
Formation is an essential element to everyone’s life journey, whether that be initial formation or continuous life long on going formation. When someone has discerned his vocation is as a Redemptorist, a formal process of ‘initial formation’ begins.
For me, fidelity to the Redemptorist charism implies direct movement toward people who in each period of history find themselves abandoned or alienated by or within the Church.
Larry Kaufmann C.Ss.R
During this time, the Redemptorists commit to the candidate by providing them with experienced guides who will accompany him through the years. These years of accompaniment will allow the person to deepen his understanding of the Redemptorists and help him grow into his new found identity as a Redemptorist. This time of initial formation is an important and graced time to listen attentively to the voice and call of God.
"Vocation touches the very roots of the human soul."
Pope John Paul II - Cuena, January 1985.
Vocations - St Alphonsus Video