‘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.
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.