FROM THE EDITOR:
ACTIVITY OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT:
FROM THE PROVINCES:
AUGUST 1ST FEASTDAY OF SAINT ALPHONSUS
The June Extraordinary Meeting of the General Council made history. It included the first gathering of the 5 new Conference Coordinators. See the story and video in this issue of SCALA below.
The dawning of the age of Conferences can put many things and people in motion. For instance, Father Brendan Callanan, an Irish missionary in Suriname, is returning to Fortaleza, Brazil to take the place of a Brazilian confrere who is heading to Mozambique, which we reported on last month. In order to fortify the mission in Suriname, the Union of Brazilian Redemptorists (URB) will seek to find four confreres from four URB provinces to go to Suriname. A desire was expressed to put together an inter-provincial community in Clapham, London. The three units involved (London, St. Clement, Dublin), decided, however, that it could not be pursued at this time. Another attempt, perhaps, will be made later. The birthing process of the Conferences will certainly be beautiful, exciting and sometimes messy – like any birth!
The General House held its annual celebration of the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help on July 3rd, a week later than scheduled due to the liturgical feast of Corpus Christi taking precedence on the nearest Sunday. The Vatican, however, maintains the tradition of the Corpus Christi parade on the original Thursday. Here is a short video of the Blessed Sacrament being venerated by the Holy Father as it passed in front of Casa Sant'Alfonso on the way to St. Mary Major from St John Lateran.
The celebration of Our Mother of Perpetual Help was preceded by a Triduum led by the outgoing Church Prefect, Father Bruno Vissuri. He preached eloquently as always, and his baritone voice led the prayers as the procession made its way around the Esquiline Hill neighborhood. Archbishop Joseph Tobin was the principal celebrant along with Father General and Rector Luciano Panella, as well as the other priests and brothers of the community.
Three North American Conference units, Edmonton-Toronto, Baltimore, and Denver are busy spreading devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help through electronic and social media. Edmonton-Toronto has had television devotions for years. Baltimore recently launched a "smart-phone" application to access Novena prayers. Denver has launched a website to promote an international community of devotees and has developed a unique "Parish Mission on the Icon." You can access these provinces through our C.Ss.R. Links button in the upper right hand corner of the cssr.com hompage.
In Lagos, Nigeria, Africa, The Nigerian Vice Province hosted a special stadium celebration. Pictured is Archbishop Valerian Okeke of Onitsha and Vice Provincial Callistus Ejike Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R. and Consultor Celestine Okah, C.Ss.R.
As the Icon was brought into the arena, the mammoth crowd, numbering over 19,000, spontaneously burst into the traditional "Ave! Ave! Ave Maria!" while waving their Mother of Perpetual Help white handkerchiefs. The effect was electrifying with fireworks and shouts of joy. Editor's note: More photos in the photo gallery of www.redemptorist.info
Redemptorists continue to make Our Mother of Perpetual Help known throughout the world!
Many confreres know Father Dennis Billy of the Baltimore Province who taught for over twenty years in the Alphonsian Academy. Fr. Billy is dealing with a serious and aggressive form of blood cancer and asks for your prayers. He is undergoing chemotherapy at the present time with the hope that he will go into remission so he can receive a bone marrow transplant.
As earlier reported, Father Marian "Marcos" Piącek, C.Ss.R., of the Vice Province of Bahia, is becoming Bishop Prelate of Coari, Amazonas, Brazil. The date of episcopal ordination is set for August 12th in the Church of the Resurrection in Salvador, Bahia Brazil. It is not known yet when he will take possession of the Prelacy of Coari from Administrator Bishop Gutemberg Freire Regis, C.Ss.R.
Please read the important announcement below about a DVD collection of 5,000 Redemptorist images now available for your use.
This July issue of SCALA, as is our tradition, is the last issue until the end of the Roman summer. Father General and the General Council will be on the move and their movements are noted on the cssr.com homepage scrollers and the General Government calendar at http://www.cssr.com/calendars/CalEN.htm. Most of the General House residents and staff follow the Holy Father's good example and escape the Roman heat and humidity. SCALA will resume with the October edition. Special bulletins will be sent if needed.
In this July edition I always like to acknowledge and thank all of the confreres and laity who contribute to the production of SCALA throughout the year. It is an intricate editorial and electronic work in seven languages that takes a lot of pre-planning, scheduling and cooperation from many volunteers to bring it to you promptly on or before the 16th of every month.
Besides all of you who contribute articles from throughout the worldwide Redemptorist family, special thanks always needs to go to our General House translators, Porfirio Tejera (Spanish) and Jan Chaim (Polish). Translators from outside Rome volunteer their time generously and abundantly. José Vidigal (Portuguese), has returned to his province of Rio de Janeiro but continues to translate for us. Hervé Gendron of the Saint-Anne de Beaupré province does the French language translations. Sgra Annalisa Pinca of Rome handles the Italian translations.Fr. Hans Schermann of the Province of Vienna with help from Dr. Jasmine Wessely, translates into German. Other confreres do spot translations for us as needed: Edward Vella and Gary Lauenstein from the Denver Province; Marco Lemburger from the Province of St. Clement; Charles Randall, soon-to-be-professed member of the London Province; Thank you to everyone who makes SCALA possible each month.
A thank you also goes to Mr. Ron Ziuraitis, our "behind the scenes" technical expert who lives and works out of San Antonio, Texas, USA. He has saved us numerous times from internet and electronic "gremlins" and continues to bring to life improvements to SCALA's style and function such as the inclusion of photographs and videos.
It is not summer everywhere in our Congregation, so it is impossible to wish ALL of you a blessed summer. But we can wish ALL of you the blessings of whatever season you are in. May God continue to bless your lives of religious consecration and your pastoral activity. Please continue to send in your news to GaryZ@cssr.com
Grace and Redemption for All!
Formation Program for the 5 New Coordinators held in Rome
The Superior General Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R., together with the General Consultors, conducted a Formation Program for the five new Conference Coordinators: Jacek Zdrzalek, C.Ss.R. (Coordinator -9100, Europe); John Kingsbury, C.Ss.R. (Coordinator – 9200, North America); Noel Londono, C.Ss.R. (Coordinator – 9300, Latin America and the Caribbbean); Jovencio Ben Ma, C.Ss.R. (Coordinator – 9400, Asia-Oceania); Guy-Arnaud Agbossaga, C.Ss.R. (Coordinator – 9500, Africa & Madagascar).
The sessions began with a review of the Process of Restructuring. Starting with the documents of the 1991 General Chapter, the Coordinators were given information about how the issue of "Restructuring For Mission" lead up to the 24th General Chapter and the formation of Conferences and Coordinators. It was emphasized that the Conferences are not designed to focus on the closing of sites but rather meant to encourage an "integration of the mission" of a given area through collaboration, exchange and common projects.
Each Coordinator was given time to explain their Conference situation to the other Coordinators. Any of the General Consultors who were familiar with the Conference or had recently made a Visit there also entered into these discussions.
Since this is a new development within the Congregation, Sean Cannon, C.Ss.R. was asked to give a canonical understanding of the Coordinator's "delegated authority" and how it was to be used. This discussion also included a review of the basic guidelines for Conference Statutes that are to be written in harmony with the General Directory for Conference Statutes but can be individualized to deal with each Conference's reality.
Editor's note: The 5 New Conference Coordinators were officially "missioned" at a short ceremony during a Eucharist held in the Sant'Alfonso community chapel on June 24th. Father General read the "decree" of their appointment and commission. See the video below with a short excerpt.
The city of Itabuna, situated in the geographic territory of the Vice-province of Bahia, with its approximately 250,000 habitants, was chosen because it is a reality that reflects an identity with our charism. Proof of this is the affirmation of Bishop Dom Ceslau Stanula, CSsR, bishop of Itabuna, in his letter addressed to the Redemptorist Vice-Provincial government of Bahia: "The diocese of Itabuna is still missionary and needs missionaries…The city of Itabuna has many outlying barrios that are spiritually neglected for lack of priests.
In May of 2010, the opening of the Interprovincial Mission was celebrated, which continues for three years: 2010 (preparation), 2011 (preached missions), and 2012 (post-mission period).
One fundamental support in favor of this Mission is the interprovincial community, which was installed in Itabuna in 2010, and leads the coordination of the Mission. It is made up of confreres of the Vice-Province of Bahia and the Province of Porto Alegre.
Information regarding the Interprovincial Mission in Itabuna may be found on the webpage of the Centro Missionário Redentorista da Bahia www.cmredentorista.com.br, or in the blog created for this Mission www.mc.redentorista.zip.net.
University Extension Course
To this end, the Vice-Province of Bahia promoted another missionary initiative: the Extension Course in Missiology and Evangelization. It is important to highlight that this is the first Course of this type in the Northeast of Brazil. The responsibility for its organization, coordination, and actualization was delegated to the Redemptorist Missionary Center (CMR). Authorized and approved by the Catholic University of Salvador (UCSal), the Course has the support of the Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) Northeast Region 3, which is composed of 26 dioceses. The Extension Course plans to offer its participants an updated reflection that is Biblical, historical, theological, and liturgical. It will also offer missionary and homiletic training, thus giving an opportunity for the faithful to live their vocation as missionary disciples more conscientiously and responsibly.
The desire on the part of the laity for such a Course was beyond our expectations and all 50 opening were filled. The participants come from 28 parishes of the city and rural regions. Many already have done higher studies. Among the great diversity of professions represented are: engineers, businessmen, receptionists, professors, cooks, students, retirees, housewives, lawyers, manicurists, nurses, members of the Bahian Academy of Letters, and public servants. Among them are laypersons, religious, deacons and seminarians.
Length time of Course
Topics and Presenters
· Mission in the Old Testament (Pe. Antônio Niemiec),
We believe the purpose of the Missiology and Evangelization Course, at the service of the Church in northeast Brazil, responds well to such challenges.
I have a request for prayers for you and the whole Congregation.
In Ukraine, in the Lviv Province, as you are quite aware, all of our properties were confiscated by the Soviets in 1946. Some of the properties were destroyed. Others were used for other purposes. When the Soviet Union fell in the early 1990's, two of our properties were returned: Holosko (the seminary) and the Provincial Home in Lviv. Later our property in Ternopil was returned and the government rebuilt the monastery and church. In Ivano Frankivsk new property was given to us in lieu of the confiscated property. In Lviv a church was given to us (St. Josaphat's) because our minor seminary in Zboisk was a military zone.
Since June 1st, our confreres have been having religious services on the grounds near the church, praying that this building be returned to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and not continue in the hands of that sect. Archbishop Ihor has gotten involved and petitioned the Lviv City Hall. City Hall and the "provincial" [civil] government are both on our side. They have to first change the status of this property from a warehouse to a church and then name it as a historic site so that it cannot be destroyed. Then perhaps there will be a case to have the property returned to the Church for use as a church. But, as you know, Ukrainian politics can be tough and very complicated. It can also be corrupt. It seems that the opposition has a lot of funds for court cases.
So I am asking everyone and our whole Congregation for prayers that this situation be solved and that this historic Redemptorist church again be returned into the hands of the Church. That this sacred spot become again a place of pilgrimage and a place for worship for the faithful. Thank you.
On June 8, 2011 Lviv Archbishop Igor Voznyak, C.Ss.R., blessed the cornerstone for the new Church that will be dedicated to Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky.
Participating in the ceremony was Lviv Provincial Superior Ihor Kolisnyk, C.Ss.R., many Redemptorist priests and brothers, Redemptoristines, the builders and parishioners of St. Josaphat Redemptorist Church.
On Saturday, June 25, in the Monastery of Wittem (Province of St. Clement) the fifth province-wide meeting of Redemptorists and lay co-workers, convened under the Alphonsian theme: "Love, freedom and openness." This day was special for several reasons. It was the lay group's first encounter with the new provincial superior, Father Johannes Römelt , who succeeds Fr. Hermann ten Winkel.
The day, attended by over 110 people, had a festive character: Besides
the Liturgy and commitment ceremony, there were poignant
moments of reflection on texts of St. Alphonsus, a pleasant Italian
meal in the historic refectory and Redemptorists and lay people working
together were able to introduce themselves and explain the apostolic
projects they are involved in.
A collection of photographs has been prepared that offers the Redemptorist world an organized visual documentation that treats primarily the origins of the Congregation. It is being offered to you as a useful aid for different areas of apostolic activity: publications (print and digital), historical research, pastoral catechetics, formation of new members, etc.
The collection of eleven DVDs contains more than five thousand images with their respective captions.
This vintage collection, developed through the course of 24 years of work and archival research, allowed for the recovery of numerous instances of photographic documentation that, for various reasons over the passage of time, would have become illegible or anonymous. During this research important discoveries were made: some photographic plates from the end of the Nineteenth and beginning of the Twentieth Centuries, old copper incisions used for printing literary works or for devotional images now lost.
In the course of the years, with the completion of the reconstruction of buildings and remodeling of rooms destroyed in the [Italian] earthquake of November 23, 1980, the photographs of original places and houses were updated. The same occurred after the restoration of paintings, sculptures and written documents pertaining to Alphonsian and Redemptorist memorabilia. The computerization of the photograph material, excluding items originally created by digital means, were prepared by scanning negatives, prints and original documents.
This collection of images is divided into the following topics:
1. Places: Naples, Amalfi Coast, S. Maria dei Monti, Villa Liberi, Muro Lucano and Capodigiano, Deliceto, S. Agata dei Goti, Airola, Rome, Teano, Foggia.
All the images are accompanied by essential captions in which the subject pictured is described and the name of the photographer is given. The paintings, sculptures, engravings and written documents are presented with the name of the author, the title of the work, and the current location where it is preserved.
Each disk contains a list of its contents, repeated in the corresponding index of the topic. The general index of the entire collection is repeated on each DVD. [Editor's note: The text of captions and the indexes are in Italian only. But in most cases they would be recognizable to a non-Italian reader or by employing the use of an internet translator. This collection would be a valuable and "must have it" addition for Provincial use in newsletters, church bulletins, vocational material -- all things Redemptorist.]
This collection of images, although not copyrighted, is prepared mainly for the use of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.
The set of eleven DVDs can only be ordered through Materdomini.
For twenty euros (€ 20) plus shipping and handling. Contact: Valsele
Tipografica srl – Località Petazze – 83040 Materdomini (AV) – Italy;
Telephone: (0039) 082758100; E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's note: Father General, Vicar General Enrique López, and Consultor General Juventius Andrade visited this event last summer. They wanted SCALA readers to be aware of it in case you happen to be visiting Italy and would be in the area during the month of August.
This year (2011) marks the sixth celebration of the "Il GRANDE SPETTACOLO DELL'ACQUA" (Aquatic Extravaganza), an aquatic event, which tells the life of St. Gerard Majella, the "People's Saint". Thousands of spectators have attended the production – among them our Fr. General Mike Brehl, his Vicar, Fr. Enrique Lopez, and Fr. Juventius Andrade , members of the Redemptorist General Council.
The production "Il GRANDE SPETTACOLO DELL'ACQUA"® is an interweaving of emotion, light, dance, pictures and theatre, which all takes place on an artificial lake situated in an enchanting natural setting.
Every evening throughout August the audience is given a unique, intense emotional experience: water and its mysteries are united with the magic of fire; dance, physical gracefulness and the extraordinary effect of music are mingled with poetry.
The story of St. Gerard is presented in an interesting and fascinating narrative technique that weaves his life with that of St. Alphonsus, and with present day reality. It is the story of a man in continual search for God and His beautiful Will — the deep meaning of Gerard's life.
The life of St. Gerard Majella tells the story of a man who set off to become a saint, a journey that would take him through three regions of Italy: Basilicata (Muro Lucano) where he was born and grew up; Puglia (Deliceto) where he received his formation; Campania (Materdomini) where he carried out his apostolate, and where he died. The story recounts his dreams and hopes, struggles with the evil one and his dedication to the poor. It tells of his miracles and his intimate relationship with the Lord and Our Lady. All this is done through a skilful direction of dance, actors, lights and aquatic effects, which presents the important moments of the life of the Saint: the miracle of the loaf of white bread; his First Communion, given him by the Archangel Michael; the key in the well; his "running away from home"; his being falsely accused, and his meeting with St. Alphonsus; his welcoming of the poor; the miraculous handkerchief; his death and his subsequent fame. It was a life given to God without any hesitation, without any compromises; a life lived in aiding the weakest and poorest.
Lago San Pietro, St. Peter's Lake, in Monteverde (Avellino), is situated on the periphery of the three regions that were the scenes of the life of St. Gerard Majella. The Spettacolo attracts many people, and with every performance it provides the audience with emotional experiences; but above all it strengthens a charitable project that involves a whole community, solid and without limits. Through water and its magic a whole district is united in one large family that seeks to build a world where no child should know sorrow because of an ignored cry for help - a big family that seeks to offer everyone the possibility of feeling that they share the one sunlight in the same world.
The Production is an imposing enactment, thanks to the staging of the scenery, totally constructed in water (120 submerged pumps provide for countless fountain displays); to the magic of the lights (over 1000kw of electricity is used); to the music and the dance groups; to the actors and the powerful voices that narrate an extraordinary text dedicated to Gerard Majella, to the extraordinary presence of over two hundred volunteers who know they are working in a great project of solidarity.
Il GRANDE SPETTACOLO DELL'ACQUA ® has made possible the carrying out of various projects in solidarity with the association Fondazione Insieme providing a smile and hope for a better future for thousands of children in difficult circumstances. The work of the Redemptorist Mission in Madagascar has received particular support - an entire school complex dedicated to St. Gerard has been constructed thanks to these funds.
The Redemptorist Council members who attended agree they have had a very beautiful experience. For this reason they recommend that all Redemptorists should experience this "night of magic". The production takes place every year throughout the whole month of August. The Director, Gianpiero Francese, and his troupe will astonish you with new effects and dance movements, and new aspects of the life of St. Gerard. There is also the opportunity to visit the nearby Sanctuary of St. Gerard at Materdomini, where the body of our saintly brother is enshrined.
Every evening from July 30th to August 28th at 21.00 (9:00 P.M).
Lago San Pietro – MONTEVERDE (AV)
Recent noteworthy events in the Redemptorist Family. For a complete record of Transitions visit the Officialia site
First Profession of Temporary Vows:
Profession of Perpetual Vows:
Ordination to the Priesthood:
Erection and Suppression of Houses:
Domus "Hofbauer House" in the Vice Province of Nigeria in the city of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. Suppressed June 29, 2011.
Domus "St. Peter Claver" in the Vice Province of Nigeria in the city of Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria. Suppressed June 29, 2011
The South African Province house in the city of Merrivale is erected as the Novitiate of the Region of Zimbabwe, the Mission of Kenya and the Province of South Africa. Erected June 29, 2011.
Feast of St. Alphonsus
This stained-glassed window representing St. Alphonsus also represents the memory of the pastoral activity of the first Redemptorists in America in the early 19th century. It is located in the non-Redemptorist Church of St. Alphonsus in Peru (Norwalk), Ohio, USA.
Past issues of SCALA are archived at: http://www.cssr.com/scala/index.shtm
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