|S C A L A||
Where your heart is, there will be your treasure
|Redemptorist Newsletter||Number 37|
May 16, 2008
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FROM THE EDITOR
NEWS FROM THE PROVINCES
Provinces of Lisbon and Madrid hold joint retreat
200th Anniversary of the death of Antonio Maria Tannoia
REDEMPTORISTS IN THE NEWS
Father Gabriel Boudreault honored at Japan's Embassy to the Holy See
THE VATICAN AND REDEMPTORISTS
An interview with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Center for Spirituality's 6th installment on Religious Life
ACTIVITIES OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT:
The Collegio Maggiore, what is it?
Position of Econome General to change in September
REPORTS FROM THE SECRETARIATS
Secretariat for Formation launches Continuing Education Program
PHOTO GALLERY (on-line only)
Photos from around the Redemptorist World
On CSSR.TV: Redemptorist School for the Blind
Professions, Ordinations, Anniversaries, Deaths, Electoral News
FROM THE EDITOR:
We are pleased to inform you that our new WWW.CSSR.TV video site received over 4,000 hits in its first month of operation in which we featured the Easter message of Father General, the episcopal ordination of Father Guimarães and the continuing drama over the Redemptorist property in Vietnam. Once again we invite confreres from around the world to send us video of important events in your unit. Because it takes considerable disc space and time to upload video, we ask you keep your submissions to three minutes or less. You can upload video to us at: http://cssr.tv/upload. Send me an e-mail at email@example.com informing me of your upload. Go to our Featured Media item here in SCALA to see what's playing now. Later in the month, we hope to feature a video clip honoring Father Bernard Haring, who's 10th anniversary of death will be noted with a celebration here at Sant'Alfonso on May 17th.
Don't forget either about all the other resources available on our www.cssr.info site. There continues to be additions and updates that will meet almost any need for Redemptorist and General Government information you can think of. Take a little time and explore the menu. I've been told that our seven language website is one of the largest websites of its kind on the worldwide web!
Rome and Casa Sant'Alfonso are popular destinations for visitors during the northern hemisphere's summer. You may be interested in knowing the office hours of the portineria or front door.
From June 3 to September 20, the hours will be:
From Monday to Friday: 7.00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If you believe you will arrive after-hours, please make contact with a Redemptorist beforehand who can let you in, or carry a cellphone number of a confrere who you can reach in order to be let into the building. Guests will be provided a key during their stay.
Grace and Redemption for all!
Gary Ziuraitis, C.Ss.R.
NEWS FROM THE PROVINCES
Province of Lisbon
Ricardo Morais, CSSR
The first annual joint spiritual exercises for the Provinces of Lisbon and Madrid took place on March 31 through April 4, 2008, in the city of Vila Nova de Gaia at the Redemptorist Seminary of Christ the King of the Lisbon province. A second retreat was held on April 7 to 11, 2008, at El Espino, in the Madrid province.
There were 38 confreres in all attending from both provinces. Father Dalton Barros de Almeida of the Rio de Janeiro province conducted the retreats. His profound experience and knowledge were gifts offered to all the participants. All of us are very grateful to him for fraternally sharing his own evangelical spirit and for his profound knowledge of the consecrated life, as well as his insights into what constitutes true Redemptorist living.
As a good teacher and a psychologist he knew how to lead us to the sources of our charism. We are grateful to this confrere and we hope that the seeds sown by him will produce good fruits for an abundant redemption in this year dedicated to the deepening of our consecrated life.
200th Anniversary of the death of Antonio Maria Tannoia
Tannoia Historical Center
In the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Consolazione in Deliceto, a very well attended religious and civil ceremony took place on the evening of March 12, 2008 to honor Fr. Antonio Maria Tannoia on the two hundredth anniversary of his death. The Tannoia Historical Center organized the event that was sponsored by the Deliceto municipality. It brought together a huge number of people from the neighbouring areas and especially from Corato, the birthplace of Fr. Tannoia.
The ceremony began with an extraordinary meeting of the Municipal Council of Deliceto to confer the Benemerente Certificate on Fr. Tannoia and to inscribe his name to the recently restored Arch in the center of his native place. The widely attended Council meeting, presided over by the Mayor of Deliceto, Benvenuto Nigro, included also the Mayor of Corato, Luigi Perrone, Father Antonio De Luca, Redemptorist Provincial of Naples, Frs. Pompeo Francisco and Ciro Avella, of the parish of St. Gerard Majella, Corato, and Vincenzo Mazzei, Director of the Tannoia Historical Center. Afterwards the Mayor of Deliceto went to the Church and conferred symbolically on Fr. Tannoia this official recognition.
In a crowded Church, Dr. Vincenzo Mazzei welcomed the faithful and the religious and civil authorities present. Then he recalled with gratitude what Fr. Tannoia had done for the Kingdom of God, for the Redemptorist Congregation, for Corato and Deliceto that has made him famous all over the world. He was followed by the Mayor of Deliceto who paid tribute to Fr. Tannoia for what he had done for Deliceto and how much its citizens were grateful to him. The Mayor of Corato stressed the friendly relations existing with the Deliceto community that should be consolidated.
Then Fr. Ciro Avella of the Redemptorist parish of St. Gerard Majella, Corato, read messages received by the Tannoia Historical Center. Worthy of special note were those from the Redemptorist Superior General, Most Rev. Fr. Joseph Tobin and Rev. Fr. Serafino Fiore, the Vicar General, a native of Corato. The Redemptoristine Nuns also sent a message assuring them of their prayers on this occasion. Fr. Antonio De Luca expressed the good wishes of the Neapolitan Redemptorists and drew attention to Fr. Tannoia's special love for the Infant Jesus. Fr. Salvatore Brugnano, Rector of Ciorani, recalled how Fr. Tannoia was Master of Novices in that House. He called on the Historical Center to direct their energies towards studying some manuscripts left by Fr. Tannoia with regard to St. Alphonsus.
There followed a very touching and devout celebration of the Eucharist. His Excellency Mgr. Francesco Pio Tamburrino, Archbishop of Foggia-Bovino, was the main celebrant. This was a well deserved religious recognition of Fr. Tannoia who in response to the pious desire of the then Bishop of Bovino wrote the history of the Church and Diocese of Bovino.
During the ceremony Mgr. Tamburrino recalled in great detail the outstanding characteristics of the work and personality of Fr. Tannoia. The concelebrants included Fr. De Luca, Fr. Brugnano, Fr. Hananias Klaban, Rector of the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Consolazione, Don Sante Dote and Don Francesco.
The Committee of our Lady of Consolation of St. Agatha di Puglia composed of Carmela Danza, Mazzeo Vincenzo, Gerardo Mavilia and the children of Di Giorgio were present at the ceremony. Also present were people from neighbouring areas, as well representatives of the Confraternity of St. Anne for the Dead of Deliceto with the Rector, Fr. Mazzarella, and Francisco di Sapia and the brothers Catenazzo, Luigi and Donato.
Apart from its profoundly religious character the ceremony was marked by the sincere friendship between the people of Deliceto and Corato. The Tannoia Historical Center is convinced that there could not have been a better setting or atmosphere to remember Fr. Tannoia than the fact that the Redemptorists and his native birthplace had decided to celebrate it in harmony with the Community of Deliceto.
REDEMPTORISTS IN THE NEWS:
Father Gabriel Boudreault, C.Ss.R. honored
Embassy of Japan to the Holy See
Editors note: Father Gabe, a member of the Sant'Alfonso community, serves the worldwide Congregation as the in-house French translator.
The Embassy of Japan to the Holy See was pleased to announce that the Government of Japan has decided to confer a decoration on Father Gabriel Boudreault for his many years of service to Japan and the Japanese people. Father Boudreault, 86 years old, born in Quebec, Canada, and an ordained priest of the Redemptorists, dedicated nearly half a century to Japan through missionary activities and works of social welfare and education. For the last 19 years, Father has lived in Rome as a bridge between Japan and the Vatican.
The Government of Japan, deeply appreciative of his great contributions to Japan and the Japanese people, honored him on April 29, 2008 by bestowing on him The Order of the Rising Sun: Gold Rays with Rosette.
Mr. Kagefumi Ueno, Ambassador of Japan to the Holy See said,"Father Boudreault built three extraordinary bridges: first, a bridge between the Japanese and the Canadians; second, a bridge between the Japanese and Catholicism; and third, a bridge between Japan and the Vatican after he came to Rome.
THE VATICAN AND REDEMPTORISTS:
Interview with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Vatican Secretary of State, March 29, 2008
for TV TRWAM and Radio Maryja
Editor's note: This interview has been edited for length and content for the readers of SCALA.
Andrzej Wodka C.Ss.R: Your Eminence, first of all, we bring you warm greetings... As you perform your important task, that of being the Secretary of State, can you tell us what this means to you?
Card. Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B: The definition of my task, the traditional definition, is to be "Secretary of State of His Holiness the Pope", not so much the Vatican State, although the Vatican is this small square of land necessary to carry out the pastoral mission of the universal Church and the Pope. The title "Secretary of State" has a tradition, especially since the time of the Papal States. Even today the Secretary of State is a little"Prime Minister of the Government of the universal Church", while the Pope, the Supreme Pastor, is like"the President of the Republic." But the truth is that the function of the first collaborator of the pope - who then accompanies and helps the Pope in the performance of his Petrine ministry -has to be more a function of the Church rather than the State -"state" being understood as a political community. And exactly as a bishop friend said to me when I was appointed: "Remember to be more Secretary of the Church than Secretary of State!" Without neglecting any of the responsibilities of my office, first of all I have to be, whenever possible, a man of the Church, and a man of God. So I see my role as a spiritual mission and within the framework of the universal mission of the Church.
AW: The year 2008 is a year of many anniversaries that have profoundly marked, in particular, our European culture. I especially refer to the 150th anniversary of Lourdes. In the light of this anniversary, might we talk about the fact that Europe needs a healing, or in general, even our whole civilization needs a healing?
Card. TB: Yes, 2008 is an extraordinary year so full of anniversaries. The year 2008 brings the 150th anniversary of Lourdes, the 50th anniversary of the election of Blessed John XXIII, the 30th anniversary of the death of Pope Paul VI and the elections of Popes John Paul I and II. They were all major Marian popes, popes who have asked us to look to the Madonna as a model of holiness, faithfulness, courage and witness to the Word of God and the centrality of God in our lives. I believe that the first healing that is necessary for Europe - that the popes, John Paul II previously, and in a special way Pope Benedict XVI has continued to speak out about -is from a problem that has become quite common: the separating of God from life, from both public life and from private life. It is an attempt to put a division, a split between people's lives, their freedom of conscience and the presence of God in their lives. With our great popes, especially Benedict XVI, we repeat again that God, the God revealed by our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of Mary, is a God near to us, a God intimate with us. God is our friend and not a competitor, nor opposed to our human projects, but who helps man to achieve his true and full self both as an individual and in community with others. This is a healing we need to implore the Madonna for. The Madonna, as the Mother of the family of Nazareth, can help us to heal the families of today, the families of European society above all, but also all the families in the world, to heal them from certain forms of alienation, especially division of families. I would say also healing them from neglect, as in the decline of the educational mission of the family. The Holy Father Benedict XVI has recently written a letter to the diocese of Rome on emergency education. I believe that this is an emergency not only of Rome or Italy, but also a worldwide emergency on which we focus and work.
AW: Speaking of the Church itself, what is the role of the Church in relationship to the new Europe that is emerging? What are the challenges and what are the hopes?
Card. TB: The role of the Church is the role that was entrusted to it by our Lord Jesus Christ: "Go into the whole world and announce the gospel to everyone." The Church's mission requires the courage to proclaim the Gospel in its entirety, which embraces, in God's revelation, "all of man" and "all of humanity." It is a difficult but challenging task, even more challenging in today's society, in this time of confusion that we have just described. Another important aspect is the public role that religion should have in society. The Church says religion is important to public life: religion cannot be relegated to a private morality. The Church has neither human power nor the usual human means to affirm an ideology, but it does have the strength of its credibility, of its witness, and the strength of its conviction to the Truth. The Pope oftentimes repeats the phrase: "in the service of Truth" and "the proclamation of the Truth." The Truth has in itself a force of conviction; it penetrates consciences, and can transform hearts and can transform the life of society. Of course, we have many challenges before us! To mention one of them: the challenge of splintering relationships, of conflicts interpersonal, societal and global. In this sense I paraphrase an expression of Pope Benedict XVI, who contrasted Pentecost to the tower of Babel. The tower of Babel is a sign of division and the disharmony among humankind. Pentecost is the sign of unity, because it is inclusive: all are included and all receive the same message! Everyone can understand the message of peace and solidarity!
AW: It is the Easter season. But we know that Easter comes to us through the cross. What do you see as the main crosses the Church carries today and that, as believers, we can pray that these crosses be lifted from us?
Card. TB: A heavy cross to carry is the cross of conflict, especially of local conflicts, which bloody many regions of the world. The Pope has mentioned these in his address on Easter. Another cross is the suffering and persecution of Christians in many parts of the world for just being Christians. This is the problem of religious freedom, often stifled, for believers of every religion, but especially for Christians. We have seen much suffering, even lately. The sacrifice of Mosul's Chaldean Archbishop grieved the Christian world and it also grieved the Pope. So these are the two crosses that we bear, which we entrust to the Lord, because the cross can really lead to resurrection, and a renewal.
AW: Your Eminence, thank you so much for your valuable time and for the words you have given us.
Card. TB: Let me say two more words to your listeners in closing, two words which are very dear to our Pope Benedict XVI: friendship and joy. The first word,"friendship" is friendship with God and the certainty that God is our friend who wants us to be good, who accompanies us, who never abandons us. Of course this creates a friendship between peoples. Being friends, not enemies of anyone trying to be friends and - as John Paul II said - "building bridges and not walls". This is true in a political sense, but much truer in an interpersonal sense. And then, let there be ‘joy": the joy of being a Christian, to being charitable. The joy of being a Christian is a joy that "radiates," among the members of this great faith community, which brought us to life, which accompanies us, which gives us an immense wealth of knowledge, personal experience, solidarity and fraternity with others. Christians should not be sad, even when carrying crosses. One's cross must radiate joy in the knowledge that we are "under the gaze"... Not only under the divine, merciful gaze of the Triune God, but also under the gaze of Mary.
AW: Thank you once again Your Eminence. Please know of our profound joy in being Christians and for this experience of friendship and joy you have tangibly witnessed to us today. Thanks you for this interview.
Card. TB: Thanks to all the listeners of Radio Maryja and TV Trwam. Know that they are remembered in prayer, both by the Holy Father and the Secretary of State of the Church of Pope Benedict XVI. Thank you!
Religious Life #6: Religious Profession and the Vows
Félix Catalá, C.Ss.R.
Religious Life is a vocation, a call that originates in God's mercy and love. It is not a job or professional line of work that one acquires by merit. One should not be forced by anyone to assume it. It comes gratis and freely from God himself, who gives it to whom he wills.
God's call is an act of love that seeks a free response. According to our Constitutions, the Profession of Vows is our response to that call, given after a process of discernment. The Holy Spirit drives and strengthens the person to offer God a total gift of self in response to his call (Constitution 56). The Redemptorist grows in his vocation by growing in docility to the Spirit (Constitution 25).
The vows, then, are not fundamentally assumed as norms to be carried out. They presuppose the fundamental desire to respond fully to God's call. They are the means we are offered to respond to God's call. As spelled out in our Constitutions, they lead us to develop a life style that integrates both the gift and our response as a total giving of self. They are like keys that open up doors to a fuller life in the Redemptorist charism.
The vows are also a promise, a public act by which a person binds himself for life. But the juridical aspect, although important and constitutive of one's response, is not the basis of our religious life. The juridic aspect is inserted in the context of the free giving of self which lies at the root of our way of living the Christian vocation.
Moved and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, the members spare no effort to arrive at a total gift of themselves. They aim to become, through Christ, a response to the Lord "who first loved them" (l John 4:10). They express this response in the profession of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience (Constitution 56).
Our Constitutions make it clear that one does not become a Redemptorist for the sake of the self. The Second Vatican Council made it clear that religious life is inserted in the salvific mission of the Church (LG 44). Religious life exists for the sake of the Kingdom.
From this arises their duty of working to implant and strengthen the Kingdom of Christ in souls and to extend that Kingdom to every clime. ... The profession of the evangelical counsels, then, appears as a sign which can and ought to attract all the members of the Church to an effective and prompt fulfillment of the duties of their Christian vocation. ... The religious state clearly manifests that the Kingdom of God and its needs, in a very special way, are raised above all earthly considerations.
Thus, in speaking about our religious Profession, our Constitutions do not center on the specific vows but on the fundamental giving of self of the person and in the life style assumed in living out our charism. Apostolic charity, through which the members share in the mission of Christ the Redeemer, is the principle that unifies their entire life. For it identifies them in a certain sense with Christ, who continues to fulfill the will of his Father by carrying on the redemption through them. Since the glory of God and the salvation of the world are one, and since love for God and love for people are the same, the members live their union with God in the form of apostolic charity and, through missionary charity, seek his glory.
In this way pastoral charity gives soul and unity to the life of the members. Community life is really at the service of the apostolate. Continual conversion, the result of their total surrender to God, increases their availability for the service of others. Indeed the very religious bonds, by which the members dedicate themselves to God, necessarily involve commitment to the apostolate and strengthen that commitment.
Religious profession, therefore, becomes the definitive act of the whole missionary life of Redemptorists. (Constitutions 52-54)
The vows (“indeed the very religious bonds") must be approached from a theological (Spiritual) perspective. The obligations and discipline that arise from them are not self-serving but ought to guide us in the direction of living fully our sharing in the mission of Christ.
This profession makes all Redemptorists truly missionaries, whether they are engaged in different activities of the apostolic ministry or hindered from working at all, whether they are occupied with various services on behalf of the Congregation or the confreres, or are advanced in age, sick, or incapable of external work or whether, above all, they are suffering and dying for the salvation of the world (Constitution 55).
We should not reduce our view of Profession to a juridic perspective. This will lead us to concentrate on the minimal requirements of law. Thus, for example, one can pretend to live the vow of poverty as a vow of dependency, with little or no reference to the demands of the Kingdom of Christ and the poor. Seen as the expression of a fundamental giving of self in response to God's call, the vows are expressions and means to grow in the freedom the Christian is called to live (Galatians 5, 1.13).
The Eastern rites and traditions in our Congregation should offer a significant service to our understanding of our religious profession and the living of the vows today. They keep alive ancient approaches to the total self-giving. The Greek tradition of religious life, for example, understood at its origins the"vow" as euché, a term that derives from eùchomai, to pray, to ask, to give thanks (eucharistía). From this perspective a vow does not imply that one is called to do difficult things or to fulfill juridic requirements. It seeks to express the conviction of God's presence in history which leads a person to make an offering (oblation) of his life, to live a lifestyle that can be described as a liturgy of joy, thanksgiving and life. I would like to invite Redemptorists of the various (Oriental) rites to share with the Congregation the wealth of their traditions with regard to Religious life and the living of the vows.
ACTIVITIES OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT:
The Collegio Maggiore (Higher College) of St. Alphonsus 2007-2008.
José Vidigal, C.Ss.R.
The Collegio Maggiore (Higher College) of St. Alphonsus is the name given to the Institute in the General House that accommodates Redemptorist students who come to Rome to pursue advanced studies (General Statute 083). It is commended to the special care of the Superior General and has its own Director, who in this triennium is Fr. José Vidigal of the Province of Rio de Janeiro.
This year the number of students is 32, somewhat more than in previous years and for the first time the College includes confreres from Iraq, El Salvador, Zimbabwe and Bolivia.
The following is the list according to countries: Brazil 6, Poland 3, Vietnam 3, Argentina 2, Bolivia 2, Colombia 2, India 2. The following countries have one each: Angola, Chile, Congo, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Mexico, El Salvador, Scotland, United States, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
Therefore in terms of Continents there are 7 from Asia, 3 from Africa, 5 from Europe, 2 from North America, 2 from Central America and 13 from South America.
Their ages range from 31 to 58 years giving an average age of 36.81 if our mathematical calculations are correct. In general they are sent to Rome after having considerable pastoral experience in their (V) Provinces. Among the different ministries they have experienced are: Vice-Provincial Vicar, Mission Superior, Rector, Pastor, Master of Novices, Seminary Professor, Missionary and Director of Vocation and Youth Ministry.
As regards the subjects of their studies 11 are doing Moral Theology, 3 Canon Law, 3 Spirituality, 3 Biblical Theology, 2 Dogmatic Theology, 1 Christian Anthropology, 1 Philosophy, 1 Liturgy, 1 Missiology, 1 Psychology, 1 Psycho pedagogy, 1 Holy Scripture, 1 Social Science, 1 Church History, 1 Pastoral Theology. Five are studying for the Doctorate and 27 for the Licentiate.
They are attending the following Institutes: Alphonsian Academy 11, Gregorian University 8, Teresianum 4, Lateran University 2, Salesian University 2, Angelicum 1, Anselmianum 1, Biblical Institute 1, Oriental Institute 1, Urbaniana University 1.
A Change in the Econome Office
Gary Ziuraitis, C.Ss.R.
On March 19th, after consultation with his Council, Father General accepted the wishes of Father Patrick OKeeffe, Econome General, to return to the Dublin Province in September after eight years of service to the worldwide Congregation. Father Stanisław Wróbel, of the Province of Warsaw was appointed Econome General. Father Wróbel will take up the duties of this office in September until the end of the sexennium.
In the decade before coming to Rome, Father OKeeffe (sans the apostrophe!) was involved in parish ministry in Dublin and then with an ecumenical community in Northern Ireland called Corrymeela (http://www.corrymeela.org/), dedicated to reconciliation.
He arrived in Rome in February 2000, beginning an apprenticeship in the Econome Office under his predecessor, Father Patsy Cunning, also of the Dublin province. He also attended summer courses at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA in the area of financial administration.
Father OKeeffe considers living through and surviving two serious crashes in the value of the stock market this past decade as a major accomplishment. But he has also applied his keen skills to juggling the many financial demands of the General Government on a limited income, stretching the available Solidarity funds and helping to start the fund for Africa just to mention three more!
Father OKeeffe will return to work in the mission of the Dublin province.
Father Stanisław Wróbel is no stranger to Rome and the General Government. SCALA readers will recall that he served as a General Consultor from 1997 to 2003. He continued to serve on the General Government's General Secretariat for Finance while taking up his new position as Rector of the Redemptorist house in Warsaw, which is both a pastoral center and the residence for the philosophy students. He looks forward to joining his 12 other Polish confreres at Sant'Alfonso who are engaged in Curial work, the Academia Alfonsiana, or as students.
Continuing in the Econome Office are Vice Econome, Father Francisco J. Hoa from the Province of Vietnam and Economato Father Fred Brinkmann from the Province of Baltimore.
REPORTS FROM THE SECRETARIATS
The General Secretariat of Formation
Luis Alberto Roballo, C.Ss.R.
Constitution 77 inspires the formation of Redemptorists. It says: "The apostolic purpose of the Congregation must inspire and penetrate the whole formation process of its members."
The reality of Formation is very complex in the diverse Units and Redemptorist apostolates. The General Secretariat of Formation has proposed for itself as objectives for the present sexennium to support the General Council in the encouragement of formation in the Congregation, to study the concrete situation of formation, to evaluate and supervise the process of formation in the various Units and to promote and give support to the initiatives of collaboration which exist and that are arising in various places.
The Secretariat consists of the following members:
Jacek Dembek (Consultor General), President; Raymond Douziech (Consultor General); Yaroslav Pryriz (Lviv, honorary member, bishop); Jacek Zdrzalek (Warsaw), Superior in Tuchow; Jose Rafael Prada Ramirez (Bogota), formerly professor of the Alphonsian Academy and now Provincial; John Michael Brehl (Edmonton-Toronto) Provincial; Ronald McAinsh (London), formerly Superior in Zimbabwe and now Provincial; Sahay Arokiasamy (Bangalore), formator; Luis Alberto Roballo Lozano (Bogota), Executive Secretary.
The work of the Council is concretized in tasks which are programmed and evaluated in two annual meetings and in an on-going, active communication. Since the beginning of 2007 the proposal of having an Executive Secretary was put into effect. This allows for more complex tasks and it gives them some continuity. The main areas in which the Secretariat of Formation works in this sexennium are: Support to the General Council, courses of formation and the putting together of a Manual for Formation.
Support for the General Council
Support for the General Council takes form in the evaluation of the "Ratio Formationis" which more than half of the Units have sent in for approval and reflection on the various plans for formation and intiatives which come up in the provinces and vice-provinces and also in the various regions of the Congregation. In the evaluations there is taken into consideration the common vision of the formative process in its faithfulness to the Church, the charism of the Congregation and the reality of each Unit, as also the continuity of the formative process and the ties to the Communities and to the Councils of each Unit. To be able to count on excellent formators and to procure their qualification without doubt rebounds to the quality of formation.
In contact with the Secretariats, Commissions and Institutes of the General Government there is maintained an active and effective relationship with the whole Congregation, for the purpose of giving service and inspiration to formation. We share fully in the spirit of Constitution 82: "All the members share responsibility in the work of formation. They share it not only for those who are beginning life in the Congregation, but for all the confreres. For the whole Congregation is continually in process of formation and development, to be ready to meet the needs of the people to whom its members preach the Gospel."
The Courses of Formation for Formators
This has been the most inventive and demanding task of the Secretariat. It has had notable acceptance on the part of the Units and of the participants. Up til now the courses have been organized in English and Spanish and we are about ready to give support to them in other languages, particularly in French and Brazilian Portuguese. The courses already held or scheduled to be held are:
1) Villa Allende, Cordoba, Argentina. Course in Spanish for the Units of Latin America, the Caribbean and Brazil, in the Redemptorist house of San Alfonso of Villa Allende, from the 1st to the 29th of September, 2007. 35 Redemptorists participated from 16 Units, including some from Brazil and outside of America. The course was considered excellent and the participants sent an open letter to their Superiors. The help of the Argentinian Province was invaluable in the preparation and unfolding of the course.
2) Minburi, Bangkok, Thailand. Course scheduled from the 29th of April until the 22nd of May, 2008, in English. Especially offered for the Units of Asia and Oceania, with participation by 39 members from 18 Units and 16 countries. The place for the course is our house of St.John Neumann, well known by the Redemptorists of Asia and Oceania, and headquarters for the Viceprovincial. Thailand is a Vice province of the Province of Denver.
3) Kinnoull, Perth, Scotland. From the 29th of June until the 16th of July, 2008. Course in English especially offered for the Units of Europe, Africa and North America. Our house of Saint Mary of Kinnoull is the Redemptorist residence closest to the North Pole, in Perth, near Edinburgh in Scotland, of the London Province. At the moment there are 17 participants expected from 11 Redemptorist Units.
4) Suba, Bogota, Colombia. From the 3rd to the 29th of August, 2008. The second part of the course begun at Villa Allende last year with the same participants. The course will take place in St.Alphonsus Seminary in Suba, in the metropolitan area of Bogota, with nearly 50 years of formative tradition in the Province of Bogota and in the region. We hope to count on the presence of the same Units and nationalities which were at Villa Allende.
5) We hope to have the second session of the courses in English for Asia-Oceania and for Europe, Africa and North America, next year (2009), before the General Chapter. This way we can present an evaluation of this project as part of the work done by the General Secretariat of Formation in the report to the General Chapter.
Each of the courses occurs in two stages, with an interlude of a year between them. The same objectives apply to all the courses: to facilitate concrete helps with regard to the principle needs and problems which occur in Redemptorist formation; among these are formation for celibacy, common life and the new profile of the youth of today. It is notable that there is interest in a specifically Redemptorist formation, taking into account our history and spirituality, the Constitutions and the Ratio Formationis C.Ss.R. In this sense we establish a close relationship to the courses of Spirituality and the studies about St.Alphonsus and with the many formation activities of the Redemptorist Units and Regions. We are conscious of the importance of a solid Anthropology and Psychology as well as an ample vision and an anchoring in pastoral and missionary action and intercultural dialoge.
After each course, the participants stay in contact and organize themselves around an on-line course which is found at the following website: www.fcontinuacssr.info.
Each course counts on the backing of the Fundacion Universitaria San Alfonso (FUSA) with its headquarters in Bogota, as "diplomad" with over 120 hours of academic hours and in the end there is given to each participant a Certificate, with the validity of university study. (Website: www.fusa.edu.co)
The Production of a Manual for Formation
On the Congregation's website (www.cssr.info General Government/Secretariats and Commissions/Formation) on the page among the Documents for Formation are found now a considerable number of chapters for the Manual for Redemptorist Formation. It is hoped that we will complete the manual before the General Chapter and to put it at the service of the formators. The Manual of Formation is intended to be a guide and practical help to formators in the work of formation and in the circumstances which require special attention, such as the selection of candidates, accompaniment and discernment, the principal problems in formation today, the approval of important steps and on-going formation. The Manual helps to fill out the outline traced in the Ratio Formationis, just as much the General Ratio as the particular ones of the various Units and Programs and it makes concrete the various areas frequently discussed of priestly and religious formation.
A Word of Mutual Support in Formation
The General Secretariat of Formation is aware of the importance of Formation, not only with regards to the structures but especially regarding every current of life, which life in the Congregation generates and gives potential. While the techniques and means of learning in many fields of learning and of human activity are developing, it seems the quality of formation is deteriorating, beginning with the family. This explains the crises in institutions, politics, families and even the very problems lived within the Church. When the quality of formation disintegrates, people do not have security and solidity sufficient to that demanded by the world of today. This affects notably the solidity and consistency of work, including religious and apostolic work. The solution seems to be found in Constitution 90: "Therefore every member should eagerly try to give new life to his ministry. he should endeavor to make it more fruitful by constant study of the sacred and human sciences, and by fraternal sharing with his confreres."
PHOTO GALLERY (on-line only)
1. Members of the Lisbon and Madrid provinces participate in a joint retreat.
2. The Lisbon/Madrid retreatants pose for a group picture.
3. 2008 marks the 200th Anniversary of the death of Antonio Maria Tannoia.
4. The town of Deliceto, Italy hosted a ceremony honoring Father Tannoia, organized by Mr. Vincenzo Mazzei of the Tannoia History Center.
5. Father Ciro Avella, C.Ss.R. of the Province of Naples addresses the Tannoia ceremony participants.
6. Mr. Mazzei presents Father Salvatore Brugnano, C.Ss.R. of the Province of Naples with a painting of Our Lady of Consolation.
7. Father Patrick O Keeffe, outgoing Econome General, and Father Stanislaw Wróbel, incoming Econome General, from the province of Warsaw.
8 .Fathers Jan Król, Andrzej Wodka and recording crew with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
9. Father Gabriel Boudreault, C.Ss.R., recipient of an award from the Japanese Embassy to the Holy See and Father Luis Alberto Roballo, C.Ss.R., Executive Secretary of the Formation Secretariat.
10. The Cardinal Maurer Society of Germany presents Father General and Sant'Alfonso Church with a plaque commemorating the late Redemptorist Cardinal´s life and titular Church.
11 .The plaque commemorating Cardinal Josef Clemens Maurer, C.Ss.R.
12. Cardinal Archbishop of Sucre, Bolivia, Josef Clemens Maurer, C.Ss.R., 1900 -1990.
13. The Collegio Maggiore of Sant'Alfonso, Rome.
This month on WWW.CSSR.TV: The Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind.
Khun Aurora, the blind principal with a masters degree in special education for the visually handicapped, helped found the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind with the late Father Ray Brennan back in 1986. They have been at their present location since 1992. Last year there were 173 registered school children at the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind from 1st year kindergarten to the ninth grade, which is near their capacity. The list of children waiting for spaces to open at this school is endless as well. Despite the fact that they are full, there always seems to be ‘special cases' that need immediate assistance and are readily admitted.
Recent noteworthy events in the Redemptorist Family. For a complete record of Transitions visit the Officialia site
First Profession of Temporary Vows:
Jozinaldo Alves de Sousa, Vice Province of Manuas, January 7, 2008
Clinger Romano de Oliveira, Vice Province of Manaus, January 7, 2008
Emanuel Alejandro Ferrandiz, Vice Province of Resistencia, February 2, 2008
Ramón Adrián Gómez, Vice Province of Resistencia, February 2, 2008
Daniel Esteban Jara, Vice Province of Resistencia, February 2, 2008
Romuald Joachim Turzyński, Vice Province of Resistencia, February 2, 2008
Profession of Perpetual Vows:
Oscar Alejandro García Díaz, Province of Buenos Aires, July 23, 2006
Diego Gabriel Heredia, Province of Buenos Aires, March 1, 2008
Adrián Francisco Roelly, Province of Buenos Aires, March 8, 2008
Rolando Germán Soto Chávez, Province of Bolivia, March 13, 2008
Francisco Xavier Yoshiyuki Hagihara, Vice Province of Tôkyô, March 31, 2008
Stefano Yasunori Noda, Vice Province of Tôkyô. March 31, 2008
Lúcio Marcos Bento, Province of Rio de Janeiro, April 4, 2008
Maikel Pablo Dalbem, Province of Rio de Janeiro, April 4, 2008
Ronaldo Sérgio de Faria, Province of Rio de Janeiro, April 4, 2008
Paulus Athil Sati, Province of St. Clement/Region of Flanders, April 13, 2008
Elias Hlomai Gweme, Region of Zimbabwe, April 19, 2008
Ordination to the Priesthood:
Richard Edwin Alí Huisacayna, Vice Province of Perú-South, March 15, 2008
Antony Eslim Campos Tacuche, Vice Province of Perú-South, March 15, 2008
Franklin Huamanñahui Aguirre, Vice Province of Perú-South, March 15, 2008
Dalmer Julio Jirón Deza, Vice Province of Perú-South, March 15, 2008
Alfonso Suico Jr., Province of Cebu, March 25, 2008
Fadi Rahi, Region of Beirut, March 29, 2008
Salam Z. Salim, Region of Beirut, April 5, 2008
Ademar Ferreira de Maia, Province of Campo Grande, April 12, 2008
Roberto da Silva, Vice Province of Recife, April 18, 2008
Rev. William McMurrer, 76, Vice Province of Richmond, March 7, 2008
Rev. Franz Huemer, 75, Province of Vienna, March 24, 2008
Rev. John Niall, 92, Province of Dublin, March 29, 2008
Rev. Okio Enriko Hori, 87, Vice Province of Tôkyô, April 4, 2008 * Father Hori was the first native Japanese Redemptorist vocation.
Rev. William Richard Bonner, 73, Province of Baltimore, April 13, 2008
Rev. Alberto de Zubía Maurtúa, 87, Province of Madrid, April 15, 2008
Rev. John Joseph Ryan, 80, Province of Baltimore, April 17, 2008
Rev. Lauro José Masserani, 68, Province of São Paulo, April 20, 2008
Rev. Andrej Krafcik, 89, Province of Yorkton, April 22, 2008
Rev. Robert Constant Van den Eeckhout, 85, Province of St. Clement/Region of Flanders, April 22, 2008
Br. Karel (Alfons) Sedlácek, 86, Province of Prague, April 27, 2008
Rev. Bernard Ouhalde, 82, Province of Lyon-Paris, April 28, 2008
80th Jubilee of Profession:
Franz X. Urban, Province of Munich, May 19, 2008
60th Jubilee of Ordination:
Francis Toner, Province of Dublin, May 22, 2008
Jean-Marie Côté, Province of Sainte-Anne de Beaupré, May 30, 2008
Marcel Blais, Vice Province of Tôkyô, May 30, 2008
50th Jubilee of Profession:
Eamon (Raimundo) Kavanagh, Vice Province of Fortaleza, May 1, 2008
50th Jubilee of Ordination:
Konrad D´Souza, Province of Bangalore, May 31, 2008
Martin Cushnan, Province of Bangalore, May 31, 2008
25th Jubilee of Profession:
Peter Thiva Saengsirwiwat, Vice Province of Bangkok, May 3, 2008
Joshua Manubag, Province of Cebu, May 21, 2008
Carlo Crispin Villaflor, Province of Cebu, May 21, 2008
25th Jubilee of Ordination:
José Carlos Edegar Ferrari, Province of São Paulo, May 8, 2008
François Paradis, Province of Saint-Anne de Beaupré, May 15, 2008
James Richard Cascione, Province of Baltimore, May 28, 2008
Peter Van Công, Vice Province of Richmond, May 28, 2008
Father Janusz Turek elected Provincial Vicar of the Province of Vienna. Confirmed on March 31, 2008.
Father Peter Renju re-elected Provincial Vicar of the Province of Munich. Confirmed on April 1, 2008.
Father Giovanni Congiu elected Provincial Superior of the Province of Rome. Confirmed on April 10, 2008.
Father Filiberto (Gilberto) Silvestri elected Provincial Vicar of the Province of Rome. Confirmed on April 11, 2008.Father Ariel Lubi elected Vice Provincial Superior of the Vice Province of Manila. Confirmed on April 21, 2008.
Father Arturo Martínez Soto re-elected Provincial Superior of the Province of México. Confirmed on April 30, 2008.
Sr. Jan Marie Klein, O.Ss.R., elected prioresss of the Redemptoristine convent at Liguori, Missouri, USA on April 28, 2008.
Father Johanny Gerardo Alvarez Castro, of the Vice Province of San Salvador, nominated Building Supervisor of Sant'Alfonso Community, Rome for the duration of the sexennium. March 16, 2008.
Father Stanisław Wróbel, of the Province of Warsaw, nominated Econome General beginning September 8, 2008, for the duration of the sexennium. March 19, 2008.
Erection of Houses:
Domus"Anbaham," Kavi Bharathi Nagar, in the city of Tiruchirapalli/Trichy, Tamil Nadu State, India (in the diocese of Tiruchirapalli), canonically erected April 8, 2008.
Domus"Karen," in the city of Nairobi, Kenya (in the archdiocese of Nariobi), canonically erected April 8, 2008.