“Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, humble and persevering in prayer, the Redemptorists, as apostolic men and genuine disciples of Saint Alphonsus, gladly following Christ the Savior, participate in His mystery and announce Him with Gospel simplicity of life and language, for the abnegation of ourselves, for the constant availability to the most difficult things in order to bring men the ‘PLENTIFUL REDEMPTION’”.
This is the best definition of who the Redemptorist Missionaries are. It isfound in the rule of life of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, called Constitutions! The constitution above is numbered 20.
this is exactly the definition given by constitution 20, that St. Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori, an Italian priest from Naples, had in mind when he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, on November 9, 1732. He dreamed of an Institute consisting of men full of faith, happy with their own vocation, charitable and in love with the poorest and most marginalized ones; men of prayer and humble. And these missionaries have as an existential purpose to announce Christ the Savior, continuing Him nowadays, with a simple and stripped language, so that everyone understands the message of His plan of salvation!
The Congregation has 282 years of History. And it was built by grandiose evangelizers who gave continuity to the dream of St. Alphonsus; names like St. Gerard Majella, St. Clement Hofbauer, St. John Neumann, the Blessed Peter Donders, Father Gebardo Wiggermann, Father Vítor Coelho and thousands of other bishops, priests and brothers, zealous Missionaries of the Redeemer!
Today, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer is spread over nearly 80 countries, and is comprised of over 5,000 members (about 5,500, if we count the religious in temporary vows). A veritable army of missionaries who dreams of changing the world, following in the footsteps of its founder!
For internal organization, the Congregation was divided into five Conferences and three Sub-Conferences, which are large regions in the world with the presence of Redemptorists. Within the Conferences and Sub-Conferences, there is another subdivision into Provinces and Vice-Provinces, also called Redemptorist Units. There are about 50 Provinces, 20 Vice-Provinces and 20 Regions of Mission.
In Brazil, there are about 600 Redemptorist missionaries scattered across 25 states and the Federal District, being absent only in the state of Roraima. They are organized into 5 Provinces (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Campo Grande, Goiás and Porto Alegre) and 4 Vice-Provinces (Manaus, Bahia, Fortaleza and Recife). The Province of São Paulo is the country’s largest unit, with about 200 missionaries.
The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer gives continuity to the evangelizing work dreamed by St. Alphonsus of carrying on the word of Jesus Christ in our society. And for that, they are present in various missionary fronts: in houses of formation; in parishes; in sanctuaries; in foreign missions; in the academic field; in communications and itinerant missions. Thus, they continue to bring the Gospel to the poorest and abandoned ones, always in a new way, with renewed structures and hearts, because they believe that, with Him, Redemption is plenteous (Copiosa Apud Eum Redemptio), and for that, they spend their days in favor of the Redemption (Dies Impendere Pro Redemptis)!
LINKS TO PROVINCES & VICE-PROVINCES IN BRASIL:
Campo Grande: https://www.redentoristas.org.br/
Porto Alegre: https://www.redentoristaspoa.com.br/
Rio de Janeiro: https://www.provinciadorio.org.br/
São Paulo: https://www.a12.com/redentoristas
PROVINCE OF SÃO PAULO
Among the more than 50 Redemptorist Provinces around the world is the Province of São Paulo. It was founded by men who have faithfully followed the dream of its founder: to evangelize the abandoned ones.
In 1894, some missionaries of Bavaria, in southern Germany, came to Brazil, answering the desperate call of the bishops of São Paulo (Dom Joaquim Arcoverde de Albuquerque Cavalcanti) and Goiás (Dom Eduardo Duarte Silva). The Harvest was large, but the skilled workers were few. The Church in Brazil recalled the comparison that Jesus did with the suffering people of Israel of His time: sheep without a shepherd.
These German pioneers, coordinated by Father Gebardo Wiggermann, 14 men total, came to Brazil. Some went to Goiás (8 of them), and a group remained in the city of Aparecida (6 of them). Since then, the Redemptorist Missionaries are intrinsically linked to the history of Our Lady of Aparecida.
In these 120 years of evangelization in Aparecida and in the Paraíba Valley, the Redemptorists have spread throughout the state of São Paulo. They have served several regions, evangelizing Germans, Japanese people and the neediest Brazilian people. The Province of São Paulo has about 200 members, working in various areas of evangelization.
Holy Redemptorist Missions
The Holy Missions gave fame to the Redemptorists, for they became known as the priests of great preachings. It has been 117 years of missions being preached continuously already. Hundreds of Redemptorist Missionaries have awakened their vocation from the preaching of the Holy Missions. Today, the missionaries of the Province of São Paulo have a reinforced team of preachers to the Holy Popular Missions.
Vocational Redemptorist Secretariat
One can never lose the goal of awakening new and holy vocations. The Province of São Paulo today has a Vocational Secretariat directed especially to help the vocation pupil in their discernment process. Two missionaries are exclusively dedicated to this vocation animation work, but all Redemptorist Missionaries should be vocational agents, awakening in the youth the desire to continue the Redeemer.
Media Outlets and Editora Santuário (“Sanctuary Publishing Company”)
The Province of São Paulo is also a pioneer in the communications industry. When they learned the benefits of mass communication, the Redemptorists of that Province confidently invested in publishing, so that more people were reached by preaching. In 1900, Editora Santuário was born in Aparecida, SP, Brazil, which for over 100 years has been printing Redemption ideas. In 1951 a radio station was born, the powerful Radio Aparecida, which has been an indispensable ally in the preaching of St. Alphonsus’ children. In 2005, the Aparecida TV was born, a grandiose instrument of evangelization nowadays. In 2010, the Province of São Paulo realized the course that communications were taking and invested in the Web, acquiring an Internet Portal, A12.com, a digital domain that has the face of the Mother Aparecida.
The National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida
The Redemptorist Missionaries of the Province of São Paulo, since 1894, are the custodians of Our Lady Aparecida. The statue of the Saint remained in the Old Basilica, at Coqueiros hill, from 1894 to 1982 when it was transferred to the New Sanctuary, where it remains today. The biggest Marian Shrine in the world receives over 12 million pilgrims every year. With all due care, they also make sure to ever more clarify the pilgrims on the role of Our Lady in the Church, and these essential studies on Mary are developed and encouraged by the Marian Academy, a rich source of research materials on the Mother of God! In short, there is no doubt that this is a great mission for the Redemptorist Missionaries.
Redemptorist Social Works
Evangelization consists of presenting the love of God revealed by Jesus to everyone, especially the poorest and most abandoned ones. But the Redemptorist Missionaries of the Province of São Paulo also watch over the quality of lifeof people, because it is not enough to love the poor, but it is necessary to fight to rid them of poverty. Therefore, social work is indispensable for an effective evangelization. The Social Service Center (Centro de Assistência Social – CAS) is a set of social works that aims at the integral good of the listeners of the missionaries. These social projects are aimed at improving the living conditions of children (Sowing Project); to provide opportunities for young people (Youth Inclusion Project); to provide opportunities for the family to grow in integration and expertise (SOS Family and Digital Inclusion); and to enable a healthy old age (Active Life Project). Thus, the Redemptorist Missionaries try to help their served to have a better life, at any stage of their lives.
In short, we can say that the Redemptorist Missionaries of the Province of São Paulo are increasingly concerned with quality evangelization, using all available tools in order to reach as many people as possible, because the more people loving Jesus Christ, the more St. Alphonsus’ dream will become reality through the pastoral work of his spiritual children!