Our goals

The Congregation must prepare future missionaries who are capable of working in an international group.

Formation. More than ever, our novitiates and theologates need to become international or inter-provincial centers for formation where the service of qualified formators is a given and a solid Redemptorist formation is integrated with academics.

Additionally, it appears that we urgently need a more efficient and better coordination of pastoral activities common throughout the Congregation but which happen solely at the local level. For instance, we are thinking here of youth ministry, partnership in mission, our efforts in the world of mass communications and publishing, shrine and school ministries. One could cite many other examples, however all of them indicate the need for a greater effort at obtaining a common vision, an evaluation of our resources and sharing experiences. To address this need, there is an urgency to find new structures.

A real need is perceived regarding social action. If evangelization provides the essential raison d’être for the Congregation in the Church, it must also go hand in hand with an option for the poor (Const. 5). Moreover – and this is another sign of the times – the contemporary world believes our proclamation to the extent that we make concrete gestures towards the liberation of the whole human person (Const. 5). We, who have been given the grace of visiting many of the 78 countries of the world where the Congregation works today, are in awe at seeing what has been accomplished and what continues: schools for the poorest, projects to provide housing and water, associations for solidarity, volunteers, facilities for the disabled, etc. Some confreres raise their voices and contribute their energy to movements against unjust political, legal and economical structures of society. There is need for greater coordination in order to increase what is being done and become more visible in the process of soliciting and organizing resources. This may also open new opportunities for evangelization.

Another example that calls for restructuring would be the various services at the central level, which concern the Congregation as a whole and not individual (Vice- )Provinces. The Alphonsian Academy is the most evident case, but there are others, such as the Office of Communications, the Historical Institute, the General Archives, the Sanctuary of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, the promotion of our Saints and Blessed and other offices of the General Curia. These institutions require qualified personnel and a generous commitment on the part of the Units, rather than the General Government having to periodically go begging to solve a problem that concerns us all. Restructuring should help in this area as well, by pruning less useful “branches” and revitalizing those that are more needed.

Together with these requirements, a special need is presented by international and inter-provincial communities, which might provide a possible solution to the questions of pastoral care for immigrants and multi-cultural or multi-lingual groups (e.g., ministry at shrines). A decisive role could be played by the General Government in collaboration with the Regions, but a strong word from the General Chapter regarding restructuring could certainly accelerate the process. Among the possibilities, consideration is being given to the General Council delegating jurisdiction to the presidency of a Region/Conference with a view to governing new international communities.

Moved by the Word of God and inspired by our Constitutions and Statutes, restructuring is essentially a task of discernment aimed toward the realization of concrete objectives. Our principal intention is to place all that we are and do more effectively and faithfully at the service of the Kingdom, “following the example of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, by preaching the word of God to the poor, as he declared of himself: ‘He sent me to preach the Good News to the poor’” (Const. 1).