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Vocation Reflections by the Redemptorists and the Redemptoristines


Constitution 20 makes it clear who a REDEMPTORIST MISSIONARY is.

“Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, in humility of heart and persevering in prayer, Redemptorists as apostolic men and genuine disciples of Saint Alphonsus follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy; denying themselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, they share in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life and language, that they may bring to people plentiful redemption.”

God calls everyone to experience the fullness of life shown to us in and through Jesus Christ. All are called to holiness of life. The vast majority of Catholics are called to the lay vocation. This vocation is not somehow less than either the religious or priestly vocations, for God does not call any of his people to something second rate. The laity, grounded in his or her baptismal call to reveal Jesus Christ to the world. They are called to participate in bringing the whole world to God (Christifideles Laici no.1). He or she does this either as a married person or as a single person, each state of life bringing with it its particular focus and genius.

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Vita Consecrata, St John Paul II named the consecrated man or woman as the icon of the transfigured Christ. In religious imagery, an icon is a depiction of the sacred or divine that represents and participates in the reality that it is depicting. It is a window into the divine. By making this comparison, Pope John Paul reminded us all that those called to this vocation are given to the Church and the world to remind us of the presence of the divine amongst us.

The Irish Redemptorist confreres and the Redemptoristines shared their understanding of vocation with us. We are called to share the beautiful life we have received from God in responding to the service of humanity in the best way possible. We too have a responsibility to work for vocations to carry out the works entrusted to us as envisioned by our founder St. Alphonsus de Liguori. We pray that many young men and women may come forward to witness and share the joy and the love of God to the needy.

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Campaign to join the ScalaNews Youtube Channel


Dear Confreres, Sisters, Lay Missionaries and Redemptorist Associates,

Greetings from Scala News. This is to bring to your kind notice that we the members of the Scala News Communication Centre, Rome begin a campaign inviting all the Confreres, Sisters, Lay Missionaries and Redemptorist Associates, to join our official Scalanews Youtube channel. You are aware of the Youtube platform where we view and share videos and easily join Live streaming and so on.

We would like to share directly the videos of different occasions, interviews of the confreres, feast days, videos of different secretariats, and general government, etc., and many more concerning the matters of our Congregation. Therefore, we request kindly subscribe with your email. Thus you will be immediately informed when the new content or live streaming is available. If you have already subscribed, kindly spread the word to the other members of our Congregation.

Click the link below to subscribe the Scala News Youtube Channel:

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Redemptorist Documentary about migrants and refugees wins Special Jury Mention Award


The feature documentary, “Who is my neighbor?” directed by Fr. Charles Vijay Kumar, C.Ss.R., won Special Jury Mention award at the Jaipur International Film Festival, 2020- India, one the biggest competitive film festival in the world. Out of 2161 films submitted in various categories from about 94 countries, 216 films were selected and this was one of the 26 documentary feature films that screened at the weeklong film festival. The festival was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Mr. Ashok Gehlot, and awards were given away by the Tourism Minister Govind Singh and others.


It was a unique experience to screen a film that showcases Stories of Redemptorists and other Christian organizations working in solidarity with the poor migrants and refugees across the globe on a big screen to a secular audience. The film was well-received by the audience and created a rare platform to express the catholic social teachings on screen and through the Q & A session.

Apart from this, the film has also been recognized with official selections by Berlin Flash Film Festival, Beyond Earth Film Festival, and London Lift-Off Online Film Festival.

The film is available in with both English and Spanish subtitles, and is distributed in the US and Canada by Liguori Publication, St. Louis, USA on DVDs/Blu Ray Discs and will be available by Mid-February, 2020. The film is also available online on Vimeo VOD (Video on demand) – For community and parish screenings and other distribution queries, kindly contact Fr. Charles Vijay by email (

The film that weaves stories of migrates and refugees from the five continents, filmed in nine countries was possible only with the extraordinary support extended by many Redemptorists and Christian organizations across the globe. Special thanks to Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Rev. Fr. Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R. and Redemptorists from Province of Denver, USA. We hope the film becomes a powerful tool to bring about awareness and initiate informed discussions in our communities and parishes.

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Priests Retreat in Nairobi


Fr. Paul Pazhangattu preached a retreat for priests of the Archdiocese of Nairobi at Tabor Hill, Nyahururu, Kenya from 24th - 28th November 2019.

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Greetings and invitation to cooperation


Dear Confreres and Friends,

Let me first introduce myself to you. My name is Fr. Grzegorz Ruszaj. I am Redemptorist, from the Province of Warsaw. I studied media education at the Faculty of Theology of the John Paul II Catholic University in Lublin, Poland. In recent years I have worked as secretary of the Province in Warsaw. This September I have started my new ministry in Rome as the new director of the Office of Communications of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Together with my coworkers, Fr. Sanjay Tirkey C.Ss.R. and Mr. Carlos Espinoza, we will continue the ministry of communication to facilitate the sharing of the information among the General Government and the Units with their communities in the whole Redemptorist Congregation. By an active presence in the “digital continent,” we will also continue to promote our Redemptorist charism and missionary work in the Church and the world.

Knowing how communication is vital in the contemporary world, I want to invite you to cooperate with us in this ministry. We will be very grateful for any sharing, with our team, of the news about important events regarding your life and ministry in your Unit and its communities. We truly appreciate every communication from you.

As I start my new ministry in Rome, I would like also to say a sincere word of appreciation to Fr. Biju Madathikunnel C.Ss.R. who was doing a great job as the director of the Office of Communication in the last years.

Hoping for good cooperation with you, I send you a brotherly greeting and kindest regards

In Christ the Redeemer


Fr. Grzegorz Ruszaj C.Ss.R.

Director of the Office of Communications

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What happened on November 9, 1732?


On Saturday, November 9, 2019,  we celebrate the 287th anniversary of our Congregation. Inspired by God and guided by the Holy Spirit, St. Alphonsus Liguori and his companions gathered in Scala and dedicated their lives to follow Jesus the Redeemer as he preaches Good News to the poor. Today, we give thanks to God for our vocation to continue this mission as prophetic witnesses to the Redeemer. He continues to call men and women today to share this charism in the Redemptorist family. May we promote this vocation with courage, joy, and hope. May Our Mother of Perpetual Help and St. Alphonsus always accompany us!

For a Redemptorist to be in Scala is exciting, there you go back to the origins of the Congregation. Being there it is impossible not to let our imagination fly towards those days of November 1732…

With these words, Fr. Grimaldo Garay Zapata C.Ss.R. invites us on the occasion of the 287 anniversary of the founding of the Congregation to take a journey through some dates and places, for the Redemptorists so significant.

What happened on November 9, 1732?

The six missionaries gather around the altar where Bishop Falcoia presides. After a long meditation, we sing at seven in the morning the Mass of the Holy Spirit and the Te Deum for thanksgiving.

Where was that? In the Cathedral of Scala? Was it a mass act? Were the civil and religious authorities present?

No, it was not in the cathedral of Scala. It happened in the humble oratory of the convent of the nuns.

To recall the spiritual atmosphere the days just before the foundation of the Congregation, you can follow the Fr. Grimaldo’s text which has the form of a dialogue with St Alfonso Liguori: See the full text sent by Father Grimaldo from Peru (in Spanish)

Scala – Monastero

Scala – Panorama

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Redemptorist Missionary Vocation: Letter from the Superior General


On November 10, 2019, we celebrate once again the Day for the Promotion of the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation. Because this annual celebration occurs on the second Sunday of November, it is closely linked with the Foundation Day of our Congregation on November 9 – this year marking 287 years. We present the Letter of Fr. Michael Brehl C.Ss.R., Superior General, issued for this occasion.


November 1, 2019
Solemnity of All Saints
Prot. No. 0000 229/2019


In Solidarity for Mission in a Wounded World

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Lay Missionaries and Associates,

As we prepare to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation on November 10, I invite you to prayerfully reflect on these words from Pope Francis:

The mission of being in the heart of the people is not just a part of my life or a badge that I can take off; it is not an ‘extra’ or just another moment in life … I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world. It follows that every form of pastoral activity, formation and spirituality should be seen in the light of our Christian vocation (Christus Vivit #254).

Although Pope Francis addressed these words especially to young people, I believe that they are also addressed to all of us who have been called to live the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation. This has been at the very heart of our prayer, reflection, discernment and decisions during the Mid-Sexennium Meetings in every Conference. Our missionary vocation is the very core of the restructuring process and our apostolic plans: as “one missionary body” (Const. 2), we are prophetic witnesses of the Redeemer in our wounded world today.

More than ever, we are called to live this vocation in a spirit of profound faith and trust in the presence of Jesus our Redeemer who promised to remain with us always. We encounter his presence with the joy and peace he offers when we encounter in a spirit of solidarity our brothers and sisters most in need.

Faced with so many possibilities, and so many necessities, we are called to a careful and faith-filled discernment in community. In the light of the decisions of the General Chapter and the signs of the times, we are called to a missionary life which crosses boundaries and breaks down walls – to a life which is every day more international and intercultural. This missionary life and our missionary vocation call us to a deeper communion with our Lay Missionaries and Redemptorist Associates, with Religious Sisters who share our charism, and with the poorest and most abandoned of our sisters and brothers.

We are experiencing today a historical moment of evangelical creativity. Pope Francis urges us to become Spirit-filled evangelizers capable of creating a culture of encounter and hope. With more than 1,000 young men in initial formation and a growing number of lay partners, we are convinced that today our charism and missionary vocation are full of life and energy.

In this spirit, I remind you of the General Chapter decision that each (V)Province and Region would take up an annual collection in all our Churches for the Solidarity Fund. If you have not taken this collection this year, then I suggest that the World Day of Prayer for the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation would be a very appropriate time to do so. Through the Solidarity Fund, the Congregation assists those Units most in need, especially for their formation programs, and for the formation of formators. This spirit of solidarity is essential for the ongoing dynamism of our Redemptorist Missionary Vocation. Please be generous.

As we remember the 287th anniversary of our Foundation Day, we give thanks to God for the lives and witness of so many confreres on whose shoulders we stand – beginning with St. Alphonsus and Bro. Vito Curzio. Next year we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the death of St. Clement Hofbauer as well as the foundation of the Congregation beyond the alps – the first beginnings of our international mission in the world.

Brothers and Sisters, on this World Day of Prayer for the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation, let us give thanks to God for calling us in Jesus Christ our Redeemer to share in this charism. Pray that many others will also respond to this call: Brothers and Sisters, Priests, Lay Missionaries and Redemptorist Associates. In every Redemptorist Community, Church and Parish, I encourage you to invite others to pray for this intention. And invite them also to consider that God may be calling them individually and personally to give their lives with Jesus for their sisters and brothers.

In the words of Pope Francis, encourage them to discern carefully:

Jesus is walking in our midst, as he did in Galilee. He walks through our streets, and he quietly stops and looks into our eyes. His call is attractive and intriguing… Seek out the calm and quiet that enable you to reflect, pray, look more clearly at the world around you, and then, with Jesus, come to recognize the vocation that is yours in this world. (Christus Vivit, #277).

Brothers and Sisters, I am deeply grateful to share this missionary vocation with you. Thank you for your perseverance and patience, and for your joyful witness to the Redeemer!

May Alphonsus Liguori and Clement Hofbauer, Vito Curzio and Gerard Majella, Celeste Crostarosa and so many others inspire us to always live our missionary vocation with joy and hope – and to communicate that joy and hope to all! May Mary, our Mother of Perpetual Help accompany us each day as we bring the Good News to the poor. Blessed Caspar Stanggassinger, Patron of Formation in the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation, pray for us.

In Christ our Redeemer and our brother,

Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.

Superior General

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November 6: Memory of the Redemptorists Martyrs of Cuenca, Spain


On November 6, the Redemptorist Family celebrates the memory of the six Martyrs of Cuenca. Faithful to their call to witness to the Redeemer, they gave their lives during a time of civil war. Our world continues to be wounded by violence and division – political, social, religious. In solidarity with these blessed Martyrs, our brothers may be live as prophetic witnesses of the Redeemer who gave his life to reconcile all people, and to unite us as members of the family of God.

The Martyrs

José Javier Gorosterrazu Jaunarena, 59-year-old professed priest. As a researcher and missionary in Spanish (Castilian) and Basque, he brought together in his life the proclamation of the Gospel with philosophical scholarship and historical research. He had a great sensitivity for the local culture of the people whom he evangelized. He preached many retreats and spiritual exercise to nuns, especially the Redemptoristines. He died together with Brother Victoriano. Both were attached to each other by the arm.

Ciriaco Olarte Pérez de Mendiguren, 43-year-old professed priest. He was a missionary first in Mexico, and then in Spain. A friendly and outgoing person, he won people over by his character. The persecution of Plutarco Calles had made it necessary for him to leave Mexico. He preached many retreats to the Oblate Sisters and the girls whom they gathered together. He died together with Miguel Goñi. They gave each other absolution.

Miguel Goñi Áriz, 34-year-old professed priest. Despite his delicate health and his rather timid character, he was a tireless preacher of popular missions and an admirable confessor. He was an intelligent and valuable man both for preaching and for worship services in the Church. He was always available to do whatever was necessary. He was ordained a priest on September 27, 1925.

Julián Pozo Ruiz de Samaniego, 33year old professed priest. He was an extremely good man who captivated everyone with his smile. Since before his ordination, he was sick with tuberculosis. But his human qualities and his spiritual depth matured through this illness. His heart, his eyes, and especially his smile even in illness, spoke of God.

Victoriano Calvo Lozano, 40-year-old professed religious Brother. He is the second Redemptorist brother to reach the altars. A person with a very simple training, he possessed great wisdom and knowledge in the ways of God. He was dedicated to simple tasks such as porter, sacristan, tailor or the orchard, and he spent much time in silence and prayer. He was also dedicated to spiritual direction.

Pedro Romero Espejo, 65-year-old priest. He was a missionary for many years, but little by little, he had to leave this work behind because of personal difficulties. He had to take his limitations seriously, and because of this, he came to live the life of a monk in Cuenca. When the persecution came, in order to continue to freely live his fidelity to the missionary life, he lived as a beggar in the streets of Cuenca. Thus, in the midst of the persecution, he was able to offer pastoral care to those who asked. He was imprisoned and died from the hardship inflicted on him.

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Fr. Michael Brehl: “Pope Francis is an example of the spirit of Saint Alfonsus”


The nearly 5,000 members that make up the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer are currently present in more than 80 countries in the world. “The situation is different in each continent,” explains, superior general, Fr. Michael Brehl, to New Life. While in Asia there is a moment of great growth due to the increase in the number of vocations, in Europe and North America the vocations are declining. “There are many older confreres and few young,” he says. Meanwhile, in Latin America, the numbers remain stable. “Brazil, for example, is the country with the biggest number of Redemptorists in the world,” says Brehl. “But if something is common to all continents, it is the clear commitment of the congregation to collaborate with lay people, women and men, prepared and trained to do the mission with us.”

QUESTION.- How do the Redemptorists carry their mission out today?

ANSWER.- It depends on the place. For example, in Latin America and in Europe, which are cultures with a very strong Catholic tradition, we can preach the popular missions and form the communities. But not in Asia, because of various cultures there are fewer Christians. Our mission in Asia is carried out much more in the dimension of witness and social apostolate. However, there is a link between all continents, and we work a lot in the field of youth ministry. In fact, during my recent visit to Spain, I participated in a meeting in the Monastery of Espino (Burgos) with more than 350 young people and confreres involved in the youth ministry in our congregation.

The other reality is the shrines, as it is the case of Aparecida in Brazil. Many of them are dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. They are very popular pilgrimage destinations and represent another opportunity to evangelize and encourage many people to live more deeply their relationship with God and Jesus in their own parishes after the pilgrimage. Also, each shrine develops social projects to deepen relations with the abandoned and the poor.

Q.- Focused on youth ministry, has the post-synodal exhortation “Christus vivit” already begun to be put into life?

A.- It is wonderful for us to see the emphasis that Pope Francis puts on youth ministry. Above all, because it is not approached from the perspective that it is a pastoral “for” the young people, to instruct or give them something, but rather it is an apostolate “with” them. It is a youth ministry that involves young people in the Church, in the mission of Jesus.

With young people, who are longing to be part of many social projects, who want to volunteer, we have built many schools and orphanages in Africa, for example. We have also sent volunteers to work with children with special needs. It is a pastoral that wants to involve young people in our mission to those excluded from the world. It is not just about making retreats and reflecting, although this is also important, it goes about working together in the mission. This summer, 80 young Spaniards volunteered to other parts of the world. In other countries, such as Germany, it is very common for boys to go for one year as volunteers before starting college. Young people also want to be agents of change, not just recipients.

Q. – Pope Francis has completed six years as Pope. How do you see this pontificate?

A. – When we listen to Pope Francis, when we read his exhortations, that what we see is a redemptive spirit. The spirit of the Church on the way out, on a permanent mission to bring the good news to others, especially to the peripheries, but not only in words, but also in gestures, in witness, in concrete actions of charity and reception. For us, Francisco is an example of the spirit of Saint Alfonsus. (…)

( – published on 09/15/2019)

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A Portrait of the Redemptorists around the World by Fr. Michael Brehl


In over eighty countries, with more than a hundred different languages spoken, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer faces diverse challenges.

In this fifty-minute interview with Fr Michael Brehl, recorded at the General House in Rome, the head of the congregation explains what it means to be a Redemptorist, what drives the missions and what it has planned to thrive in these times of change. He explores the secularisation of societies and the separation of individual and personal beliefs from the common good and the public forum. He narrates the story of how Our Mother of Perpetual Help came to the Redemptorists and how she accompanied them in their missionary life. You will hear of how the Redemptorist Congregation came to be and of the prodigious people he met on his journey, including St Gerard Majella – the mother’s saint.
Come with us on this wonderful journey through Christian history.


Fr Michael Brehl C.Ss.R. was born in Toronto, Canada. Ordained in 1980, Fr Michael was engaged in formation ministry with young Redemptorists, as novice director and formation director, for nine years. After working as General Secretary and Provincial Superior, in 2009 he was elected the twentieth Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. He now lives in Rome at the Redemptorists’ Head Quarters. Fr Brehl is an engaging and knowledgeable guide, as we learn more about this much-loved saint.

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Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, in humility of heart and persevering in prayer, Redemptorists as apostolic men and genuine disciples of Saint Alphonsus follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy


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