The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, better known as the Redemptorists, are a missionary congregation founded by St Alphonsus de Ligouri.
Alphonsus was born in Naples, Italy in 1696 and left behind a promising career as a lawyer to become a priest and was ordained in 1726. Moved by compassion for the poor and spiritually neglected in the city and the surrounding hills, he founded the Redemptorists in 1732 in Scala with the mission to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the poor and the most abandoned.
THE CHARISM AND MISSION
The purpose of the Congregation is to follow the example of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, by preaching the word of God to the poor, and it does so by responding with missionary thrust to the pressing pastoral needs of the most abandoned, especially the poor, and by devoting itself entirely to evangelization. To carry out this mission, the members live in community and dedicate themselves to God by professing the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Expressed in their motto “Copiosa apud eum redemptio” or “With God there is plentiful redemption” (Ps. 129:7), the Redemptorist charism is marked by a spirit of mercy and compassion especially to those on the margins of Church and society.
In Singapore and Malaysia, Redemptorists live out this charism and mission in many diverse ways, responding to the needs of the Church and people by:
- Preaching the Good news
The Redemptorists have as their special mission in the Church, the explicit proclamation of the word of God. This proclamation could be from the pulpit preaching at masses, novena devotions or parish missions: or it could be off the pulpit – at school missions or retreats. This preaching proclaims the Good News, understood to be God’s plentiful redemption for all and strives to lead people to a fundamental conversion and a radical choice to live the Gospel as disciples of Christ in their own state of life.
- Teaching the Faith
Redemptorists are dedicated to share the faith by providing faith formation for the faithful so that they may have the necessary resources to practise and live the demands of their baptismal commitment and state of life.
Redemptorists provide faith formation to catechumens through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, to youth through school missions and retreats and may also be involved in teaching theology and conducting various formation programmes for the laity.
- Sanctifying the people
Redemptorists also provide ordinary pastoral care to the People of God by celebrating the Eucharist, bringing communion and the sacrament of anointing to the sick and other sacraments. However, there is a special emphasis on the sacrament of Reconciliation, where the Good News of God’s mercy is proclaimed and celebrated.
- Making her known
In 1865, Pope Pius IX entrusted the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help to the Redemptorists with the mandate to “Make Her Known.” They are particularly renowned for running the Novena Church and promoting devotion to the Mother of Christ under the title of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. The Novena devotion and Mary’s intercession have brought peace, healing, love and hope to countless people in their need and have also led thousands to the Catholic faith.
Adequate study, training and exposure to religious life and pastoral work are needed to prepare a man for a lifelong commitment to the Redemptorist way of life and ministry.
The aim of initial formation – which usually takes about eight years – is to lead the candidate to a human and Christian maturity, so that with the help of God’s grace, he may be able to dedicate himself wholeheartedly to the mission of the Congregation and the Church. This period culminates with final profession and possibly ordination to the priesthood.
However, formation is a process that continues throughout one’s life. It includes spiritual renewal, updating of skills and higher studies and is born of a motivation to continue developing the skills necessary for the apostolate.
At all stages, Redemptorist formation emphasises growth in five dimensions – human, spiritual, community, academic and pastoral.
The Stages of Formation are as follows
- The Aspirancy
This is a “getting to know you” period, where the aspirant is welcome to observe and share the life and ministry of the community without any obligations while keeping in contact with the Redemptorists. It is a time where the candidate and the community discern together his aptitude for the religious vocation.
- The Postulancy
This stage lasts for two years. The candidate leaves his job and home to live in community and is brought closer to the Redemptorist life and work. Some initial studies including philosophy and Scripture are introduced and the charism, history and spirituality of the Redemptorists are studied deeper.
For one year, the novice lives the Redemptorist life in a radical manner under the guidance of a novice master. At the end of the Novitiate, he is admitted into the congregation by making his first profession – the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for a period of two years.
- The Studendate
The studentate includes four years of full-time study and one year of full-time ministry in a foreign mission. The professed student continues to discern and discovers more about his calling and vocation in religious life and the Congregation, renewing his vows every two years. At the end of this time, if he is accepted by the superiors, he applies to be perpetually professed as a full member of the Redemptorist congregation and prepares for ordination to the priesthood if this has been discerned.
Is God calling you to share the Good News with the poor and the abandoned?
Find out if you have a calling to be a Redemptorist.
Communities in Singapore
300 Thomson Road
11 Nallur Road
House of Postulancy
21 Punggol 24th Avenue
Community in Malaysia
Church of Our Mother of Perpetual Help
19/21 Jalan La Salle, Ipoh Garden
31400 Ipoh, Perak