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The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Latin: Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris – C.Ss.R or CSSR) is a Roman Catholic missionary Congregation founded in 1732 by Saint Alphonsus Liguori at Scalamarker, near Amalfimarker, Italymarker for the purpose of labouring among the neglected country people in the neighbourhood of Naplesmarker.

Members of the order are known as Redemptorists. Priests and brothers work in more than 77 countries around the world.

Mission

The Redemptorists are essentially and by their specific vocation a missionary society. According to their rule they are "to strive to imitate the virtues and examples of Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer, consecrating themselves especially to the preaching of the word of God to the poor". They take the simple vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and by the vows of poverty they are bound to refuse all ecclesiastical dignities outside of the congregation. To these vows they add the vow and oath of perseverance to live in the congregation until death. Their labours consist principally in missions, retreats, and similar exercises. In order to render these labours most effective, all their sermons and instructions should be solid, simple, and persuasive. On all their missions they are obliged to preach a sermon on prayer and one on the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In order to secure the salutary effects of their missions, they should, after four or five months, return to the places where they have given missions, and preach another, shorter course of sermons. On missions proper the rule obliges them to hear all the confessions themselves. Wherever the Redemptorists have parishes they labour in the same spirit, both in the pulpit and in the confessional. The Archconfraternity of the Holy Family is established in all their parishes. They are also most solicitous in providing well-equipped parochial schools, and they take special care of growing youth.

History

Within ten years of the order's foundation, permanent establishments were made at Nocera, Cioranimarker, Iliceto, and Caposelemarker. In 1749, Pope Benedict XIV canonically approved the work, under the title of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. Royalism, however, caused the greatest obstacle to the development of the new congregation. An effort to obtain the royal exequatur to the papal approbation proved disastrous, and brought about a temporary separation of the Neapolitan houses and those which had been founded in the Papal Statesmarker. In 1793, a reunion was at last effected under the new superior general, Pietro Paulo Blasucci, who governed the congregation until 1817. In the next six years several houses were opened in different parts of Southern Italy and Sicily, and the society flourished, though subjected to many grave trials. It was destined, however, to take on an international character. In 1785 a young Austrianmarker, Clemens Maria Hofbauer, journeyed to Romemarker with a companion, Thaddeus Hübl. There they were deeply impressed by the fervour of the Fathers of the church of St. Julian, and applied for admission into the community. After profession and ordination, their chief desire was to transplant the congregation to northern countries. They received permission from the general to establish a house in Viennamarker or in any other Austrian city. But the Government was unfriendly, and Father Hofbauer offered his services to the Congregation of the Propaganda at Romemarker. He was sent to labour for a time in Courland, Russia. In 1786, with his former companion, Father Hübl, he arrived at Warsawmarker, where the papal nuncio Saluzzo gave them charge of St. Benno's church, whence they were known in Polandmarker as "Bennonites". Their apostolic zeal and untiring efforts procured the salvation of many souls, and effected the conversion of many people, while their church presented the spectacle of an uninterrupted mission.

In 1793 Father Blasucci, the rector major, then residing at Nocera, appointed Father Hofbauer his vicar-general with all necessary authority. His first thoughts turned to Germanymarker, though the time seemed inopportune, since Febronianism, Josephinism, Freemasonry, and infidelity held sway all over Europe. He succeeded, however, in establishing three foundations in Southern Germany, at Jestettenmarker, Tribergmarker, and Babenhausenmarker, which he confided to the care of his favourite disciple, Joseph Passerat. These foundations were eventually suppressed, and the members banished. Father Passerat then betook himself to Switzerlandmarker, where in 1818 he organized a community at Valsainte in a dilapidated Carthusian monastery. In the meantime, owing to opposition, the house at Warsawmarker was suppressed. In 1808, the Fathers were expelled from St. Benno's and deported to the fortress of Küstrin Prussia, where they were disbanded. Father Hofbauer, after directing his companions to work for God's glory whenever and wherever they could, proceeded alone to Viennamarker, where he became an assistant chaplain and confessor of nuns. His influence was soon felt on all sides, even in the Congress of Vienna (1815), where the destinies of the Church in Germany were then being shaped. He was styled by Pope Pius VII the "Apostle of Vienna". In the meantime he kept up a constant correspondence with his former companions, did all in his power to find for them suitable fields of labour, and predicted that after his death a brighter future was in store for the congregation, a prophecy that was soon fulfilled. He died 15 March, 1820. In accordance with the request of the Emperor Francis I, the first house of the Redemptorists was canonically established in Vienna on Christmas Day, 1820. In May several prominent young men, former disciples of Father Hofbauer, had already received the religious habit.

Father Passerat succeeded Hofbauer as vicar-general; the onerous and trying duties of his office were rendered more difficult by the prevalent spirit of Josephinism. The years intervening between 1815 and 1821 found some of the Fathers labouring in Bulgariamarker, but, owing to the hostility of the schismatics, they were compelled to abandon this field. A number of flourishing foundations were established between 1820 and 1848. In 1826, at the request of the Austrian Government, a foundation was started at Lisbonmarker, Portugalmarker, for the benefit of German Catholics, but it did not last long. In 1820, the Redemptorists acquired the convent of Bischenberg, Alsacemarker. The new community was sent from Valsainte. In 1828 the Fathers exchanged their poorly furnished home at Valsainte for the commodious Convent of Fribourgmarker, which proved to be a fruitful nursery for the congregation until the Revolution of 1848. Prior to 1848, six houses had been established in Austria:

During Passerat's administration the congregation was introduced into Belgiummarker by Father de Held, and in the course of the next ten years four houses were established: [

A foundation was also opened at Wittemmarker, Hollandmarker, where, in 1836, an old Capuchin monastery became the house of studies.

In 1841 King Louis I of Bavariamarker invited the Fathers to the celebrated shrine of Our Lady at Altöttingmarker. During this period four houses were founded in Francemarker:
  • Landser in Alsacemarker, in 1842
  • St-Nicolas-du-Port, in 1845
  • Teterchen in Lorraine and Contamine in Savoy, in 1847.


The congregation suffered great losses through the revolution that swept over Europe in 1848. In 1847 the Fathers were expelled from Switzerlandmarker and in 1848 from Austriamarker, to which, however, they returned. Important developments were now taking place within the congregation itself. Although the Transalpine portion of the congregation was subject to the rector major at Nocera in Italymarker, this superior left its government almost exclusively in the hands of a vicar-general resident at Viennamarker. As the congregation had spread far beyond its original boundaries, it was deemed necessary to create the office of provincial between the rector major and the local superiors. Father Passerat, weighed down by age and infirmities, resigned his office in 1848. After a series of deliberations conducted by the Holy See with the superior general and the Fathers of the Transalpine provinces, Father Rudolph Smetana was appointed vicar-general in 1850. Pope Pius IX was now persuaded that it would be advantageous to have the superior general resident in Romemarker. Fearing the opposition of the King of Naples, he did all in his power to convince him of the benefits arising from this step, but in vain; thereupon he decided, that the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, to the exclusion of the Neapolitan and the Sicilian houses, should be placed under a general superior, who was henceforth to reside at Romemarker. At the same time he made special regulations for the Redemptorists in the Kingdom of Naples. On the disappearance of the latter, the Neapolitan houses were united to the body of the congregation in 1869.

In pursuance of orders from the Holy See, Father Smetana convoked a general chapter. It was opened 26 April, 1855. The result of this chapter was the election of Father Nicholas Mauron, a native of Switzerlandmarker, as superior general. He was the first rector major to take up his abode at Romemarker. During Smetana's administration, and particularly during that of Mauron, the congregation made rapid progress. The number of provinces in 1852 — not including Naplesmarker and Sicily — was four; in 1890 they had increased to twelve. The French-Swiss province, presided over by Father Achille Desurmont for twenty-two years (1865-87), gained admission into Spainmarker and South America. During the presidency of García Moreno two houses were established in the Republic of Ecuadormarker. A few years later the congregation gained a foothold in Perumarker, Chilemarker, and Colombiamarker. The original Belgian province, having grown very rapidly, was divided into the provinces of Belgiummarker and Hollandmarker. The Lower German province found a new field of labour in the eastern part of South America. The province of Holland received charge of the mission at Surinammarker, South America, a settlement colonized partly by lepers.

History by region

Africa

In 1899 the Belgian Fathers were requested by the Government to take charge of a number of missions in the Congo State:
  • Matadi
  • Tumba
  • Kionzo
  • Kinkanda
  • Kimpesse
  • Sonagongo


Australia

A number of requests for Australian foundations had been made to the Redemptorists before they came to these shores in 1882. In 1881, Bishop James Murray of Maitland finally had a breakthrough. It was the English Redemptorists who heard of his request and answered his call.

With very little knowledge of where they were headed, the English superiors selected a small team of Redemptorist pioneers who would form the first Australian community. In January, 1882, these pioneers were given a farewell dinner before they set sail for Australia. Their long voyage was to be a journey of discovery, as would be the years following in Australia and New Zealand. These men were to set up the Redemptorist Order of Australia.

The Sorata, built in 1872, brought the first Redemptorists to Australia in 1882 The leader of the group was Fr Edmund Vaughan, C.Ss.R. He was born in 1827 and was now 53 years of age. On their arrival in Sydney, the then Archbishop was Fr Vaughan’s uncle, the Benedictine, Roger Bede Vaughan, who welcomed them with largesse. On board with Fr Vaughan were two Irishmen, Fr Thomas O’Farrell and Fr James Hegarty, who would eventually take the Redemptorists to the Philippines.

The other priest in the group was Fr Henry Halson who had been a miner on the Victorian goldfields. He was received into the Church in Ballarat and then studied for the priesthood in Canada, was ordained in Rome, and a year later joined the Redemptorists in England. This was the second time he would set sail for Australia.

There was a surprise at their farewell dinner. A distinguished visitor, Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, arrived with good wishes. Encouraged by his blessing, the little group on the following day boarded the Orient liner Sorata bound for Australia, bringing with them a picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, blessed in Rome by Pope Leo XIII.

Eight weeks later, at 10.00 am, March 31, 1882, the Sorata sailed through Sydney Heads. The first house of the newly arrived Redemptorists was in Singleton, New South Wales,Australia. During their first five years, they did good work in the parish, and at the same time, began an extremely busy programme of missions.

They learned quickly about the Australian climate. So, from 1883, during the summer months, they conducted missions in the cooler climate of New Zealand’s Dioceses.

Knowing Singleton to be an unsuitable base for their full mission programme, the first community oversaw the building of their new monastery at Mount St Alphonsus, Waratah, in Newcastle. It was opened on the founder’s feast, 1887, five years after the Redemptorists settled in Australia.

In the first year at Waratah the community conducted 45 missions in ten dioceses through New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

A new house in Ballarat followed in 1888, serving as a base for missions in the southern states. In time, work began on a new monastery in the Ballarat suburb of Wendouree. It was officially opened in September 1893. From the outset, Ballarat proved to be a very busy house. In 1894, no fewer than 73 missions were given, with 365 converts joyfully received into the Church.

With the south now being cared for by the Ballarat community, the Waratah community could now look north to Queensland. In 1889, the first missions were preached in Queensland. Missions began in Brisbane and its surrounds, with their success convincing the Archbishop to extend the programme to the far flung country parishes.

In 1927, the Redemptorist leaders in Rome created the Province of Australasia to include the houses of Australia and New Zealand. It was recognition of all the untiring efforts of those who had been instrumental in promoting the Redemptorists and their missionary activities.New Zealand became an independent Province in 1970. From New Zealand, the Redemptorists went to Samoa in 1972.

The years after the war were a time of rapid expansion. As well as ongoing participation in the development of the vice-provinces in the Philippines and in Singapore/Malaysia, further houses were opened in Australia in Newtown in Tasmania and Townsville and Miami in Queensland. There were new communities established in New South Wales – at Concord, Campbell’s Hill, Fairfield West, Penrith and Yagoona. In Victoria, there were communities at Balwyn Box Hill, Brighton, Wongarra and Yarraville.

In Melbourne, the Order conducted a psychotherapy clinic and Training Institute, Hofbauer Centre, from 1977 until 1998.

Missionary activity continues to flourish across Australia. Through parish missions, preaching, retreats, adult education, teaching in universities, social justice work, counselling, accompaniment of indigenous communities, chaplaincies, devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, working with people on the margins of society and promoting the family through the Majellan magazine, Redemptorists have sought to highlight that people matter greatly to God.

Bavaria

The Upper German or Bavarianmarker province, which was under the ban of the Kulturkampf, has recovered some of its lost ground. Since its readmittance, it has added another very important foundation. But the historic convent of Altötting has passed into other hands. In 1894 this province opened in Brazilmarker a mission of two houses forming a vice-province. The province of Hollandmarker has added to its mission in Surinammarker, a mission in Brazilmarker, forming another vice-province, having under its jurisdiction three houses.

Canada and Caribbean

Canada was made a vice-province in 1894, where four more houses were opened. This vice-province, depending on the Belgian province, numbers six houses. In the West Indiesmarker, which were also made a vice-province in 1904, there are now six houses. The province of Baltimore opened in 1902 a foundation at Mayagüez in Puerto Rico. Before the occupation of the island by the United Statesmarker the Spanish Redemptorists had settled at San Juanmarker, but at the close of the Cuban War returned to Spainmarker. The American Fathers are now there as missionaries and pastors. A parish comprising some 30,000 souls is confided to their care. Despite all their labours for the benefit of the natives their progress is very slow. On 26 July, 1911, the Belgian houses of Canadamarker were erected into a new province.

English and Irish provinces

The English province, begun from Belgiummarker in 1843, owes its great progress to the Rev. Robert A. Coffin, one of the band of converts associated with Newman, Manning, and Faber in the Oxford Movement. After his ordination to the priesthood he joined the Redemptorists, and gave missions throughout Englandmarker and Irelandmarker, until he was appointed first provincial of the English province in 1865. During his administration of seventeen years new houses were founded in various parts of the United Kingdommarker, the house at Perth being the first convent opened in Scotlandmarker since the Reformation. Pope Leo XIII appointed the Rev. Robert A. Coffin Bishop of Southwark. His successor as provincial, the Rev. Hugh McDonald, died Bishop of Aberdeenmarker, Scotlandmarker. The activity of the English Fathers is evidenced by their literary labours and their success on the missions, which resulted in more than 16,000 converts. By 1910, the province has eight houses: Clapham, Bishop-Eton, Monkwearmouth, Bishop's Stortford, Kingswood, Edmonton, and the novitiate and house of studies at Perthmarker, Scotlandmarker, with a total membership of one hundred and twenty-three. Besides the Rev. Robert A. Coffin, a number of noted converts have joined the congregation, among them Bridgett, Livius, and Douglas.

In 1898 the houses in Irelandmarker and Australia, hitherto subject to the English province, were constituted an Irish province, and Australia, a vice-province, as its dependency. The Rev. Andrew Boylan was appointed the first provincial, with his residence at Limerickmarker. On 25 March, 1901, the foundation of the present new juvenate house at Limerick was laid. The province of Ireland comprises four houses: Limerickmarker, Dundalkmarker, Belfastmarker, and Esker; the vice-province of Australia, three houses: Waratah in New South Walesmarker, Ballarat in Victoria, and Perthmarker in Western Australia. The total membership is one hundred and forty-seven. In 1906 the Rev. Andrew Boylan was commissioned to visit the Philippine Islandsmarker, and to establish there a colony of Irish Redemptorists. At present there are two Redemptorist Houses on these Islands and one in Wellingtonmarker, New Zealandmarker. The church at Limerick is celebrated for its Confraternity of the Holy Family for men and boys, founded by the Rev. Edward Bridgett, which the Roman Catholic Bishop of Limerick, Dr. George Butler, called "the miracle wrought by the Mother of Perpetual Succour, a far greater miracle than the cure of a blind boy or the healing of a cripple".

St. Gerard Majella Annual Novena takes place every year in St. Josephs (Carmelite - desc)Church, Berkeley Road, Dublin. This annual nine day novena, during October, is the biggest festival of faith in Ireland attracting up 10,000 daily over the 9 days. Notices are prominently displayed at the Altar to St Gerard, which is at the top of the South Western Aisle.

North America

In 1828 Mgr Résé, Vicar-General of Cincinnatimarker, visited Europe to solicit pecuniary aid and to obtain evangelical labourers. While at Viennamarker he applied to Passerat, from whom he secured three priests and three lay brothers; they arrived in New Yorkmarker 20 June, 1832. Two other Fathers followed in 1835. For seven years they laboured heroically among the whites and the Indians of northern Michiganmarker and northern Ohiomarker. Though they took charge of many stations in both states, they did not secure a permanent footing in any of these places, with the exception of Detroitmarker. In 1839 the Fathers were called to Pittsburghmarker to assume charge of the German congregation, which was then without a priest, and torn with party strife. In a short time they made it a model congregation. Scattered throughout the surrounding country were many Catholic settlers, to whom they preached the Word of God and administered the sacraments. This species of mission inaugurated by them wherever they were established was the beginning of many a well-organized parish of today. From this time the care of German congregations, often in a deplorable condition on account of factions, became a prominent element of the apostolate of the Redemptorists in North America. Their first concern, however, was to establish, wherever feasible, parochial schools, which are in a flourishing condition to this day. When the success of the Fathers at Pittsburgh became known, applications were made to them for other foundations: In 1837 a German congregation had been organized at Rochestermarker by Father Prost, but the Fathers did not take permanent charge until 1841.

The American province of the congregation was erected in 1850. Its first provincial was the Rev. Bernard Hafkenscheid, a fellow-student of Pope Leo XIII. One of his first cares was the establishment of a seminary and the selection of a suitable place for a novitiate. He chose Cumberland, Marylandmarker, for the future house of studies. From this nursery of study and piety many able and zealous missionaries went forth. In 1853 the novitiate, which had been located since 1849 at Baltimoremarker, was removed to Annapolismarker, Marylandmarker. Here the heirs of Charles Carroll of Carrollton had donated their entire estate to the Redemptorist Fathers. This house remained the novitiate until 1907, with the exception of the years 1862-66, when it was at Cumberland, and the students at Annapolis. In 1858-59 the present church and convent were built at Annapolis. In 1868 the students were transferred to the new house of studies at Ilchester, Marylandmarker, which remained the Alma Mater of the Redemptorists until 1907. In that year the faculty and the students, forty-eight in number, took up their abode at Esopus, on the Hudson River, where a more spacious scholasticate had been erected. From the first house of St. Alphonsus in Baltimore sprang other communities:

In 1882, owing to difficulties in the Bohemian parish, the Fathers, at the earnest request of Cardinal, then Archbishop, Gibbons, assumed charge of the Bohemians. In this diocese five other parishes, one in the city of Washingtonmarker, were originally founded by the Redemptorists. In 1861 the congregation was called to Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker, to take charge of St. Michael's parish. It was not long before a large church and a commodious school and convent were built. The great fire of 1871 destroyed all these structures, but, thanks to the faith and generosity of the people, they were rebuilt.

The many successful missions which the Redemptorists had given in the Diocese of St. Louis induced Archbishop Kenrick to ask for a foundation of the congregation in his episcopal city, and in 1866 a mission house was opened at St. Louismarker. In the same year (1866) another mission house was established in New Yorkmarker, near the little church of St. Alphonsus, which had been erected in 1845 for the convenience of the Germans in that section of the city; it had been served by Fathers of the Third Street community. Though now a mission church, St. Alphonsus's continued to be a parish church for the Germans. Subsequently, two more foundations were made in New York, one for Bohemian Catholics, and the other for the German Catholics in the northern part of the city. In 1871 an important mission house was opened at Roxbury, Bostonmarker. It was dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Its first rector, the Rev. William H. Gross, was succeeded by the Rev. Leopold Petsch, when the former became Bishop of Savannah in 1873. In 1883, when a new parish was formed in that district, the Fathers of the mission church took charge of it. Its later basilica, of the same name, hosted the nationally-televised Redemtorist-led funeral of Massachusetts Senator Edward ('Ted') Kennedy, attended by President Barack Obama, three former U.S. presidents and first ladies, among other dignataries.

As early as 1874 the Redemptorists of the American province were called to St. Patrick's Church, Quebecmarker, Canadamarker, the only parish church in that city for English-speaking Catholics. Four years later the American Fathers became the custodians of the miraculous shrine of Ste-Anne de Beaupré, near Quebecmarker; it was eventually transferred to the Fathers of the Belgian province. The same Fathers assumed charge of St. Anne's, Montrealmarker, a large parish in a very poor district of the city. The Baltimoremarker province in the meantime established two other foundations in Canadamarker: St. Patrick's, Torontomarker, in 1881, and St. Peter's, St. Johnmarker, N. B., in 1884. In 1876 the congregation was invited to take a second church in Philadelphiamarker, that of St. Boniface. Besides these houses the province of Baltimore founded in 1881 a separate house for its juvenate, or junior house of studies, St. Mary's Minor Seminary at North Eastmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker. Another house, to be used as a primary juvenate, was purchased in 1886 at Saratoga, New Yorkmarker; this is at present a mission house. In 1893 a new house was opened at Brooklynmarker, New Yorkmarker.

In 1875 the original American province was divided, the eastern under the name of the province of Baltimore, and the western as the province of St. Louis. This latter province embraced the houses of St. Louis, New Orleansmarker, Chicagomarker, and Chatawa. This last-named place was selected for the novitiate and house of studies for the province of St. Louis, but was subsequently abandoned. Since 1875 several new foundations have been established. In 1878 Kansas Citymarker, Missourimarker, was selected for an educational institution. The old house of St. Mary's at Detroit was abandoned in 1872, but in 1880 another house was established in the suburbs of the same city; this is now a flourishing mission and parish church. Two years later the Redemptorists began a second foundation at Chicagomarker. In 1887 a juvenate was erected at Kirkwood, near St. Louis, and in 1888 the Fathers settled at Grand Rapidsmarker, Michiganmarker. In 1891 a foundation was made at Seattlemarker, Washington, in 1897 a new house of studies was erected at De Soto, Missourimarker. In 1894 the Fathers went to Denver, Coloradomarker, and took charge of St. Joseph's Church; in 1906 to Portlandmarker, Oregonmarker; in 1908 to Davenport, Iowamarker, and to Fresno, Californiamarker. In 1910 a new house was founded at Oconomowocmarker, Wisconsinmarker, which would become the future house of studies of the province of St. Louismarker.

In 1850, Father Bernard, the first provincial, arrived in America and organized and trained the first band of regular missionaries, among whom were the eminent converts, Fathers Hecker, Hewit, and Walworth; these distinguished missionaries afterwards established the Congregation of the Paulists. Parish work and mission work, has become a special feature of the congregation in North America. Some idea of the work of the Baltimore province during the ten years from 1890 to 1899 is conveyed by the following figures:
  • missions and renewals, 1889
  • retreats, 1071
  • other exercises, 75
  • confessions, 2,418,758
  • converts, 1252
  • baptisms, 54,608
  • communion, 6,827,000
  • first communions, 19,077
  • marriages, 8311
  • average number of school children, 13,000
  • converts, 1922.


1866 Pope Pius IX caused the miraculous picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to be placed in the Redemptorist Church at Romemarker. In 1871 the pope, moved by the urgent and repeated petitions of bishops and heads of religious orders, bestowed the title of Doctor of the Universal Church upon St. Alphonsus. Father Hofbauer, the Apostle of Vienna, was beatified in 1889, and Brother Gerard Majella, the thaumaturgus of the congregation, in 1893. The latter was canonized by Pope Pius X, 11 Dec., 1904. The eventful administration of Father Mauron ended in 1893. In 1882 he was stricken with apoplexy, and, though he rallied from the shock, a slow decline set in, and he died 13 July, 1893. On 1 March, 1894, Very Rev. Mathias Raus was elected superior general. He was born 9 Aug., 1829, in the Duchy of Luxemburgmarker; made his profession 1 Nov., 1853, and was ordained priest 8 Aug., 1858. After filling various important offices in the order, he was called to Rome by his predecessor to be one of the general consultors. Father Raus's administration is remarkable for the number of Redemptorist causes of beatification introduced, or about to be introduced, in Romemarker, thirteen in all, including:
  • St. John Nepomucene Neumann, superior of the American Province, who died as Bishop of Philadelphiamarker, 5 Jan., 1860
  • Father Francis X. Seelos, of the American province, who died a victim of yellow fever at New Orleansmarker, 4 Oct., 1867
  • and Father Peter Donders, the Apostle of the Lepers in Surinammarker, who died in the leper colony at Bataviamarker, in Dutch Guianamarker, 14 Jan., 1887
  • Father Alfred Pampelon, who died at Ste-Anne de Beaupré in Canadamarker, 30 Sept., 1896.


Father Raus's administration was closed by the happy issue of the cause of Blessed Clement M. Hofbauer's canonization, which took place on 20 May, 1909. In that year the superior, having attained his eighty-second year, resigned his responsible office, and in the general chapter opened on 26 April, 1909, the Very Rev. Father Patrick Murray, superior of the Irish province, was elected superior general of the congregation. He was born 24 Nov., 1865, made his profession 23 Oct., 1889, and was ordained priest 10 Sept., 1890.

The Roman province was honoured by Pope Leo XIII, when he confided to the Fathers the magnificent new church of St. Joachim in Romemarker. The French province was divided into three provinces and two vice-provinces in 1900. Spainmarker became a province, having eight houses, to which two more communities were added. The French province proper was divided into two provinces, Lyonmarker and Parismarker. To the former now belong the Southern Pacific vice-province, embracing Chilemarker and Perumarker, and to the latter the Northern vice-province of Ecuadormarker and Colombiamarker. Since the suppression of the religious orders in Francemarker in 1904, some of the Redemptorist communities have undertaken new foundations in Belgiummarker, and others in South America. In 1900 the Austrian province was also divided into two provinces, Viennamarker and Praguemarker, with a Polishmarker vice-province. The latter was made a province in 1909. Since the division the Viennese opened two houses in Denmarkmarker, one in Prussian Silesia, and a fourth at Linzmarker.

Poland

Redemptorists have formed a socio-political movement in Poland known as the Radio Maryja Family, and the Radio Maryja.

Growth of the congregation

The number of subjects in 1852 (not including those of Italy) were:
  • priests, 343
  • professed students, 75
  • priests novice, 12
  • choir novices, 45
  • professed lay brothers, 175
  • lay novices, 67
    • total, 715
  • houses, 45.


In 1910 (including Italymarker):
  • priests, 2085
  • professed students, 537
  • choir novices, 142
  • professed lay brothers, 962
  • lay novices, 343
    • total, 4069
  • houses, 218
  • provinces, 19
  • vice-provinces, 10


The constant and rapid growth of the congregation must be attributed chiefly to the erection of the so-called juvenates. Finding it difficult in some countries and impossible in others to secure a solid future for the different provinces, the Fathers deemed it expedient to receive boys who showed a disposition for the religious and priestly life, and to prepare them while still young for the higher studies. Father Hofbauer adopted this plan, and obtained thereby a number of excellent young men for the order. In the same way Father Passerat was equally successful in drawing young men to the congregation.

It was in this manner that Father Mauron, the late superior general, was attracted to the order. But it was only after 1867 or 1868 that a definite scheme of preparing boys for the novitiate was followed. The idea was taken up simultaneously in the French and American provinces. Father Desurmont was the first to organize this preparatory institution in France. For many years it was customary for the American Fathers to select from their parochial schools boys who, in their opinion, would eventually become fit subjects for the novitiate.

After having tested their ability, they instructed them personally in the rudiments of Latin, or sent them to a Catholic college until they reached their sixteenth year. At this age they were admitted to the novitiate, after which they completed their humanities.

For the benefit of boys who did not belong to Redemptorist parishes or who lived in other cities the provincial, Father Helmpraecht (1865-77), secured a suitable place near his residence at Baltimoremarker. One of the Fathers was appointed director. In 1869 a new method was followed. The young men were to finish their classical course before entering the novitiate. To accommodate the increasing number of pupils, provision was made at Baltimore, then at Ilchestermarker, until finally, in 1881, a desirable college building was purchased at North East, Pennsylvaniamarker. Here a six years' classical course is pursued, while at the same time the moral and physical fitness of the young men may be easily ascertained. Similar preparatory colleges, with some slight differences, have been introduced into almost every province. After a novitiate of one year, the young members pass to the higher course of studies. This embraces two years' philosophy, two years' dogmatic, and two years' moral theology, with natural philosophy, church history, Sacred Scripture, canon law, pastoral theology, and homiletics. After the completion of their studies the young priests make what is called the "second novitiate" of six months, during which time they are trained theoretically and practically in the special work of the missions.

Literary work

Although the limited number of subjects and the manifold labours of the ministry do not permit the members of the congregation to make a specialty of it, still their literary work is not inconsiderable. Some well known Redemptorist authors include:

Famous Redemptorists



See also

  • Radio Maryja, is a radio station owned by the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and run by Redemptorists
  • Face Up


References

External links




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