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Caribbean Region

The Redemptorists have supported the needs of the people in the Caribbean for more than 100 years. They continue their efforts today, helping to enhance the gifts of these vibrant people — a people who are able to grow their own cultural heritage as they move forward.


From the time of their arrival in Dominica more than 100 years ago, the Redemptorists made themselves one with the people of this small country of 754-square-kilometers. They provided for the community's everyday needs and helped the Dominican people meet their personal goals.

In addition to the continued establishment of schools, there is a lending library, a brass band, and opportunities for the people to perform in plays open to the public. In their early ministry in Dominica, the Redemptorists published two newspapers to include both Church and general news.

Today, they serve parishes in Dominica and go out to preach missions on other Caribbean islands. With the Redemptorists' leadership, many in the local Church are engaged in ministries such as pro-life activities and advocacy for social justice. In addition, the Redemptorists run a retreat house to encourage the spiritual growth of young and old alike.

St. Lucia

Like many spots in the Caribbean, St. Lucia has two faces. The small island is a beautiful vacation paradise for those who can afford it, and also is home to a growing offshore banking industry. But most of the people who live in St. Lucia struggle to make ends meet.

The Redemptorist mission to St. Lucia offers the people both spiritual and practical support for the many challenges they face. The parish of 30,000 includes four communities, each with its own chapel, where Redemptorist priests offer Mass and the sacraments. Though many island schools sit on Church land, they belong to the government. The parish priest manages the schools and has input into staffing decisions. In addition, Redemptorists volunteer their time and talents at the schools.

St. Croix

One Redemptorist described his experience of arriving in St. Croix as stepping off the airplane into what appeared to be 21st century America with its McDonald's and Radio Shack, then falling suddenly into the 18th-century Danish West Indies when the electricity failed and people were left in the dark, with no running water, and working up a good tropical sweat without any effort at all.

The island of St. Croix was formed from a volcanic eruption and agriculture is difficult there because rain is scarce. However, the seeds of faith have taken deep root in the people's hearts. The Redemptorist ministry in St. Croix began in 1861 when Father Joseph Prost, former superior of the American Province, went to the then Danish-ruled West Indies and took up residence at Holy Cross Parish on the eastern end of St. Croix.

When Father Prost later returned to Austria, the parish was once again under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Roseau, Dominica. The Belgian Redemptorists resumed service to the parish in 1897, succeeded by the Americans again during World War I, when St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John were sold by Denmark to the U.S.

Today, Holy Cross Parish is vibrant with various ministries and traditions that continue to serve the faithful in St. Croix. St. Mary's Parish School is more than 100 years old and has educated many of the island's leaders. Long-established organizations such as the Legion of Mary, Sacred Heart Society, Knights of Columbus, and St. Vincent de Paul Society continue to provide vitality to the parish, while new ministries are being established and developed including youth ministry programs and pro-life groups. The Redemptorists also collaborate to minister in the prisons and to the Hispanic community.

Trinidad and Tobago

In February 2006, the Redemptorists added Trinidad and Tobago to the list of countries in which they minister. Though the island's archbishop, Archbishop Edward Gilbert, is a Redemptorist, Father Rodney Olive and Brother Gerard St. Hilaire officially began the order's ministry there.

Together, Trinidad (4,828 square kilometers) and Tobago (300 square kilometers), form the Independent Republic of Trinidad & Tobago with a total population of about 1.3 million. Catholics make up 29.4 percent of the population with Hindu being the second largest religion at 23.8 percent. The Redemptorists have charge of two parishes — St. Theresa's in Barataria where Father Olive is pastor, and Holy Cross in Santa Cruz where Father Peter Hill is pastor. Brother Gerard is heavily involved with youth ministry in the parishes and also training boys and young men to be scouts.

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