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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Fr. Frank Skelly, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in the Bronx, NY, was among the participants at a recent Fordham University conference that explored the challenges involved in helping children of immigrants stay true to the faith of their families.

Click here to watch a short video from Currents.

Read more about the changing face of the Church, including in the Bronx where the Redemptorists serve, in this recent New York Times story.


Read more in a report from Vatican Radio. Full English translation of the pope’s catechesis is available here.


1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

This Fourth Sunday of Lent, we continue our journey on the road toward the Resurrection. We reflect on the Gospel of John where Jesus heals the blind man, and let us look at three themes of the Christian journey: faith, light and sight.

The man blind from birth heard Jesus say, “Go wash,” and so he did. But why did he do as Jesus said? Because of his faith he trusted Jesus. Faith is the trust we have when we hear the voice of Jesus calling us to do what seems impossible. Like the blind man, we may feel in doubt, we may ask questions in those times when we are blinded in our daily struggles. But here, Jesus reminds us to listen to his voice and to have faith in him when he calls us.

Jesus also says in the Gospel, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Jesus wants the blind man, as well as each of us, to know that he is the light of the world. Because Jesus is the light, we can continually gaze upon him as we open up our hearts to Jesus’ presence in our own lives. When we gaze upon Jesus, we realize that Jesus is the source of light and life.

The Gospel says that the blind man “came back able to see.” The blind man received his vision, a vision in which we are all called to partake. It is the sight, or vision, of seeing God in others, of seeing God in the world around us, and of having the vision of hope and love.

Today, let us remember that when we hear Jesus’ voice, we should answer in faith, trusting his words. The storms of life will come and go, but Jesus will always remain with us, guiding us as the light of the world upon whom we gaze. And when we gaze upon Jesus, our hearts will be opened, and we will begin to see the world as Jesus sees it — we will be his disciples with the vision of hope and love for all.

— Jacky Merilan, C.Ss.R.

Jacky is a third-year philosophy student at St. John’s University in New York City. A native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, he professed vows as a Redemptorist in 2010.



Many thanks to all who joined us in Baltimore and Philadelphia in recent days to celebrate the 200th birthday of St. John Neumann!

On Sunday, March 27, dozens of people gathered at St. Alphonsus Church in Baltimore, MD, for a special Mass celebrated by Baltimore Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien. St. John Neumann was once pastor of St. Alphonsus, and he was ordained a bishop in that church on his 41st birthday in 1852.

In his homily, Redemptorist Father Patrick Woods commented on the holiness that was found in Neumann’s very ordinary life: (Click here for complete text.)

Like us, St. John Neumann faced biting mosquitoes, as a boy had to be bribed to go to Church devotions, failures, loneliness and even struggles in faith. He is our brother. When it was proposed that the process for canonization of John Neumann begin, there were those in the Church who wondered if his life was too ordinary. He did not seem to work great miracles, found a religious order, write great books, or die the death of martyr. The pope at the time, Pope Benedict XV wrote the following as he reflected on the life of John Neumann: “No one any longer should doubt that the simplicity of work performed by John Neumann did not prevent him from a marvelous example. His very simplicity moves to see a new hero and example of faith not difficult for us to imitate.

On Monday, March 28, the 200th anniversary of St. John Neumann’s birthday, hundreds of students from Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia gathered at the Neumann Shrine for a prayer service. (Click here to view video of the prayer service.) The Redemptorists also announced the winners of our Neumann Year Essay Contest.

And parishioners of Sacred Heart Parish in Griffith, New South Wales, Australia, threw a birthday party for St. John Neumann. Thanks to Fr. Peter Stojanovic for sharing some photos:


Join us today, St. John Neumann’s 200th birthday, as we thank God for the gift of his life and vocation. In Philadelphia, students from more than 100 Catholic schools will gather at 10 a.m. for a prayer service to celebrate St. John Neumann’s role as the founder of the parish school system in the U.S. and to pray for the future of Catholic education.

Watch the prayer service live here. Streaming begins at 10 a.m. Eastern.