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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: August 2012



And video of the vows:




And Jesus began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered with him many people, so that he entered into a boat, and sat in the sea; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables, and said to them in his doctrine. Mark 4:1-2 

Fathers John McGowan and Patrick Woods will lead their annual end-of-summer retreat at San Alfonso Retreat House at Long Branch, NJ, for Redemptorist Associates, family, friends, co-workers and those who seek to deepen their understanding of Redemptorist spirituality.
Retreat begins at 8 p.m. Friday, August 24 and ends after noon-time lunch on Sunday, August 26. Supper is not served Friday, but retreatants are welcome to arrive and settle as early as 4 p.m. Cost: $150.00
Bring your Bible and your bathing suit. Enjoy times of prayer in our chapel, and recreation in the cooling waters of the pool, or just sit by the ocean and reflect on the wonders of God.
Reservations can be made by calling San Alfonso Retreat House during business hours at 732-222-2731.



“I now freely choose the Christian life sealed by the evangelical counsels, by making for life the vows of chastity, of poverty, and of obedience, together with the vow and oath of perseverance, according to the spirit and way of life proper to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.”

With those words, Elton Letang, 37, from Giraudel, Dominica, will profess his final vows as a Redemptorist August 7 during a Mass in Newtown, Dominica.
Having grown up in a Redemptorist parish, joining the community was easy once he made the decision. Elton is scheduled to be ordained a deacon in October, and looks forward to priesthood ordination in early 2013.
“I’ve always had the desire to become a priest, but I didn’t act on it until I got into a major traffic accident in 2002 that made me take the leap of faith into the Redemptorists,” Letang said. “I was the only male teacher in a Catholic school for 12 years, and some of my students felt I should move from teaching to preaching! They were another group that made me listen to this desire and choose to pursue the extraordinary. We, the Redemptorists and the Church, need some extraordinary men.”

Stay tuned to or to our Facebook page for photos!


"The ways of holiness are many, according to the vocation of each individual. If there is a Hall of Fame of saints, all of us are called to prepare a personal exhibit."

Redemptorist Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, in his homily on the close of the Neumann Year in June, held up St. John Neumann as an example of the missionary holiness to which everyone in the Church is called.

Click here to read the text (PDF).




Today we celebrate the life and legacy of our founder, St. Alphonsus Liguori, who died on this date in 1787 at the age of 91. In addition to founding the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Alphonsus was an accomplished moral theologian, spiritual author, pastor, preacher, artist and musician. He became a bishop in 1762, was canonized in 1839, and declared a doctor of the church in 1950. He is the patron of confessors, moral theologians and arthritics.

But above all, Alphonsus was a missionary. This past June we celebrated the 250th anniversary of Alphonsus’ consecration as a bishop. Our Superior General, Fr. Michael Brehl, addressed the confreres and friends gathered in Rome to celebrate the anniversary, and spoke about the missionary zeal of this reluctant bishop:
On June 20, 1762, in the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, Alphonsus Liguori was ordained a Bishop. This year, we celebrate the 250th anniversary of this event. This occasion calls us to reflect on the missionary service of St. Alphonsus as a Redemptorist and as a bishop. It reminds us that the “Congregation shares the mandate given to the Church, which … is missionary of its very nature” (Const. 1).
Why is this occasion so important to celebrate? Many Redemptorists are Bishops. Over the history of the Congregation, 154 Redemptorist Missionaries have been called to the episcopacy. 51 of these Redemptorist Bishops are still living today. Most of them are Missionary Bishops, in challenging pastoral situations.

In his biography, Fr. Rey-Mermet quotes from a letter written by his confessor about a month after Alphonsus Episcopal Consecration:

“Everyone admires his tireless energy, his great patience … and his big heart in giving audience to even the most insignificant person. He is always ready to go down to the Church to hear people’s confessions or go to the parlor to listen to them. He will go anywhere if his presence will help. He is an untiring preacher…” (p. 539)

Focused on the person of the Redeemer and moved by compassion for the abandoned and the poor, Alphonsus gave himself totally for plentiful redemption. He gave his life for his sheep. Afflicted with illness and worn out by his ministry, he thought of resigning. Hearing this, the Pope is reputed to have commented that from his sick bed, the episcopal ministry and presence of Alphonsus had greater impact for the good of people than many bishops at the courts of kings.

I would like to conclude these few reflections with some thoughts from St. Alphonsus himself. Fr. Rey-Mermet quotes from a circular letter written by the Bishop in 1775:

“My beloved brothers, I am certain that Jesus Christ is looking most lovingly on our small Congregation which is the apple of his eye. Experience has proven that he continues to make us worthy of being instruments of his glory in many countries, multiplying his graces. I shall not see it because my death is not far off but I am firmly confident that our small flock will continue to grow, not in riches and honors, but in the promotion of the glory of God. By our work Jesus Christ will be better known and loved by other men and women.” (p. 607)
As we preach the Gospel ever anew, may the celebration of this anniversary inspire every Redemptorist missionary — Bishops, priests, deacons, brothers, lay men and women — to follow more closely in the footsteps of Jesus the Redeemer in the spirit of St. Alphonsus. Amen.