Redemptorists logo
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Icon
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.
Redemptorists logo


Articles

Yearly Archives: 2016
Sunday

At the very heart of the spirituality of St. Alphonsus is love: God’s love for us and our love for God in response. St. Alphonsus was overwhelmed by God’s love for him and for all of us, and for Alphonsus, this was especially manifest in Jesus. Jesus is the unshakeable sign and proof that God loves us.

The spirituality of St. Alphonsus has traditionally been summarized in the four symbols of the crib, the cross, the altar, and Mary. This Advent season, we’ll take the time to reflect on the crib. Each week’s reflection will focus on a different theme related to the birth of Jesus—in time and in our hearts this Christmas.

 

By Sister Mary Sninsky, OSF

What would you think if you saw a neon sign flashing, “In Him is plentiful redemption,” and its meaning really hit you?

Would you be awestruck and say, “Wow!” God in his outrageous love sent his only Son and he came as a baby! A baby whose blood took away all our sins and the punishment due to them. “In him and in his blood we have been redeemed and our sins forgiven so immeasurably generous is God’s favor to us.” (Eph 1:7)

Does a deep sense of wonder move your heart as you ponder the vulnerability of Jesus in the crib and on the Cross? Jesus accepted the will of the Father to preach the kingdom, for which he died a cruel death on the Cross. God accepted his Son’s willingness to become human and to be like us in everything but sin. Jesus’ loving obedience to the Father and to God’s loving plan for all people, is the focal point of Christ’s Incarnation and our redemption accomplished by his death on the Cross.

Would an overwhelming sense of amazement capture your heart as you consider the awesome mystery of the Incarnation and then, the Passion and death of Jesus?

Jesus’ time as a human being, from birth to death, was spent in simplicity and poverty, in humility and vulnerability. When Jesus came as a newborn baby, he was born into all the complications of life and faced the same challenges we do. He experienced all our human needs. Jesus knew our pain—the pain of being rejected, unloved, unwanted. Finally, Jesus knew human suffering and brokenness in his death. It is in this self-gift of his death on the Cross that we are redeemed.

Perhaps in awe, wonder and amazement we are all challenged during this time of Advent. Challenged by John the Baptist to a change of heart, to face the challenges in our lives with faith and love; not alone but with the grace of God. It is with this change of heart that we prepare for Jesus’ birth, and come to know the redeeming love of Jesus by his death on the Cross, for … in Him is plentiful redemption.

Sister Mary is a member of the Redemptorist Mission Team with Father Paul Bryan. She is a member of the Bernardine Franciscans, an international congregation whose motherhouse is located in Reading, Pa. 

Sunday

At the very heart of the spirituality of St. Alphonsus is love: God’s love for us and our love for God in response. St. Alphonsus was overwhelmed by God’s love for him and for all of us, and for Alphonsus, this was especially manifest in Jesus. Jesus is the unshakeable sign and proof that God loves us.

The spirituality of St. Alphonsus has traditionally been summarized in the four symbols of the crib, the cross, the altar, and Mary. This Advent season, we’ll take the time to reflect on the crib. Each week’s reflection will focus on a different theme related to the birth of Jesus — in time and in our hearts this Christmas.

 

By Rev. Norman Bennett, C.Ss.R.

“The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise to the house of Israel and Judah.” (Jer 33:14)

This surge of hope for God’s people comes from the prophet Jeremiah, imprisoned by Zedekiah, the King of Judah, because he had so much as told the King he was neither a believer in God nor leading the people according to God’s will. It is a surprising position for Jeremiah to be in — imprisoned and yet singing of hope for the restoration of a united Judah and Israel through a descendant of David, “a just shoot.”

It is a difficult time for the Catholic Church today. We live in a secular culture. We will have to juggle our Christmas preparation of Christmas shopping and Christmas parties with a serious commitment of penance in order to present ourselves worthy to celebrate the welcome of Jesus born anew in our hearts. Unfortunately, there are not a few in our culture who have distanced themselves from the “institutional Church,” and those, like Zedekiah, who imagine themselves righteous before the Lord.

This Advent, despite the secular wave for material possessions and the call to self-centeredness, the Church calls us to penance, like Jeremiah, to be selfless in giving, despite the numbers who do not welcome the message. Christmas is the celebration of a selfless God, Jeremiah’s “just shoot,” who becomes at once totally one of us and totally for us. Christmas is Jesus, the promise fulfilled we celebrate. May we be inspired this Advent to hope and love through the Church’s invitation to penance: prayer, fasting and giving alms to the poor.

Father Bennett is associate pastor of the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn, N.Y.

 

Monday

Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News)—The Vatican announced Monday that recently nominated Cardinal-elect Archbishop Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R., of Indianapolis will soon take over as the new head of the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J.

Born in Detroit May 3, 1952, he has served as the sixth archbishop of Indianapolis since 2012. He was ordained a Redemptorist priest in 1978.

On Oct. 9 Pope Francis named him as one of three Americans on his list of 17 new cardinals-elect, who will be elevated during a special Nov. 19 consistory set to coincide with the end of the Jubilee of Mercy.

Other Americans getting the red hat are Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago and Bishop Kevin Farrell, former head of the Dallas diocese who recently moved to Rome to carry out his new role as prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Laity, Family, and Life.

As head of the Newark Archdiocese, Tobin takes over from Archbishop John J. Myers, who will retire after having reached age 75 in July.

Archbishop Tobin’s appointment and elevation as cardinal will mark the first time in its 163-year history that the Archdiocese of Newark has been led by a cardinal. It also signals the first time a member of a religious order will preside over the diocese, which serves roughly 1.2 million Roman Catholics.

The decision fits with Francis’ tendency to appoint cardinals to non-traditional “red-hat sees”— dioceses that typically have a cardinal, such as Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington.

Archbishop Tobin already has an extensive tenure in and around the Vatican, as well as in leadership roles.

Before his appointment to Indianapolis, Archbishop Tobin served as Superior General for the Redemptorists from 1997-2009, then in the Vatican as secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life from 2010-2012, in which role he helped oversee the more than one million men and women who are vowed religious.

During his time at the congregation, he conducted two separate investigations of American nuns. He was also responsible for the visit and reform of the male communities in Ireland during the sex-abuse crisis in the country.

In May he was appointed by the Vatican as the delegate to oversee the ongoing reforms of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae after scandals involving their founder, Luis Fernando Figari, were made public last year.

Archbishop Tobin also seems to share Pope Francis’ sympathy for migrants and refugees. He recently sparred with Indiana governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence over the resettlement of Syrian refugees, saying he was determined to welcome them despite Pence’s objections.

Under his guidance the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has also set up several events to help foster Catholic–Muslim dialogue.

He has been a papal appointee to five synods of bishops—1998, 1999, 2001, 2005, and 2008—but he did not attend the 2014-2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family.

The archbishop is fluent in Italian, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. 

Sunday

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, a Redemptorist and the ordinary of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, has been named a cardinal by Pope Francis. This is the first time the see of Indianapolis has been represented in the College of Cardinals.

Of the 17 men the pope chose from 11 countries, three are from the United States. The other U.S. archbishops chosen are Blase Cupich of Chicago and Kevin Farrell, most recently of Dallas but appointed to a Vatican post in August.

The pope will elevate the newly appointed men at a consistory held at the Vatican November 19, the vigil of the conclusion of the jubilee year of mercy.

After hearing the news, Archbishop Tobin tweeted, “I am shocked beyond words by the decision of the Holy Father. Please pray for me."

Born in Detroit in 1952, he made his profession as a Redemptorist on August 5, 1973. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1978, and ordained a bishop on October 9, 2010. In October 2012 he was appointed archbishop of Indianapolis.

Archbishop Tobin was superior general of the Redemptorists from September 1997 through November 4, 2009. In August 2010 he was appointed secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and held that post for two years.

View video of Cardinal-designate Tobin’s press conference:

Friday

By Father Henry Sattler, C.Ss.R.

Brother Christopher (Riccardo) Colarossi, C.Ss.R., died October 5, 2016, at the age of 74. The son of Pasquale Colarossi and Sandra Colarossi (Teranzio), he was born on June 22, 1942, in Manhattan. He was baptized at St. Matthew Church on West 68th Street on August 30, 1942.

Brother Christopher first joined the Christian Brothers of Ireland. He spent two years in their Juniorate, one year in their novitiate, and one year in their Scolasticate. When his temporary vows expired, he and the Christian Brothers mutually decided that this was not his vocation.

He missed religious life and applied to join the Redemptorists on July 10, 1962. “I want to serve Our Lord as a religious, and I believe I can best do so as a Redemptorist,” Brother Christopher wrote. With recommendations from two Christian Brothers, he was accepted into the brothers’ formation program in September 1962. He professed temporary vows on August 2, 1964, and final vows on August 2, 1969.

Brother Christopher’s service of the Lord brought him to Mount St. Alphonsus, Esopus, N.Y., from 1966 to 1967; St. Alphonsus College, Suffield, Conn., 1967-1968; St. John Neumann Residence in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., 1968-1969; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ilchester, Md., 1969; back to St. John Neumann Residence in Saratoga Springs, 1969-1986, during which time he became a licensed practical nurse; St. Cecilia Parish in New York, 1986; Immaculate Conception in Bronx, 1987; St. Cecilia, 1995; Our Lady of Perpetual Help in New York City, August 1998; and Our Lady of Good Counsel, Brooklyn, 2015-2016.

During his time at St. John Neumann Residence, the Superior had this to say about Brother Christopher: “His outstanding virtue is congeniality. He is well liked by Father and by brothers young and old.” He loved working for the sick confreres, and they loved him in return.

Brother Christopher volunteered at the Holy Family Soup Kitchen while he was serving at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Manhattan. In 2012 he received an award for having volunteered more than 3,000 hours. He continued this until 2015, even after moving to Brooklyn.

May Our Lord reward his years of service and give him the peace and joy of heaven.  

Visitation and wake
2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, October 9
Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home
1076 Madison Ave.
New York, N.Y.
 
Funeral Mass
10:30 a.m. Monday, October 10
Blessed Sacrament Church
152 W. 71st St.
New York, N.Y.
 
Burial
Tuesday, October 11
Woodlawn Cemetery
New York, N.Y.