“Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” As part of our Redemptorist Vocation ministry, on the last weekend of October (26-29), eleven men joined us at our pre-novitiate formation house, Bronx, NY, to participate in our yearly “Come and See” program. We had five men come from our Denver province and six men from our Baltimore province.
The North American Redemptorists Committee for Racial Equity wrapped its Fall Series Tuesday, Nov. 14, with its second part of “American Prisons: Slavery by Another Name”. The first part of this series took place on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Both parts were preceded by Part 1: “Food Deserts & Hunger”, held in October.
The Bronx is a difficult neighborhood to live in. While it is still technically New York city, it is an entirely different world compared to the streets painted with lights of Time Square. However, we do have the Yankee Stadium where thousands of baseball fans would come every year, bringing exuberance to an otherwise tired part of New York. Our church, Immaculate Conception of Mary, is located near what I call the ‘square’, an intersection between 3rd Avenue and 149th street, where people would congregate day and night whether it is to preach, sell or just to watch the sun go down.
This month, the Redemptorists of North America began hosting its Fall “Racial Equity” Series. The first two broadcasts, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and Tuesday, Oct. 10, focused on food deserts. Father Francis Gargani, C.Ss.R., opened both sessions with a prayer (see below).
I have wanted to visit our Redemptorist Archives for some time. I had seen the “old archives” in Shore Road several times when our confrere Father Carl Hoegerl, C.Ss.R., had been the archivist. He was my Latin professor in North East in 1953. Years ago, I was searching for my roots and asked Carl if there was any information about my grandparents as they were Father Franz Mohr’s parents. I thought perhaps there might have been the marriage records of my grandparents in my uncle’s file. I was searching for my family’s origin as we knew almost nothing about them. Father Hoegerl then gave me my uncle’s autobiography when he made his first vows as a Redemptorist. I had wanted to visit the archives in Philadelphia just to see what more information I could find on my Uncle Frank Mohr C.Ss.R. Uncle Frank was the first Redemptorist with two young Redemptorists, Fathers Alphonse Hild and Fee. Later that year another group of Redemptorists arrived.
Departing Rome, we set out on a bus journey heading south, towards the outskirts of Naples. Our destination was the Redemptorist mother house in Ciorani where we were privileged to spend two weeks, but not before visiting Sant’Agata de Goti where St. Alphonsus de Liguori was ordained a Bishop. Here we also experienced the warm hospitality of the Redemptoristine Sisters and learned more about their Foundress Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa. We shared table and song with the Sisters at Eucharist and lunch. If “joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God,” His presence was undeniably among us. We were captivated by the joyful experience of unity that we shared with the Redemptoristines, both in Sant’Agata de Goti and again in Scala. Our hearts overflow with gratitude for having shared in God’s boundless abundance with these remarkable Sisters.
Amidst my monthly angst of getting something in mind to be able to put pen to paper for the Beacon, I saw an invitation to an event that I attended which was called the “Hope Harvest Festival.” Seeing the words HOPE – HARVEST- FESTIVAL – my pondering became truly clear to me. For I realized then that I am experiencing and harvesting renewed hope by my participation in special experiences recently.
Twenty-five years of the founding of our Viet Toc Foundation marks the blessings of the vocation to serve the Tribal people in 30 regions of the five provinces of Vietnam. We provide clean water, medicine (especially for the leper colonies), food, and homes; we help build chapels. Most especially, we provide education by way of scholarships so younger generations can stand on their own two feet, and able to give back.
A joyful noise was raised to the heavens when four women renewed the commitment as Redemptoristine Associates on September 10, 2023. This happened at the celebration of the Eucharist presided over by Fr. Provincial John Collins, C.Ss.R.
Reflection on the invaluable spiritual legacy that St. Alphonsus bestowed to both our Congregation and the Church is necessary to authentically revitalize our Congregation and enhance the spiritual growth of every individual engaged in our missionary endeavors.
Happy September and welcome back to the Baltimore Beacon after our annual August hiatus! I hope that summer afforded you time for rest, relaxation, and recreation, along with opportunities to enjoy the company of family and friends in some of summers’ great venues: the family vacation, a day at the beach, the ballpark, the golf course, the big cookout, or maybe even the clambake!
On July 2, 2023, the Redemptorists completed their 93-year mission to the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina. Arriving in May 1930, the Redemptorists began serving the rural poor, especially African Americans in Orangeburg
nding the semester at St. John’s, and then going back to college for the summer was the last thing I would’ve expected for my summer ministry. Yet, I’m privileged to have the opportunity to join the team here at Immaculata University’s Campus Ministry – Fr. Royce Thomas C.Ss.R., Sr. Laura Downing IHM, and Amanda Bielat – as they power through the summer and prepare for the upcoming school year.
The Juan Neumann Center, sponsored by the Baltimore Province and the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn, is well known in this New York area. At its beginnings, the name, Juan Neumann Center, was chosen because 98% of immigrants seeking accompaniment and legal aid were Hispanics.
The Dominican mystic, Meister Eckart, once wrote “if the only prayer you ever said was ‘thank you,’ that would be enough.” I come to this July pondering with a deep sense of gratitude for the many blessings that I have experienced with people, at celebrations, and in the happenings of my life and ministry since last month. My sense of gratitude impels me to say, ‘thank you’ and to express appreciation.