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


Chapter Chat: An inspirational first week

Redemptorist Worldwide Chapter | Rome, Italy
October 23, 2009

Now that we are finishing our first week of the Chapter, a steady routine has developed. Here’s a sample of a day at the Chapter:

Mass at 7 a.m.
Breakfast at 8
Morning Prayer at 8:30
Session from 9:30 to 11
Coffee break
Session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Dinner, the main meal of the day
Pasta at every meal, light on the meat, good bread, and nice wine.
Siesta from 2 to 3:30
Some guys go for walks, others play basketball, and some (the over-zealous) have meetings of some kind.
Session from 3:30 to 5
Coffee break
Session from 5:30 to 6:30
Supper (similar to lunch) at 8 p.m.
Some fellows then go to the make-shift pub for a drink and chat, others to bed.
Over the last several days, we have had reports from the six regions of the Congregation: South America, North and South Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia-Oceania. The reports consisted of some verbal presentations and videos of the work of the men. The reports, especially the videos, were incredibly uplifting and made us so very proud of our worldwide Congregation and its service to God’s people, especially to the poor.
We saw the work of the men in South America with the poor living in shacks outside the cities. There’s the work of our men in Ukraine, Siberia, and other former Eastern Bloc countries. The men in Ireland and Italy have some creative missions, and we saw the multi-cultural richness of Asia. And then there were the haunting images of the refugees of Africa. We also heard about new missions in Madagascar, Laos, and China.
We can be very proud of the video, produced and directed by our own Father Lenny “Martin Scorsese” Delgado. The video showed the great diversity of ministries and cultures in North America. I think some of the delegates were surprised by the many languages in which our men minister, and the level of poverty in some areas of North America. Thank you, Lenny.
We also received a financial report that was rather sobering. The poor world economy has been felt throughout the Congregation and the General Government has really struggled to meet all its obligations. Some challenging proposals were raised for the consideration of the delegates.
The entire morning on Friday was devoted to the address by Father Joe Tobin, our outgoing Superior General. With the richness of his experience as Superior General for 12 years and General Consultor for six years, he outlined four major areas of challenge that he believed the XXIV General Chapter needed to respond to for the well-being of the Congregation. They include: the need for restructuring of the Congregation, a focus on consecrated life, the importance of first formation, and financial concerns. His talk was inspirational, direct, and quite challenging. Many of the confreres in their responses thanked the General and his Council for their leadership.
On Friday afternoon, there was an excellent presentation by two lay women, Anne Walsh a Redemptorist Lay Missionary from the Edmonton-Toronto Province, and Ageeth Potma, a Lay Missionary from the Netherlands. Ageeth and her husband Jelle are members of a Redemptorist community. Their report on the document, Called into Mission, generated a great deal of enthusiasm and questions among the delegates.
The first week is over and many delegates are scattering to Rome, while others will stay here at the Salesianum and rest.  
Thanks for the prayers.
Father Pat Woods
Provincial Superior
Baltimore Province