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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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Chapter Chat: Down to work after time at “home”

Redemptorist Worldwide Chapter | Rome, Italy
October 27, 2009
All the delegates came back to work on Monday after a free weekend. I would say that we were all bright and attentive, but I think some were tired from their activities on the weekend. Confreres visited Rome, went sight-seeing, and shopped for souvenirs. Many, including myself, were able to find rooms at Casa St. Alfonso, the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. It’s about a 40-minute car ride (90 minutes by bus) from the Salesianum where the chapter is being held.
Casa St. Alfonso consists of several buildings on the busy Via Merulana in Rome, about three streets away from the magnificent Basilica of St. Mary Major. The community at Casa St. Alfonso includes almost 100 Redemptorists, and is the largest community in the Congregation. It’s made up of students and professors studying and teaching in Rome, confreres working on various levels of the General Government, and those with other special ministries. The house where the Superior General and his Council live is a separate building on the same property.
Via Merulana is also home to the Alphonsianum, one of the premiere schools of moral theology in the world. Finally, and the most important of all, is the Church of St. Alphonsus, where the original icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help hangs over the main altar.
Monday morning began with a Mass that included all the delegates. Each week there is one very festive Mass for all the confreres; on the other days, there are many Masses offered at various times in different languages. This week, Father Sean Wales gave a fine homily on the missionary nature of the Congregation and Father Manny Rodriguez was the main celebrant.
The work of this week has been to study the chapter’s working document, “Restructuring for Mission, Hope in Action.” The last General Chapter called for a process to begin that would help the Congregation address the many changes going on among the various provinces, vice-provinces, and regions worldwide. Some units are expanding rapidly and others are diminishing in numbers. The primary focus of the working document, and the primary focus of the chapter, is to determine how best the Congregation can use its personnel and resources to serve its mission.
This working paper was initially prepared by a variety of experts in the Congregation from various parts of the world. It was then studied over the last five years by Provincial Councils, chapter delegates, and confreres, and was modified based on those local and regional discussions. Finally, the Superior General and his Council approved the working document that is presently being used by the delegates.
We are presently meeting regularly in small groups, determined by our language, to study the document, amend it, and finally prepare a text that can be voted on. If all or some of the proposals are approved, it will have a very profound impact on all Redemptorists.
Time for pasta.
Father Pat Woods
Provincial Superior
Baltimore Province