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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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Monday

My biggest inspiration was…

From the fall edition of Plentiful Redemption

Anthony Michalik, C.Ss.R.
Third year theology, Boston, MA

When I consider the many people who have been an inspiration to my vocation, I feel the need to thank God for all of them — for the great gift of their presence in my life. They were all inspirational in the many ordinary and quiet moments of their lives, without ever knowing it. But I would single out two people.

One was Redemptorist Brother Liguori Englert. When I first met Liguori, he was the cook (a wonderful cook!) for the Redemptorists at our rectory in my hometown of Ephrata, PA. I grew to love him, not only because of his dedication and desire to offer the very best of who he was, but because Liguori showed me that being a religious did not mean you would lose touch with your own humanness. He was a very real person and he loved to laugh. Really, Liguori had a wicked sense of humor! Above and beyond all, however, he loved God.

My other great inspiration was Bernardine Sister M. Melita who taught in our parish school. Once again I saw that rare combination of one who has both feet on the ground, yet one who “walks humbly with God.” Her gracious care of all those around her (especially her little first grade “angels”), her enthusiasm and love for life, her wonderful smile, and her lovely gentleness will always remain with me.

 

Jacky Merilan, C.Ss.R.
Second year theology, Boston, MA

The first is Redemptorist Brother Leonard Samuel (Brother Sam). Brother Sam was the vocation director when I began discerning my vocation to become a Redemptorist.  He was the first Redemptorist voice who guided me, and he did so with kindness and a genuine interest. Through the years he has taught me many lessons, especially the value of prayer and the importance of community. Most importantly he taught me the heart of the charism of our founder, St. Alphonsus — his love for the poor and abandoned.

Another influential person is the retired Archbishop of Trinidad, Edward Gilbert, who is also a Redemptorist. I met him before I entered, and he was very helpful. Even after beginning formation he continued to take time check up on me. His perseverance and dedication in his own life as a Redemptorist greatly encouraged me. His taking an interest in me has made me grateful and reminded me to always look out for others who are in need.

 

Ako Walker
Novice, Toronto, Canada

Five years ago, I knew nothing about the Redemptorists. In 2008, I met the then-newly ordained Redemptorist Father Peter Hill while he was serving his first assignment in Trinidad. We began a friendship. It was just two young men both trying to serve Jesus.

Father Peter was my example. We never talked shop, and I appreciated that. I was never forced nor lectured; there was no “do this, not that.” I learned by his way of life. Even after two Masses on Sunday and a third one pending, he never short-changed the people. He gave them his all and his best. Father Peter showed me that he was not afraid to learn, and when he did not know something he would find out. He nourished the people by his preaching and his drive to do new things in the parish. He was able to do so thanks to his contemplation of the Scriptures. It is through the Holy Spirit working and blessing Father Peter that I decided to join the Redemptorists.

 

Stephanie K. Tracy
Postulant, Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculata, PA
Former
Plentiful Redemption editor

The thought of a vocation has haunted me since I was very young. Every time the idea popped up, I found reason to ignore it. In my work for the Redemptorists, I had seen firsthand the beauty of community life and the powerful impact these priests and brothers had in people’s lives. I wanted something they had. That “something” was community, that impact, that life of service to others. I knew it was time to seriously consider a vocation. But it terrified me! The courage to face it came from a Redemptorist who asked me whether I’d ever considered a vocation. He named a few communities he thought might fit me. He wasn’t the first person to ask, but his question, and the ongoing inspiration of his fellow Redemptorists, gave me the push I needed. I will be forever grateful to the Redemptorists for their joyful witness, and for caring enough to ask the question.