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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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Neumann Year begins Wednesday

Every year on January 5, the Church in the United States celebrates the feast of St. John Neumann, the first male American saint, a Redemptorist, and the fourth bishop of Philadelphia.

This year’s celebrations, however, will be particularly festive as the Redemptorists open the Neumann Year, marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of this great saint. Neumann’s 200th birthday is actually March 28, 2011.

Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali will celebrate the 12:15 p.m. Mass Wednesday at St. Peter’s Church/Shrine of St. John Neumann in Philadelphia. Neumann’s body rests in a glass reliquary underneath the shrine’s altar.

In Baltimore, special Masses will be celebrated at 7 a.m and 12:15 p.m. at St. Alphonsus Church where Neumann spent several years as pastor and Redemptorist superior. The church was also the site of Neumann’s consecration as a bishop in 1852.

St. Peter’s Church in Philadelphia will host a second feast day Mass January 9 at 3:30 p.m. in the upper church. Music will be provided by the Archdiocesan Boys Choir, and Redemptorist Father Richard Boever, a Neumann expert, will be the homilist.

A blessing with a relic of St. John Neumann will be offered after all the feast day Masses in Philadelphia and Baltimore.

For more information about the Neumann Year or to find out how you can join in the celebration, visit