Redemptorists are involved in a wide variety of social ministries that deal with such issues as abortion, immigration, refugees, the incarcerated, homelessness, poverty, unemployment, workers’ rights, women’s issues, exploitation of child labor, racism, as well as many other issues. Redemptorists operate food banks, soup kitchens, counseling centers, shelters and other facilities in an effort to bring God’s saving grace and love to those who have been marginalized, oppressed, abused or abandoned.
St. Alphonsus insisted that his preachers use simple words and images when explaining Scripture, in order to make the profound mysteries of the faith readily accessible to all people. Redemptorists apply this technique every time they deliver a homily or conduct a week-long mission preaching event. They are known the world over for being able to inspire their listeners to a closer relationship with God through the use of simple, everyday language.
We have two Redemptorist preaching teams that travel the country conducting mission preaching events:
St. Michael’s Rectory (Apostolic Community)
Liguori Mission House
West Coast Mission Team
Feel free to call our teams to schedule your mission preaching event.
It’s Catholic revivalism at its best! Nobody does it better than the Redemptorists!
Father Robert Ruhnke, CSSR, of San Antonio, Texas has designed a Marriage Preparation Program, known as a Sponsor Couple program, which is contained in the publication For Better & For Ever. We live in a world in which too many couples marry with high hopes and ideals only to see the marriage crash or burn in divorce. This program envisions the engaged couple meeting with a trained married couple for a series of sessions to discuss many of the topics that will lead to a life-long and life-enhancing marriage.
Click here to learn more about the program which helps engaged/dating couples to establish and sustain healthy and successful Christian marriages.
In 1985, the Redemptorist central government in Rome made youth ministry a pastoral priority. Redemptorists believe it is important to get involved in the lives of young people before they fall prey to the many destructive influences at work in our society. Today, there are a number of youth initiatives run by Redemptorists helping to save lives in some of the country’s toughest neighborhoods. A large part of this ministry involves helping young people discern their own vocation in life, be it religious or otherwise.
Three Denver Province Redemptorists have made working with young people their primary ministry. Rev. Mark Scheffler, associate pastor, Sacred Heart, Seattle, spent many years networking with programs geared to young adults. Brother Gene Patin, has taken his “WEAL” program (“Work, Earn and Learn”) which he started in Biloxi, MS, and put it to good use helping kids in Baton Rouge, LA.
And Rev. John Phelps has helped to create one of the most successful youth initiatives in the Chicago area, called Life Directions. As CEO, Rev. Phelps and his team have been instrumental in helping thousands of young adults to turn their lives around through self direction. Over 160,000 young adults (ages 13-35) have participated in the programs of Life Directions. On average, 12,000 young adults inspire their peers through forgiving on an annual basis. Go to www.lifedirections.org to learn more about this ground breaking program!
Our Immigrant Heritage
In 1832, 100 years after the Congregation was founded in Naples, Italy, six Redemptorists sailed from Europe to the United States at the request of the American bishops. Their mission: to offer spiritual support and guidance to the growing numbers of immigrants while preserving and celebrating their cultural identities.
Their initial ministry was to the American Indians. The Redemptorists soon expanded their outreach to include other newly-arrived immigrants, namely the Irish, Germans, and Slavic immigrants. They ministered to the needs of these people by learning their languages, staffing parishes and opening schools throughout North America.
Today, Redemptorists continue to minister to a number of socially diverse communities, Afro-American, Asian, Hispanic, as well as the hearing-impaired. They work to adapt their ministry to the changing needs of these various ethnic communities.
The work being done today, for example, by the Redemptorists in Houston, TX, on behalf of the growing Hispanic population there is a model for the nation. At Holy Ghost parish, a team of eight Redemptorists provide leadership training, catechetical training, and a host of other programs designed to help Hispanic families find their footing, both economically and spiritually, in a country that still struggles at times to look on these newcomers as friends and neighbors.
In Biloxi, MS, the Redemptorists staff the Vietnamese Martyrs Parish, and our Vietnamese confreres are ministering to these more recent immigrants who have found their way to our country.
In Oakland, CA, Fr. Don MacKinnon, C.Ss.R. has been ministering to the Kmhmu people for many years now. These tribal people from Laos left their war-torn country after the communists invaded it in 1975. Many of them found sanctuary in California but struggled to fit in.
The Kmhmu did not have a written language. So Fr. MacKinnon enrolled in a Kmhmu language class at the University of California, Berkeley, and then partnered with a group of indigenous priests to develop a written language that would enable the Kmhmu people to read the Bible. The first set of scripture readings was published in 1992.
The Province Pastoral Plan directive for an initiative among Hispanic immigrants is well underway and ahead of schedule.
With the appointment at the January 2013 EPC meeting of a ‘search committee’ of Fr. Scott Katzenberg, Fr. Eugene Batungbacal, and Fr. Ted Dorcey, along with Fr. Bob Halter and Fr. Larry Lujan as OPC and EPC liaisons, the work began. The first step was to identify possible sites for the apostolic initiative or, better, to get a sense of where in the western two-thirds of the USA the pastoral need seemed the greatest. Consultation with directors of Hispanic ministry of several dioceses, Denver, Cheyenne, Santa Fe, and Houston and, with the USCCB Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs helped to narrow the list of possible sites.
The result of the consultations was the choice of six dioceses: Salina, KS, Cheyenne, WY, Jackson, MS, Salt Lake City, UT, Little Rock, AK and Oklahoma City, OK. A letter with Fr. Harry Grile, CSsR’s signature was sent to the bishops of the six dioceses. Five of the bishops responded enthusiastically to our offer to visit their diocese and talk with those in the diocese already involved in Hispanic ministry. Fr. Grile has since received letters from the Little Rock diocese and from Archbishop Tobin of Indianapolis both asking for consideration as a ministry site.
By the end of June five of the six original dioceses chosen had been visited. Conversations with bishops, diocesan and local ministers; and impressions of the visiting confreres were summarized and shared with all committee members.
On August 3, 2013 the ‘search committee’ will gather to recommend to the OPC two sites for the initiative. The two sites will be visited by members of the Province who will be responsible for carrying out this initiative to Hispanic immigrants.