The Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer, 16th of July 2017
The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer is the official name of the congregation more commonly known as the Redemptorists. The feast of the MHR is celebrated on the third Sunday of July each year, rather than on a specific date.
The Congregation was founded in 1732 by St. Alphonsus Liguori and has as its purpose to follow the example of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, by preaching the Word of God to the poor, as he declared of himself: He sent me to bring the Good News to the poor.
The Congregation carries out its mission in over seventy countries spread across the globe. Its first house in Ireland was opened in Limerick in 1853 and the second foundation was in Dundalk in 1876. There are Redemptorist communities also in Belfast, Dublin, Esker (Co. Galway) and Cork.
Redemptorists engage in many different kinds of apostolic activity. In Ireland they are much associated with parish missions and in more recent decades with solemn novenas, such as that in honour of St. Gerard Majella, held in Dundalk every year from the 8th to the 16th of October. But there are also other activities such as retreat ministry, youth ministry, parishes, devotional churches, ecumenism, chaplaincy, teaching theology, counselling, communications, work with Travellers, mission abroad, and so on.
All these activities are geared towards making the Good News known to people, enabling them to experience the blessing of redemption which the Lord offers to all of humankind.
To be redeemed is to know and experience that we are accompanied on life´s journey by the Lord himself. It is to know that our God is the God of life, of hope, of mercy and compassion. The awareness of God´s presence in our lives may not always be intense, at times it may be quite weak or at other times we may not even feel included in God´s plan at all.
Redemption is happening in our lives right now. By way of example, whenever we see truth and justice at work, whenever people help one another, where there is action to relieve the suffering of the poor and assist the vulnerable, there the Lord is present, redemption is happening. The presence of the risen Lord is already something real in our lives, helping us to become better people, encouraging our better selves to come more to the fore, urging us to build a more vibrant Church community and a fairer society.
The motto of the Congregation is taken from psalm 129 and reads – With the Lord there is Mercy and fullness of Redemption. Pray for Redemptorists that they may always be guided by this most profound truth.