Oct 18, 2018
Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
First all, thanks for all your prayers. Our elections went very smoothly. In fact, they were probably the smoothest elections I can recall. We have a seven-person government: a provincial and his two consulters make up the full-time “Ordinary Provincial Council.” Then there are four other part-time advisors called the “Extra-Ordinary Provincial Council.” All three members of the “O.P.C.” were re-elected rather quickly. Even the other four went pretty fast, which was a little surprising. The final person elected is very young, and while some felt he was too young and inexperienced, I took it as a good sign. I felt we needed someone without a lot of baggage, who could bring fresh ideas to the table. Please keep them in your prayers as they seek to steer a course for our Province that is in line with the Will of God and meets the needs of The Church. (P.S. It may be a bit selfish, but I was very happy to see Fr. Maurice elected as one of the “EPC” advisors, so that the needs of our African-American ministry are represented at the table.)
If you've been a member of our parish for any time at all, you have probably heard mention of certain groups of lay people who have some special association with the Redemptorists: Redemptorist-Oblates, Co-Redemptorists, and Lay-Redemptorists. The latter group goes by various names in different parts of the world, and even in different parts of the Denver Province. Sometimes people make the mistake of confusing these people with those with whom we minister. These individuals have a relationship to us as Redemptorists that is separate from the fact that they may or may not be a parishioner in one of our parishes or attend one of our retreat centers or even be a staff member at one of the ministry sites.
Redemptorist Oblates: This is the oldest of the groups. This is a very special title given to very select individuals. Different religious orders use this term in different ways. For us, these people have a very special and long-term relationship with us Redemptorists. The local community or province nominates people and it is our government in Rome that actually makes the final approval. We have had several Redemptorist Oblates named in the parish including the Cunningham’s & Bennett’s. The best way to describe these people is that due to the relationship that develops over time, we consider them family. Some of them have even been granted the “privilege” of being buried in one of our cemeteries. This has become a fairly rare process. The last oblates named at The Rock was over 25 years ago.
Co-Redemptorists: This group of lay people are those individuals who have committed to supporting our seminarians. It is, by far, the largest of the groups. These people volunteer to pray for our students, as well as, send in a contribution to help cover their tuition and living expenses. When the program was originally begun in the early 60’s, a few Redemptorists had the idea to focus on what it cost to feed a seminarian per day. They somehow came up with the figure of $1.42. Anyone who has fed a teenage boy has to wonder where they got that number even in the 60’s. Currently, I believe the amount is about $13.50 per day. Each year, we do a brief presentation and invite parishioners to become Co-Redemptorists. Fr. John Schmidt is coming in November and he will be available to answer any questions you may have.
Lay Redemptorist Missionaries: While some religious orders, like the Franciscans, have been partnering with lay people for a very long time, this is a rather new undertaking for us Redemptorists. These individuals are people who have found a personal attraction to Alphonsian spirituality and want to devote their lives to living a Redemptorist style charism. Our General Government in Rome has been encouraging each province to develop a Lay Redemptorist program, and each local community to promote the program.
To be continued next week...
In the Redeemer,