By Fr. David Purcell, C.Ss.R.
A great big thank-you to all who participated in our promotion of the Redemptorist Missionary Charism on the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Thank you to Redemptorist confreres, associates, and parishioners across the country who put up displays, gave testimony to the graces we experience as Redemptorists, and who invited people to consider becoming a Redemptorist Missionary.
For example, it was a pleasure to work with our confreres and parishioners in Vancouver! We were able to show off our “Redemptorist colours” in various ways……
Along with Archbishop Michael Miller we celebrated confirmation with those in Grade 7 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School.
Frs. Rich Luberti and David Purcell visited all classes K through 7 at OLPH school and spoke about how religious life with the Redemptorists is a great way to follow Jesus. The children were delighted to hear Fr. Rich play songs on his guitar!
All the Redemptorists concelebrated the weekly Mass with the students and staff. Here the children are planting seeds to remember how Jesus laid down his life and then was raised up for us – and that we are called to do the same for one another. Of course they learned that religious life is one way of following Jesus in laying down his life for his friends.
As you may know, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Vancouver is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. The Redemptorists decided to hold a special week to promote the Redemptorist Missionary Charism. In addition to presentations in the school, a Vocation Fair was held out in the church courtyard. Refreshments were served after each Sunday Mass. Many people came to visit us and take home Redemptorist information. Also there, to greet people and speak about their respective religious communities, were our neighbouring Jesuit brothers, the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of St. John New Brunwick, and the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul – Halifax.
At the Sunday Masses, people enjoyed hearing the vocation stories of Jesuit seminarian John O’Brien, and Fr. Rob Allore; and Sisters Maureen Fowler and Roberta Mullin. Of course it was a great delight for all to hear in his rich and deep voice, Fr. Brendan Boland speaking with enthusiasm, about how he has literally proclaimed the Good News of Plentiful Redemption around the World!
A Committee of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, met with Pope Francis in a private audience in the Papal Library on Monday, May 5. A summary statement by the committee stated that the Holy Father called us to “be brave, be courageous”. We should not be entrenched in a set way of doing things but become a Church that “moves forth”. Here his call to “go out to the periphery” has special resonance. And the Holy Father reminded us that keeping our lives centered on the gospel requires that we genuinely touch the lives of the poor and allow the poor to touch our lives.
Thanks again to the Redemptorist community of Vancouver who found a way to tell parishioners how we Redemptorists have been and continue to be… brave and courageous in evangelizing and being evangelized by the poor.
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