When you see the letters “S.J. after a man’s name you know he is a Jesuit (Society of Jesus); “O.F.M.” stands for Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans); “S.D.B., Society of Don Bosco. But C.Ss.R.?
These letters stand for Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris or Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, whose members are known as Redemptorists!
For Redemptorists around the world, today is the feast of the Most Holy Redeemer and of course our parish church here is dedicated to the Most Holy Redeemer. So, perhaps a word about the Redemptorists is in order.
Founded in 1732 by St Alphonsus, the Congregation exists to celebrate and bring to those in greatest need the Good News of Redemption. Just to exist as a Community of Redemption is already a way of sharing the mystery of Redemption. Preaching parish Missions was a characteristic way of enhancing the Church’s mission to all peoples; today Redemptorists have found innumerable ways of living and sharing abundant Redemption.
You will remember from our celebrations in April that the Redemptorists came to South Africa from the U.K. a hundred years ago. Today we work not only in Cape Town but in KwaZulu-Natal and in the Rustenburg area. We also reach people across the country with our Redemptorist Pastoral Publications.
For administrative and pastoral reasons, the Congregation is divided into 5 Conferences: Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Africa. In our African Conference we are in Burkina-Faso, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Madagascar and South Africa. At present we are exploring possibilities of working in Cameroon and South Sudan.
Everywhere Redemptorists go they encourage lay people to share their spirituality and therefore also their mission. On this our feast day we are enormously grateful for the prayerful support and encouragement of so many friends in Cape Town. We wish all our parishioners an abundance of blessings and peace as we celebrate our loving Redeemer.
Fr Sean Wales, C.Ss.R.