Lay men and women, together with religious members from Spain and Portugal, from the 29th July till the 3rd of August, held once more the meeting of St. Alphonsus in El Espino. We were there too. This meeting is becoming more and more important because it offers the possibility of sharing experiences between Portuguese and Spanish Redemptorist Christians, either they are lay or religious, from different communities of the Iberian Peninsula (at least for the time being…)

The moments of sharing are held in a fraternal way, whether at meal tables or at the Eucharist table. There is time for everything. There is formative time, time for having fun and time to talk, sharing dreams and hopes for the future of our Congregation and our Church. Fears and challenges are shared and in the sharing that takes place they become smaller and surmountable.

In these meetings, and this was no exception, there is always the delightful presence of children and young people, children of so many couples who are present. We believe this is a special time for them and for us adults too! For the younger ones, it is a precious opportunity to live within such a diverse family, where Alphonsus’ charism is being passed to each other, with eyes set in Jesus, the Master. And that means growing up. For the elders, it is the opportunity to see God at work, proving His faithfulness generation after generation. And this makes us regain wise and prophetic eyes, no matter how old and tired we are.

One of the central moments of this meeting was celebrated on August 1st, during the feast of St. Alphonsus. In the Eucharist, a lay couple from the community of Vigo, Rosa and Manolo, made their commitment as Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer. We, who want to dedicate our lives to Jesus through the Redemptorist charism, are growing in numbers. We always feel it is a great privilege to be part of these small steps in the history our family.

Sharing life and mission as the preferable way to achieve the goals set in the last General Chapter remains a challenge. But as Father Francisco, Provincial of Madrid, said: “Conviviality takes away our fears!”. And that’s where we’re headed.

We’ll see you around,

Zé ku Teresa


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