Annual Student Gathering in Canandaigua
Thursday, June 15, 2017 by Kathy McMerty

By Fr. David Purcell, C.Ss.R.

From the 21st of May through the 27th, all the Redemptorist students in North America along with those in formation ministry and those in vocation ministry met at Notre Dame Retreat Centre, near Rochester, New York.

We gathered in the morning for a two hour workshop. Our presenter was Fr. Dennis Billy C.Ss.R.. He guided us through the life and times of St. Alphonsus. He illustrated through Alphonsus’ own writings, Alphonsus’ genius for pastoral ministry, his stature as one of the greatest spiritual writers and mentors, his guidelines for us to become great preachers, and confessors, and his inspiration for us to live a community life which reflects Jesus as Saviour and Redeemer.

Each afternoon and evening, was filled with social time to build fraternity among the students, while many of those in formation and vocation ministries held meetings.

On Saturday at the closing Mass, we were delighted to see Fr. Stephen Rehrauer and Fr. Jerry Knapp along with some who are in formation ministry, receive the renewal of vows of some of the Redemptorist students.

Please remember to pray for our Redemptorist students, especially as many are going through transitions through this summer and into the fall. For example, many people may have heard, “we are moving”! Many theology students are moving from Chicago and Boston to complete their theological studies at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. This school was founded in 1903 by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The main languages for their education there will be English and Spanish. Fr. Peter Hill and Fr. Mick Fleming (l. to r.) will be responsible for leadership in this community of students.

The formation programs that we have at “The Bronx” will remain the same. Although Br. Gene Patin will stay in place, Fr. Bob Wojtek and Fr. Joe Ngo (l. to r.) will be new to the leadership team at this community.

Our formation programs in Dallas, at the University of Dallas, Texas, and at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, where the formation programs take place primarily in Vietnamese and English, will continue as they have. Fr. Francis Dang (standing in centre) will remain in leadership with others on the formation teams in these places.