Partners in Mission in Action
by Kristine StremelFathers Greg May, Byron Miller and John Schmidt renewed the Redemptorists’ commitment to a grateful group of people in the St. Louis area who share the Redemptorist spirituality and mission. The group is now in their second year of meeting formally for fellowship and ongoing formation with Redemptorists.
“Almost all of our members had a formal process of formation and made a commitment as Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer for the Denver Province – some as long ago as the 1990s,” Fr. Greg explained. “But when the confreres who initially formed the group were reassigned elsewhere in the Denver Province, the group eventually disbanded. To their credit, our Lay Missionaries continued formation on their own.”
Uniting the Redemptorist charism and spirituality to their lives and personal ministries, Lay Missionaries continued to share their knowledge of St. Alphonsus and his writings, and encourage others to dedicate their lives to Jesus, the Redeemer.
Now identifying as Partners in Mission, the group’s monthly gatherings begin with prayer, include some type of faith sharing, and end with a meal. On the Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer, the Redemptorists renewed their vows and the Partners in Mission renewed their commitment to the Redemptorist charism during the liturgy.
“We are using To be a Redemptorist Today; Reflections on the Redemptorist Charism for ongoing formation, and developing a presentation about our Lay Missionary Partners in Mission that emphasizes the importance of Redemptorist spirituality in their lives,” Fr. Greg said. “Redemptorists embrace a spirituality that provides a clear direction for living from the Redeemer – a way of relating to God and others that leads to unity, peace and love. Everyone who embraces the reality of restoration through the Redeemer’s love are compelled to share it.”
The Lay Missionary Partners in Mission hope the presentation helps to attract new members, and provides a better definition of Partners in Mission – a broad umbrella term that includes a wide variety of those associated with the Redemptorists.
The Lay Missionaries in the St. Louis area offer a few suggestions to those responsible for defining the Partners in Mission initiative in the North American Conference and throughout the worldwide Congregation:
- Invest in those eager to help promote the Redemptorist mission, and accept and value what they offer, individually and collectively, to the Congregation.
- Embrace and feel empowered by their support of each professed member as they pursue their individual ministries.
- Develop a formation program with clear objectives, and opportunities that allow Partners in Mission to work directly with Redemptorists in ministry.