Regional Letter – March 2023

28 March, 2023

Dear Fathers, Brothers, students, novices, and friends of the Redemptorists

Warm greetings to you all!

This is my first communication to you since my election and appointment on February 8, 2023. There have been many reasons why I couldn’t write immediately, chief among them being the workshops I have had to attend; the leadership workshop for the CMRS (Sat 19 – Fri 24 Feb); and then the Meeting of the Major Superiors of the Congregation in Rome (Mon 6 – Sat 10 March), and then perhaps just sheer laziness! However, in between those workshops we managed to meet as ORC and ERC to acquaint ourselves and make possible plans for the future. Most of the outcomes of those meetings will be communicated to you.


First of all, I would like to thank the outgoing Regional Council led by Br Ben for the outstanding work they did in the previous quadrennium. It is on their shoulders, and on the shoulders of those who have led before them that we hope to stand. For their diligence and care for the Region and its affairs I say thank you. It is not easy to take over from these towering figures whose names have become synonymous with the Congregation itself in Zimbabwe, but it is the assurance of their continued advisory support that we rely on. 

Secondly, I would like thank God and indeed all of you for entrusting us with this mission. We hope and pray that God grants us the grace of office so that we may be able to fulfill, with fidelity and courage, the mission given to us.

Word from Rome

I feel that it is appropriate to share with you a significant theme that came out from the presentations at the workshop in Rome:


Pope Francis, who recently celebrated his tenth Papal anniversary, has often remarked that ‘we are not living in an era of change, but a change of era’. These words were echoed at the workshop in Rome by several speakers. Perhaps the key word that jumped out for me was ‘liminality’ (Lat: Limen – threshold). Liminality describes “the psychological process of transitioning across boundaries and borders”. It is a time of uncertainty demanding courage. In his welcome remarks Fr General brought this challenge to the fore:

The restructuring process is moving forward, and we must improve it more and more. This is not just the whim of the general government; this is the decision of the General Chapters over these last thirty years. And if our General Chapters have confirmed and strengthened this reality, it is a sign of the Holy Spirit for us [sic]. What does the Holy Spirit say to us today? And why are we so frequently resisting the voice of the Spirit?

We are at the threshold. Restructuring, we were told, calls us ‘to put the Gospel at the center of our lives – and not our culture – we are a missionary body and we can learn to listen to each other and to build together’. “Go ahead”, said Fr Rogerio, “Don’t give up”.

Plan of Action for the Sexennium (2023-9)

In light of this the General Government has come up with a Plan of Action for the Sexennium. The objective is to encourage us “to be a Missionary Body with an identity rooted in Christ the Redeemer … to evangelise in pastoral urgencies the most abandoned, especially the poor … and to continue to consolidate the process of restructuring initiated by the General Chapters by being ‘Missionaries of Hope in the footsteps of the Redeemer’”. Therefore, every 15th of March, the General Government will write a letter inaugurating a Year dedicated to a particular theme. This year is dedicated to ‘Community’ under the theme, “The Lord who calls us to be with him” Lk 6, 12-16. It is our hope that the letter has been read and will lead to prayer and reflection in our various communities. 

As Regional Council we also intend to be holding community visitations at dates to be announced soon. We hope that through this small gesture we will able to journey together in mission.

Calendar and the future

This year we are going to have our Regional Retreat at the end of July (29 July to 3 Aug). We would like thank Fr Reid for having requested  Fr James O’Kane to be the retreat preacher. As regional council we are proposing that during the retreat we dedicate at least two days for a mini-convocation during which, as a Region we will talk together and share our plans and vision for the future. The proposed calendar for the year will be sent separately once all the dates are in place.

Also to be sent separately is the list of our Community and Parish appointments/re-appointments for the next quadrennium.

Without making my letter too long, I would like to thank all of you for your support and for your patience in these last two months. I believe that the future that lies ahead of us, as church and as a region, is pregnant with hope. 

Could you please ensure that this letter gets to our holy novices and our beloved postulants! I do not as yet have their contacts on my mailing list – mea culpa!

Fratenally yours,

Fr Kenneth, CSsR

Birthdays this month: Apparently there are no birthdays in March! Vocations team we need action!