In the Vice Province of Richmond
Copiosa Apud Eum Redemptio
(With Him there is Plentiful Redemption)
Our province serves the southeastern United States. Our congregation does a variety of ministries. We work in parishes and in retreat houses. We work with migrant ministry, and we travel and preach missions in parishes all over the eastern United States. Our ministry in this part of the country is deeply connected to the charism of our founder St. Alphonsus, and that is to work with the poor and most abandoned. At times this means spiritually abandoned as much as it can mean financially poor.
Those who are attracted by the ideals described in these pages are encouraged to learn more about the Redemptorist way of life, our apostolic activities and the program of initial formation. The aim of initial formation is to provide a realistic experience of living in a small Redemptorist community. While sharing the life of such a community, candidates embark on an educational program to help prepare them for their future ministry either as missionary priests or brothers.
The first step for new candidates is a period of “postulancy.” During this time of spiritual formation, there is emphasis on self-knowledge, self-esteem, emotional growth, and everything pertaining to human and Christian development. In the Eastern United States, the house of postulancy is at Immaculate Conception in Bronx, New York. St. John’s University, is where the postulants pursue college studies or pre-theology courses.
The length of postulancy varies, depending on individual needs, but typically after two years a postulant may apply for the next step in Redemptorist formation, which is the novitiate. The novitiate is now shared with all Redemptorists in North America. It is located in Toronto, Canada. It is a one-year program. The novitiate is designed to enable the novice to grow in a deeper knowledge of prayer and to assimilate the charisma and spirituality of St. Alphonsus and the Redemptorist tradition. It aims to provide a sufficient introduction to the life and work of the Congregation so that the novice will be able to discern whether he is really called to live and work as a Redemptorist.
At the end of the year of novitiate, those who are approved for profession dedicate themselves to Christ the Redeemer through temporary vows, with a view to perpetual profession after a period of three years. The newly professed Redemptorists typically continue their education either at St. John’s University or in Boston, MA, where they join the community of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Those preparing for priestly ordination undertake the four-year theology program at Boston College. Those preparing for the brotherhood undertake an associates program or further studies to prepare them for their ministry.