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Work of Evangelization – Disciple:
Touched by Plentiful Redemption
God works in this world, even if we don’t see it. We want to present you testimonies of people who, thanks to redemptorists’ ministry, experienced Plentiful Redemption. And although they come from different countries, different cultures, they are proof that God works, God makes marvellous deeds and God changes man’s life.
Fr. Timothy: Please, tell us how your life was looking a few years ago regarding your believe in God.
Eveline: Faith was somewhere in me from the very beginning, but I think it was so deeply buried that I wasn’t interested in going to church. I was so “anti”. Of course, there were moments when I had to go there, for example: for funerals, and important feasts. But it was superficial, there were no deeper experiences – absolutely not.
Fr. Timothy Is there something different now?
Fr. Timothy Can you describe the difference?
Eveline: Now it’s the opposite! I go to church every Sunday and feast day. I even make the sign of the cross before eating which was unthinkable for me before. It’s totally different.
Fr. Timothy Could you tell me how Redemptorists are involved in this changes?
Eveline: I think their role is very big. In general, I can’t imagine all this changes without the Redemptorists. I can’t even imagine going to the another church for Mass now.
Fr. Timothy Why?
Eveline: I do not know. Sermons … they’re approachable, they have an openness which makes me fill and such a feeling that they are close to me whatever happens.
Fr. Timothy Do you remember any specific moments in your life which involved the Redemptorists?
Eveline: The first moments in which the Redemptorist shared – I still remember it today – it was twenty or more years ago. It was a pastoral visit. I have been fined for travelling homas a stowaway. During his pastoral visit the priest was also collecting donations. Of course my mother told the whole story about my fine… This redemptorist said that he didn’t want any donations from us. He pulled money from another envelope he had collected earlier, gave me money to pay the fine, and said, that he just wanted to see me in church on Sunday. It was my first contact with such a normal person.
Fr. Timothy Could you tell me how the Redemptorists have participated in this latest big change in your life?
Eveline: I think it helps that I also meet them more privately, on a friendly level. But there is also something more than that. Sermons help me a lot. There are often things that I don’t understand and sermons help to explain. This is a big plus in favour of the Redemptorists. I really like going to the evening prayer services they organize. It was there, for the first time, that I experienced … That I had a feeling that there is something more to life. I was sitting on a church bench and tears just flowed. I did not expect to experience something like that..
Hi! My name is Juan Jiménez García, I’m17 years old and I am currently studying high studies in science at secondary school in order to study engineering at university. Well, I’m now going to tell you my experience with the missionary redemptorists, and how my relationship with them has been until the moment.
When I was a child, I didn’t like at all going to the church, since the celebrations were a little boring… My grandmother always told me to go every Sunday to mass: “let’s go to the church, it’ll be nice…”, but I didn’t like it. But the moment arrived to prepare myself to the First Communion (my grandmother was really excited for me to take it). It all happened during a time of changes, in which the missionary redemptorists came to my parish, and the catechesis started to be very enjoyable with them. I liked going there. Mass was also very entertaining, it was fun… We had a parish priest called Antonio, and his masses were very funny and we all, my friends and me, liked going to the catechesis group. That is why I started to go more and more to the church.
Later on, I lived I time in which I stopped attending to the Scout group and left the Church a little apart from my life, since I was living a moment in my life in which I was not very sure about what I was feeling, about what I felt towards God, so I decided to quit it all. As time passed by, I started to miss it all. During Fallas (the feast days in Valencia), a friend of mine suggested me to go to El Espino. I spoked with Carlos Galán, our current parish priest, who is a missionary redemptorist, and I asked him if he would let me go to El Espino. He told me that he would be delighted if I’d go to El Espino and live that experience. While I was there, during one of the reflections that we were reading, I had a moment in which a felt a little scared, but, at the same time, it was kind of a pleasant fear. It was a strange feeling, because I felt like a presence (and I was reflecting alone). I felt really fine in my inside, because I could speak to Him and I felt that he was calling me not just to come back to the Scout group, but also to come back to my life in the Church… I gradually came back, and I joined the group for young people in our parish. I have now decided to be confirmed.
Until now, this has been my day by day in the Church. Bye bye!
Hi. My name is Ola. I’m 21 years old. I study at the University of Lviv, at the faculty of law. I’ll soon obtain a master’s degree. I’ve grown up in a devote family with beautiful Christian traditions. I thought that I have beautiful life filled with happiness. But later, I realised that it wasn’t so. For my enitre life, I’ve been a member of redemptorists’ parish of st. Josaphat in Lviv. But I never understood the word “redemptorist” or what it means to be “truly practicing Christian”.
My relationship with the redemptorists begun when I was in a youth community in my parish. I was in church every day for almost 6 months before I joined this group. I was asking myself, what had been my motivation to participate every day in the Liturgy. Years went by, and I still didn’t know what the reason was. But I’m sure, who led me. He just showed me the way, and then everything went by itself: frequent confession, everyday Eucharist, the Holy Bible, reading spiritual books… When I experienced that great love of Jesus Christ I saw, in the light of his life, that my life, that previous one, was pointless.
I had a lot of joyful moments and journeys in my childhood, but all that happened without Christ and feeling his love. Because real happiness is where Christ is. True love is to love Christ. Thanks to redemptorists I could experience for the first time in my life, what retreats, prayers and youth festivals are. I get my first rosary from a redemptorist as a gift and he was the one with whom I prayed the rosary for the first time. Thanks to that father, we established in our parish community “Faith and Light”, which helped disabled children. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve people in that way. Knowing redemptorists better and better it’s like a get huge family. I can enter every redemptorists’ church and feel like at home. I was in every redemptorists’ parish in all of Ukraine, and I’m sure, if I wasn’t a member of the group I would have never visited those places.
Redemptorists gave me my friends. If someone told me that I would be friends with a priest or a nun, I would laugh at him or would be afraid of that prospect. But it is really great and a rich experience for me. People, who were given to me, by this community changed me and my life. I don’t have proper words to express my gratefulness for this friends.
Thanks to the redemptorists’ community one day, during parish festival, I’ve met my boyfriend. Two years later, in another redemptorists church, I’ve become his fiancée (there is a special liturgical ceremony of engagement in Greek Catholic Church – editor’s footnote) and soon I’ll marry him. And it will happen in the same church when I learnt who redemptorist is, I experienced love of Christ and became the witness of his great Redemption. I cannot imagine where and who I would be today if the Holy Spirit hadn’t led me that way. But I believe, it makes no sense to think about it, because God’s plan and his Providence is the best thing that can happen to me.
Author: ft. Timothy Macioszek CSsR, Ewelina Kowalczyk,
Juan Jiménez García, Olena Vasylyna
Translation: Marcin Wojdan CSsR, Carlos A. Diego Gutiérrez CSsR
Music: https://filmmusic.io „Eagle Rock”
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)