The Mount Saint Alphonsus Retreat House is named in honor of St. Alphonsus de Liguori, born in Naples at the waning of the Seventeenth Century. He was a lawyer, priest, bishop, founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists), and prodigious writer in Ascetical and Moral Theology.
St. Alphonsus founded the Redemptorists in 1732 to preach the Gospel to the poor and most abandoned, especially the economically poor. From its humble birth in Scala, the Congregation has expanded to seventy-three countries throughout the world.
Alphonsus always envisioned that the Redemptorists would be missionaries both at home and in foreign missions. The Congregation came to the United States in 1832, ostensibly to work for the Native Americans. However, since they were German speakers, and the bishops were facing an ever growing need for German speaking priests and brothers, the Redemptorists found themselves in parishes along the Eastern Seaboard.
These parishes are now the homes for Spanish speaking newcomers to the United States. Over eighty percent of Redemptorist parishes are now situated in the inner city, and according to the hope and dream of Alphonsus, Redemptorists continue to work with the poor and most abandoned.
As preachers of the Gospel, Retreat Houses have always been part and parcel of the Congregations tradition, where preaching in a clear and pastoral manner have been their hallmark. The pastoral wisdom of Alphonsus is their guiding principle. Does your preaching bring men and women to a deeper knowledge of Gods love for them? If not, then you are preaching yourself, not the Gospel.
Mount St. Alphonsus Retreat House strives to follow Alphonsus sound advice.
Fr. George Keaveney, C.Ss.R., Rector of Mount St. Alphonsus