Our Mission Statement at Most Holy Redeemer
Most Holy Redeemer Parish is a Roman Catholic Christian Community. The parish draws people from isolation to community, from searching to awakening, from indifference to concern, from selfishness to meaningful service, from fear in the midst of adversity to faith and hope in God.
The community of Most Holy Redeemer shares God’s compassionate love with all people. The parish offers a spiritual home to all: senior citizens and youth; single people and families; those who are straight, gay, lesbian, and transgender; the healthy and the sick, particularly persons with HIV.
As a parish community, we celebrate God’s loving presence in our lives. In worship and sacrament, especially the Eucharist, we are nurtured and challenged to extend God’s kingdom of justice, truth, love and peace by growing in the spirit of Jesus, the Most Holy Redeemer.
St. Gaspar del Bufalo
Fr. Matt’s Message – Week of August 12, 2018
GASPAR: Founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood
You may have noticed a new addition to our sanctuary. We have acquired a beautiful statue of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and as promised, we would like to tell you more about St. Gaspar.
St. Gaspar founded the Society of the Precious Blood in Giano, Italy, on August 15, 1815. Here, in the 10th century abbey of San Felice, our founder opened the gates of an ardent devotion to the Precious Blood of Christ.
The preamble of the C.P.P.S. constitution captures this new beginning: Impelled by the love of Christ, manifested especially in the shedding of his Blood, and sensitive to the needs of the Church, St. Gaspar del Bufalo founded a priestly institute. He attracted from the diocesan clergy a group of like-minded priests and unified them by a bond of charity only, instead of vows. Living together in mission houses, they were a source of continual renewal for the priests and the people, mainly by preaching missions and retreats. In this nucleus the Society of the Precious Blood had its origin and from it derives its spirit.
Gaspar was born in Rome on January 6, 1786. His father, Antonio, was a servant in the family of a prince. He was a pious man of firm faith who was a staunch defender of the Holy Father. Gaspar’s mother, Annunziata, was one of those quiet and saintly women who seem to model her life and faith after the holy women of the Scriptures. She realized early in Gaspar’s life that God had great things in store for him. She raised her son in virtue and holiness, readying the soil for God to plant within Gaspar a deep and abiding devotion to the Blood of Christ.
Early in his life, Gaspar showed a great concern for the poor and sick. Perhaps because he came from family of meager means and because he himself had been a sickly child (almost dying at the age of two, only to be cured through the intercession of St. Francis Xavier), Gaspar’s compassion for the poor and outcasts consumed him. He spent his summer vacations as a youth visiting hospitals and bringing meals to the hungry.
When he was eighteen, Gaspar exhibited one of his greatest gifts: organizing for action on behalf of the `people on the fringe’. Together with some of his classmates, Gaspar ministered to the marginalized: offering religious instruction to the peasants from rural areas who came to Rome to sell their hay; providing catechism for orphans and children of the poor; and setting up a night shelter for the homeless.
Gaspar was ordained July 31, 1808. Less than a year later, on May 17, 1809, Napoleon suppressed the papal states. Pope Pius VII was arrested and transported to Savona. On June 13, 1810, Gaspar was brought before the magistrate to take the oath of allegiance to the emperor. In words that echo the Gospel of John when Jesus said “the truth will set you free”, Gaspar told the magistrate: “I would rather die or suffer evil than to take such an oath. I cannot. I must not. I will not.”
It was Gaspar’s vision to wed the spirituality of the Precious Blood with the concept of a community for the apostolic works of mercy. This sacred union gave birth to the Society of the Precious Blood that would “proclaim peace through the blood of the cross.”
St. Gaspar brought devotion to the Blood of Christ out of the sanctuary and into the streets. His preaching was rooted in the saving act of Christ on the cross and so he carried the crucifix close to his heart. Indeed, the mission cross became the symbol of the newly formed community.
Gaspar died on December 28, 1837. The medical report called him a “victim of charity” because even though he was in ill health himself, he ministered to the victims of the cholera epidemic that broke out in Rome. Gaspar was beatified in 1904 and canonized a saint on June 12, 1954.
Have a blessed week,