Feast of Saint Alphonsus Liguori – 1st August, Masses at 8am, 10am and 7.15pm.
Alphonsus was a former lawyer who became a missionary priest. His change of life style startled a lot of people. His family had their hearts set on his becoming the most prominent lawyer in Naples, and after practising law for eight years he was well on his way to reaching that goal. In spite of his success, however, Alphonsus was not truly happy; he felt there was something more that he was meant to do with his life.
A dramatic discovery
As he struggled with the question of what he should do, Alphonsus began to pray intently. He developed a deep love for the person of Jesus and his Mother, Mary. Along with this came a new appreciation of the meaning of redemption. Journeying outside the familiar environment of his home city, he came in contact with the “hill people” in the interior of the country, who lived in dismal poverty. What shocked Alphonsus more than anything else was that they were abandoned even spiritually. Even though nominally Christian, they were for all practical purposes ignored by the Church. As a result, many of them lived without faith and without hope.
Sharing the dream
Alphonsus became convinced of the need for a new missionary thrust which would concentrate on bringing the “good news of redemption” to the poor and abandoned.
He shared his dream with a few close friends. In 1732, in the hill town of Scala, near Amalfi, Italy, he gathered some companions who were willing to dedicate themselves to this mission.
This was the beginning of what became a worldwide community of priests and brothers, the “Missionary Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.”