Redemptorists belong to C.Ss.R. Congregation which in Latin is an abbreviation of “Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris” which means Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. The Congregation was founded by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, a nobleman of Naples, Italy in 1732. Alphonsus, a lawyer by profession is today a Doctor of the Church and a Patron Saint of Moral Theologians and Patron Saint of Confessors. Although a successful lawyer, having lost a case through the intrigue of the opposing party, he decided to bid goodbye to the Courts and to all worldly greatness and dedicated himself to the service of proclaiming the Good News in building God’s Kingdom. He joined the Seminary and in due course was ordained a priest. Gradually he noticed that though there were many priests in the towns, the poor villagers, especially the shepherds of goats in the country side of Scala, Italy, did not know the tenets of their Christian faith as there was no one to teach them. Hence over a period of time he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer to conduct popular missions in the parishes reaching out to the most abandoned. Therefore the special mission of the Redemptorists is to proclaim the Good News of Salvation to the most abandoned poor.
Redemptorists do not choose cities to build their centres. But experience has shown, that though they choose places away from towns, these places do eventually turn into crowded towns as in the case of Alto Porvorim, which is a place away from the city and a place where people were reluctant to settle way back in 1969. This place was chosen as it was convenient for communication and because Fr. Antonio had a property given to him by his father.
It so happened that the moment it became known that the Redemptorists were settling down at Alto Porvorim, the people’s committee in charge of the Chapel of the Holy Family requested them to manage the services of their Chapel as they had no priest to offer Mass even on Sundays. As such, Redemptorists found some abandoned people at their doorstep to be looked after and while conducting missions and retreats throughout Goa. They also nurtured the local people, holding Sunday services for them at the Holy Family Chapel. At the request of the Bishop, Very Rev. Francisco X. de Piedade Rebello, who was the Administrator of the Archdiocese at that time, the Redemptorists also worked to bring about communion among the people in order to form a Parish. In 1972 Fr. Antonio was invited to pursue his Masters in Theology at the University of Louvain, leaving Fr. Ivo Fernandes to hold the fort.
Currently the Redemptorists’ House situated at 876, Alto Porvorim, next to the JMJ Hospital 6 priests reside, the senior most being Fr. Antonio Rodrigues, the Superior. They are engaged in the proclamation of God’s Word and in various other activities with Fr. Joseph Abraham, recently appointed as the Regional Superior teaching counselling, Fr. Antonio Rodrigues, specialized in counselling, Fr. Desmond De Sousa involved in rendering service to migrant and domestic workers, Fr. Xavier Pinto caring for the seafarers/tarvotti/seamen, Fr Nelson Santos busy in the field of education and Br. Joseph undertaking the chores of the house and pastoral help in the Parish Church. They are also active in rendering yeomen service to the Holy Family parish as and when available.