A steady decrease in new recruits to the Redemptorist order of priests has led to the merging of the Denver province with that of Baltimore. As part of its decision to merge, the Redemptorist order of priests has sent all undergraduate seminarians from St. Louis University in Missouri to pursue their Bachelor’s Degrees in philosophy at St. John’s University, where they have joined their brothers from the Baltimore Province.
According to the Web site for the Denver province, the Redemptorist order was founded in 1732 by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori of Naples. Much like the Vincentian order, the Redemptorists are called to help those who are poor and abandoned.
Curremtly there are more than 5,000 redemptorists working all over the world, including Brazil, Nigeria, and Thailand.The Denver provincial superior, Father Thomas Picton, noted that the move will show “responsible stewardship by consolidating and combining resources whenever possible.”
In fact, the order has been sending seminarians from the Baltimore province to St. John’s. The seminarians come from several different states, and include several international students. Among the four returning students, 11 new recruits will be attending classes this year. “I think it will be wonderful to have both groups together,” said Bruce Crane, Public Representative for the Redemptorists of the Denver Province. “When you have so many students from different cultures together, it makes for a positive environment.”
The Denver province is covering the tuition of the students, while the Baltimore province houses them in the St. Alphonsus Formation Residence in Whitestone.
Senior Redemptorist seminarian Nicholas Andruzzi says the similarities between the two orders “adds a sense of unity to the campus.” He added, “A lot of us are friends with the Vincentian seminarians.” “Apart from offering a solid education, particularly in philosophy and theology, St. John’s is not an elitist school,” said Rev. Paul Brown, the director of the Whitestone formation house. “We wanted our seminarians to be trained amongst the people they’ll be working with later on.”