March 27, 1842 – March 27, 2017
175th Anniversary of the first Profession of Vows
At Mass in the Catacombs of St. Sebastian on Easter morning March 27, 1842 seven members of the Roman House professed vows as religious of a community that was yet without a name. However, Divine Providence which had guided them to this moment was with them that morning, for on emerging from the catacombs they heard the bells of Roman churches announcing the Easter Alleluia, and they were moved to adopt the name of the feast: They would become the Congregation of the Resurrection.
Father Semenenko composed the preliminary Rule whose thirty-three paragraphs were an elaboration of the thought of Bogdan Janski. Father Kajsiewicz described the sentiments of the first members: “We feel the need of living in a family, bound together by spiritual ties. We desire to undertake works which require continuity and order and workers on whom we can rely. And therefore we desire to become a religious Congregation.”
At a General chapter in 1850, the members set out to follow the advice of Pope Pius IX – “Organize yourselves in a way that will do the most good for the Church” – The Pope also predicted: “You all will not write a new Rule, for this is not the work of many, but the work of one, and that one must have the Spirit of God.” Father Kajsiewicz was quick to admit that “The principal merit for all our work on the Rule belongs to Father Semenenko.” Father Semenenko became leader and guide in matters of the Rule and of the spirit of the Congregation. He, more than anyone, formulated, elaborated, and defended the original thought of Bogdan Janski.
The General Chapter of 1857 was very important for the Congregation for it was there that Father Semenenko clarified the specific apostolate of the Community, namely, the care and administration of parishes and the education of youth. The Rule presented to the Church for approbation in 1887 was almost entirely based on the Rule of 1850, the original thought of our Founders.
The most recent revision of the Constitutions is merely an adaptation of the Rule to accord with the spirit of the Council, and retains the guiding principles and the spirit of the Rule of 1850. At the General chapter of 1981 a Charism statement, was included as a preface to the constitutions. We regard this as a clear statement of our identity and our call.
The Congregation has developed into an international Community, serving or having served the Church in Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Bolivia, Australia, Bermuda, Mexico, Ukraine, White Russia, Slovakia, Africa, and Israel.
Welcome to our website. While serving the People of God throughout North America, we have had the opportunity to meet many different families. The moments of introduction have been quite similar. The people will mention their career or school, and sometimes, their hometown. If the name sounds familiar, we’ll ask if they’re related to so-and-so; usually, they will ask if we know a priest with whom they have a special relationship. If we are able to join the family at their home, the introductions go further. The family photo album comes out, and they take us on an anecdotal tour of their family’s history: how Mom and Dad first met; the embarrassment at the wedding banquet when Uncle Harry had too much to drink and led everybody in the pledge of allegiance; the time little David got lost at the shopping mall and would not give his name until he was bribed with three ice cream cones.
That is just how we would introduce our religious family, the Congregation of the Resurrection – or Resurrectionists, for short. We are a small religious community of priests and brothers who live and work throughout the world. When we introduce ourselves to people, they often mistake us for a larger and older order, the Redemptorists. In fact, a familiar quote we often hear, “We just love the Mother of Perpetual Help,” refers to a popular Redemptorists’ devotion to Mary. Chances are, though, you have not heard of us unless you have attended a “CR” parish or school.
We hope you will enjoy getting to know us by our website. Please contact us if you have any questions about our religious family.
May the Risen Christ bless you!
“Resurrectionists: Vocation Stories”
“Will you come and follow me
If I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know
And never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown,
Will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown
In you and you in me?”