Redemptorists are a religious Order founded in 1732 by Saint Alphonsus Maria De Liguori. Our special mission is to spread the gospel to the poor and the most abandoned. We began this work by going among the poor and forgotten shepherds living in the hill country surrounding Naples in southern Italy. At first there were just a handful of our men working with St. Alphonsus Liguori. At the present time there are over 5,500 (five thousand five hundred) of us working in over 77 countries of the world. In 1832 when the Congregation was one hundred years old, six Redemptorists (three priests and three brothers) journeyed to America to establish the Congregation there. From there two priests and two brothers came to Lagos State, Nigeria in October 1987 to establish the Congregation.


The four letters ‘C. Ss. R’ following the name of a Redemptorist stand for Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris’. That is the official title given to our religious Congregation. It can be translated into English as “Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.” Members of the Congregation are commonly called the “Redemptorists”. It is a fitting name because in a special way we continue the work of Christ’s redemption. Like the first apostles, our task is to bring the message of salvation to all people.


There are hundreds of religious Congregations in the Church. Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, Notre Dame Sisters, Christian Brothers, Carmelite nuns are just a few examples. The Redemptorists are thus one group among many. All share many common qualities, yet each religious Order is unique. We Redemptorists have a spirit and purpose that is special to us.

When a man becomes a Redemptorist, he kneels at the altar and publicly professes to live a vowed life of chastity, poverty and obedience. This means that, for the sake of Christ’s mission, he is a man of deep love, caring intimately for the many whom he serves rather than concentrating on the one person of a spouse.

Likewise, he chooses to share ownership of goods in common with his brother Redemptorists, even embracing the poverty of the poor when called to do this. For the sake of Christ and the church he seeks not primarily his own will, but the will of God as expressed by lawful decisions made within the Redemptorist community. In fact, this community-life and decision-making is very important to any Redemptorist.

Our Redemptorist life is lived in a community. We are a group of men joined by our life of prayer and common apostolic activity. Together we share the good times and the bad. Hence, we are primarily religious men committed to this apostolic activity. “For apostolic life in common paves the way most effectively for the life of pastoral charity” (Const. 21).


The urgent task of every Redemptorist is the following of Christ by preaching the Goodnews to the poor. In this way the Redemptorists share in the call of the Church which is missionary by nature. The ordained Redemptorist follows Christ in one way, the Redemptorist brother in another, but both care for the Lord’s flock. The priest involves himself with frontline preaching of the gospel, the ministry of the sacraments and the various Church leadership roles for which he is trained. The Redemptorist Brother, sharing the same vows, is called to a variety of other ministries such as sacramental preparation and giving instruction of the faith, overseeing office-personnel, co-ordinating engineering projects, and sometimes doing counseling and spiritual direction. But perhaps the greatest contribution of the brother is the witness he gives to living and loving in a community life based on the gospel.