As a Redemptorist Missionary, I must be willing to go wherever I am sent to work where I am needed most to serve the most abandoned poor in our wounded world. A few months ago I was asked to serve another mission. I accepted the assignment, and will do my best to make a positive contribution in a different part of the world.
I have coordinated and worked in our ministry of promoting devotion to St. Gerard Majella since 2013. It has been a most rewarding and fulfilling ministry. I have to come to a deeper and richer faith in, devotion for, and relationship with, our humble Redemptorist brother, Gerard Majella. He truly is the “go to” saint for all mothers. He gets things done.
Before I take my leave, I would like to update you on the status of the St. Gerard Majella—The Mothers’ Saint Facebook page, The Mothers’ Saint —St. Gerard Majella web site, the League of Saint Gerard and the League’s eNewsletter. In general, our promotion of devotion to St. Gerard Majella has experienced phenomenal growth the last five years. All growth and success are due to God’s loving graces and St. Gerard’s powerful intercession. Let us take a closer look.
Saint Gerard Majella—The Mothers’ Saint Facebook page
This Facebook page was created on August 24, 2011. When I began administering St. Gerard’s Facebook page in 2013, it had less than 1,000 Likes. Today, over five years later, 48,534 people like and 47,691 follow the page. That’s shy of the 50,000 I had hoped for, but growth has slowed in the last couple of years. The page has consistently had a 4.8 out of 5.0 rating based on the opinion of 425 people surveyed.
Generally, we have posted messages an average of 1-4 times each day, which means we have shared around 8,000 posts in the last five and a half years. This includes a daily prayer/reflection and all the prayers and thanksgivings requested. Through the page’s private messaging I have had meaningful contact and conversations with and the opportunity to minister to over 5,000 people in this same period.
The Mothers’ Saint—St. Gerard Majella web site
St. Gerard’s web site was launched in 2012. It has shown solid and steady growth through the years. The site continues to offer information about St. Gerard and his life, the League of St. Gerard and how to enroll, St. Gerard’s Facebook page, testimonials, resources and the Newsletter. Visits to the site are up approximately 100% over last year. There are now nearly 1,500 visits to the site per month. The most popular pages feature information about the life of St. Gerard, the novena of St. Gerard, the enrollment page for the League of St. Gerard, the newsletter and the information page about the League. The website was redesigned in 2015, with minor revisions in 2016. We firmly believe that the web site continues to serve well many people, especially mothers, as a point of entry for contact with St. Gerard Majella, the Mothers’ Saint.
The League of Saint Gerard
Donations and Light a candle
We aren’t exactly sure when or where the League of St. Gerard began. We can trace it back to the 1930s, but accurate records weren’t always kept. On October 16, 2014 —he feast of St. Gerard—the coordination of the League of Saint Gerard was transferred to our provincial offices. This work had been done previously at Liguori Publications in Liguori, Missouri. Since the web site, Facebook page and Newsletter were being handled already at our provincial offices, it was deemed best to consolidate all our work to promote devotion to St. Gerard, including the League, in these offices.
We received a list of 13,643 names of people who had enrolled in the League from Liguori Publications. We don’t know when this list began, the date of enrollment was not included, and there is no record of members enrolled before this list. We decided to compile the names of members in an official book and began with the 13,643 names we received from Liguori Publications. Over 3,500 people from all over the world —almost 800 per year—have enrolled since 2014. There are now about 17,200 people enrolled in the League. We continue to include all, living and deceased, in our prayers and in the celebration of the Eucharist every Wednesday in the chapel at the provincial office.
The League of Saint Gerard eNewsletter
For many years a hard copy edition of the League of St. Gerard Newsletter was published by Liguori Publications. In an effort to reduce expenses, we switched to a digital format that is emailed to members and posted on the St. Gerard’s website. Circulation is now at 5,888. This newsletter consists of an introductory letter, a prayer, two articles that relate to St. Gerard and mothers in some way and testimonials about the power of St. Gerard’s intercession.
It has been a great privilege, honor and joy to have served St. Gerard Majella and all those devoted to him these past five and a half years. I am deeply grateful for your trust and confidence, enthusiasm, kindness and faith. When I began this work, I had no experience of the miraculous powers of St. Gerard Majella. Now I have seen and heard testimony from hundreds, no, thousands, of people that St. Gerard Majella does get things done. And he has heard and answered my prayers too. We need only ask with simple faith and trusting hearts. May this work of promoting devotion to St. Gerard Majella continue to provide hope and comfort to all believers, especially mothers.