Called to Serve
Boston’s Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is one of over twenty parishes served by the Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province. With an honored heritage dating back to 1869, our multi faceted parish has been a foundational ministry that has thrived for over a century. Redemptorists today strive to meet the challenges in the life of the Church through diverse evangelization efforts. Tending to the needs of numerous cultures, languages and opportunities, Boston’s community continues the ongoing work of outreach to the poor, sick and marginalized.
History & Leadership
St. Alphonsus Liguori founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) in Naples, Italy in 1732. The original mission as set forth by St. Alphonsus was to strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ in preaching the Gospel to the poor, particularly to those who live on the margins of society.
St. Alphonsus was a brilliant, articulate, pragmatic preacher. He knew how to reach ordinary people who had limited education and very real needs. They followed this gifted preacher from church to church and town to town to hear him preach the message of hope in Christ for all people. This message called many men to the priesthood and to the congregation to continue the work Alphonsus started. By the early 1800’s Redemptorist communities were established in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, Belgium and Holland. In 1832, the centennial year of the foundation of the Congregation, six Redemptorist missionaries (three priests and three brothers) traveled to the United States of America to establish the first mission outside of Europe.
Within the mission of the religious order, a strong Marian connection is always present. St. Alphonsus wrote many beautiful songs, litanies, and painted images of Mary. In 1866, Pope Pius IX entrusted the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to the Redemptorists with the order to “make her known”. In fulfilling this mission, the order has faithfully promoted devotion to Mary through novenas, preaching, and venerating her image across the world. The icon is one of the most recognized Marian images.
Today, the Redemptorists number more than 5,300 priests and brothers serving in 76 countries worldwide. All Redemptorists use the initials “C.Ss.R.” after their last names. These four letters are an abbreviation for Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris, the Latin for “Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.” Redemptorist priests and brothers all profess vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
The Redemptorists Arrive in Boston
Built to serve the early German immigrants, a simple wooden “Mission Church” was erected in 1870. Within a decade, thousands of newly ascended Americans helped the Redemptorists in building a grand Romanesque style church that continues to stand today. Learn more about our rich history and the people who made it possible.
We are preachers, teachers, confessors and spiritual directors to old and young alike. We are constantly challenged to take on new apostolic activities on behalf of people and groups who are most neglected by society. For those discerning a call to the priesthood and Redemptorist way of life, talk with one of our parish priests or visit www.redemptoristvocations.com
The Advancement Office promotes the apostolic work of the Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province. The office achieves this by presenting ways of partnering with people and inviting mutual stewardship of God’s gifts. Learn more about the work the Redemptorists do across the Province by vistiting, www.redemptorists.net