" A badly written sermon has no more chance of piercing the heart than a rusty and crooked nail has of entering a wall! "
Ven. Fr Passerat C.Ss.R
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News and Events

News and Events... Updated regularly

Funeral Homily for Fr John Mulligan, October 2nd 2018...

jmulligan

Archbishop Peter, bishops, fellow clergy and religious, dear family and friends of Fr John, dear parishioners of St Teresa’s, dear all:

Throughout our lives we do thousands of things unthinkingly, ordinary routine stuff that we do every day with no great sense of drama or fuss. But we know that there will be a time in all our lives when it will be the last time, the very last time we do things. Tomorrow is guaranteed to nobody. There will surely be:

  • the last time we open the curtains and greet a new day
  • the last time we speak to those we love
  • the last time we hear someone call our name
  • the last time we wonder if all that effort was worth it.

Perhaps it is a mercy that few of us are given to know when that last time will be. Certainly Father John Mulligan did not: God called this energetic priest to enjoy a well-deserved eternal rest. Only God could make Father John rest.

Sometimes in life we get lucky, and whether we are priest or lay, no matter, we get to meet someone who offers us a glimpse of the living Gospel, however cloudy. In this person, no matter how fragile, we can catch a glimpse of the enduring commitment of our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

For me that person was Fr John – a dear friend of 15 years. Strange to admit, he was a friend who scared me some because of the unyielding demands he made on himself and his towering expectations of priestly ministry. Why would you hold onto a friend who scares you? But as the Duke of Wellington said on the eve of the battle of Waterloo when observing his own troops: "I don’t know what our men do to the enemy, but they scare the hell out of me."

He was a loyal critic of some Church practices. I remember saying to him one day: "John, if I were your bishop I think I would make my own the words that King Henry II spoke of Thomas Becket: "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?" He laughed easily. His commitment to the Church as dean and parish priest and his devotion to his beloved parishioners were breath-taking.

I liked what Canon Alan McLean said to me about Father John: "Sometimes I wanted to take a few batteries out of John so he would slow down." But slowing down was never on his agenda. 

Father John was an authentic driven disciple, of independent mind, like the apostle Thomas in the Gospel.

The great Irish writer Oscar Wilde has a wonderful short prose piece, called The Master. After the death of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea is walking past the tombs in the Kidron Valley when he comes across a disciple who is weeping. The disciple is alone, separated from the others. He has wounded his body with thorns and covered his head in ashes.

Joseph of Arimathea says: "I do not wonder that your sorrow is so great, for surely Jesus was a just man."

And the disciple answers, "I weep for Jesus, yes, but not only for him but for myself. I too have healed the leper; from the dwellers in the tombs I have cast out devils. I have fed the hungry in the desert, and at my bidding, a barren fig-tree withered away. All things that the master has done I have done as his disciple. So tell me this: Why have they not arrested me? Why have they not crucified me?"

In the Gospel the other disciples are gathered in a locked room. The brutal violence against their master has made them security-conscious. They have become runaways from a society they fear is hostile, so they lock themselves into what they hope is a safe house. But, but, dear friends: no one is after them; no Temple police are hunting them down; no Roman soldiers are stomping the Jerusalem alleyways seeking their hideout. They all lock themselves in, except one: the independent disciple Thomas. He leaves the locked room behind him and walks the streets. I think Thomas is the most intelligent of the disciples: he knows something the others do not: without Jesus, the disciples are a threat to nobody.

Even though the other disciples are locked in, they cannot keep out the pressing love of the risen Jesus. Jesus breathes on them: the disciples breathe in and the Spirit enlivens them to become missionary disciples. But one of their number is missing – Thomas. When he arrives back, he refuses to believe the story of the others.

Thomas is part of the apostolic group, but he is also a distinct, independent self. He is, I think, stunningly modern: he cannot be loyal to the group while being disloyal to his own inner self. That would make his loyalty worthless. For Thomas honesty is more important than loyalty. So he refuses to become part of this company of believers: he cannot shelter in a faith he does not believe.

Unlike Judas, Thomas did not betray Jesus; unlike Peter, he did not deny him. There is a stubborn authenticity about Thomas: he refuses to say that he can understand or believe when he can manage neither understanding nor belief. Thomas is brave enough to have the conviction of his doubts which he shares honestly with his community.

Later, the risen Jesus invites Thomas to inspect his wounds. But seeing Jesus is enough for Thomas, and he is the one who proclaims the basic Christian credo: "My Lord and my God." As Thomas is fearless in voicing his doubts, he is quick to proclaim his faith, and it is he who makes the most important affirmation in all the Gospels about who Jesus is – that he is Lord and God. It is Thomas who invites us to Adoremus: let us adore the one who is our Lord and our God.

Father John died on the eve of Adoremus, and he devoted so much time and energy to promoting that Eucharistic pilgrimage – for Southwark and nationally – that it seems unfair he was deprived of seeing the fruits of his labour. But while we looked upon the sacred host, John had already moved on to witness so much more, as we pray in Eucharistic Prayer III in the Mass for the dead:

  • For seeing you, our God, as you are,
  • we shall be like you for all the ages

That is Father John’s true destiny:

  • For seeing you, our God, as you are,
  • he shall be like you for all the ages...

Finally, if I may share a consoling thought on death.

In 1910 while the body of King Edward VII lay in state at Westminster Abbey, Canon Henry Scott Holland, a priest at St. Paul’s Cathedral, preached a sermon on death. In the sermon, he offered this profound Christian meditation. When I hear this I hear Father John’s practical voice:

    Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. 
    Let my name be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord…

Fr Denis McBride CSsR

Honouring Pope St Paul VI...

Fr. Jim McManus’ new book, Sent to Proclaim the Gospel , seeks to encourage parishes and communities to assume their responsibility for the proclamation of the Gospel.

As Pope Francis says, “all the baptized are missionary disciples”. Redemptorists are, therefore, challenged today to arouse in the hearts of all the laity this missionary spirit. The subtitle of the book is Honouring the Legacy of Pope St. Paul Vl .

His great Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi is, in the words of Pope Francis, “the most important document published by the Magisterium since the Second Vatican Council”. He is the father of the New Evangelization.

The book is published by the Redemptorist Publications (UK).

pope st paul vi

Let's pray for CSsR & OSsR Vocations!missionary vocation eng 696x464

The Holy Father SJ and Father General CSsR...

holy father and father general

Let us pray for 

our Holy Father, Pope Francis

and our dear

Father General, Fr M Brehl CSsR

Remembering the Pioneers of the Region of Zimbabwe...

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On the 4th of November 2018, the entire Redemptorist Region of Zimbabwe gathered at the Grendale Cemetery in Harare to pay respects to the deceased confreres laid there. The deceased confreres are the men on whose shoulders the Redemptorist Region of Zimbabwe stands. When we talk of the men who laid the foundation for the region, these are some of the men who need special mention.

 

zimmcnallyBrother Andrew McNally, C.Ss.R

Brother Andrew McNally who belonged to the monastery of Pretoria was born on the 3rd of January 1895 and died on his visit to Zimbabwe in 1977. He had been professed as a Redemptorist on the 1st of November 1916.

CSsR Vocations Sunday 11th Nov 2018...

vocposter

Pray for Vocations to the

CSsR Congregation - Redemptorists

and

OSsR Order - Redemptoristines

NRVP Conference...

voctalk2018

National Religious Vocations Personnel Conference – 3rd November 2018
The annual NRVP conference will take place on Saturday 3rd November at Our Lady of Victories, Kensington, London. 


This year we will have Fr Richard Reid CSsR as our main speaker, speaking on the topic of ‘Vocations Promotion and Accompanying Discerners’. This is an opportunity to learn from another dedicated vocation director on what he feels is important to vocations ministry today. In the afternoon we will have two sessions, one on using social media in vocation ministry, and another on boundaries in vocation ministry. We have also invited five people who are relatively new in religious life to give us a few minutes on what it’s like entering today. There will be an opportunity to meet them and ask questions.

cssr ritz

They were tempted, however they realised

that they had a more pressing engagement...

Novices Clothed in the CSsR Habit...

There was much rejoicing in Zimbabwe recently

when our Novices were clothed with the holy habit.

 

Please pray for our novices and all our men in formation all over the world.noviceszim2noviceszim3

Fr Provincial writes...Oct 2018
provincialsletterhead

30th October, 2018

Dear Confreres and friends,

Once again we are entering the month of November and we recall our beloved dead. In our society it is a challenge not to be morbid when reflecting on this, and to celebrate death in a truly Christian sense. I think particularly of all those in our Province on whose shoulders we continue to build. I think of the confreres who went to Australia, to Africa, to Poland, and later on to the West Indies, to Canada and to New Zealand for the sake of the gospel; and of course those who have laboured in these Islands so assiduously and with such zeal.

As usual, may I remind you of the suffrages, and the four community Masses we celebrate for our deceased confreres, relatives and benefactors.

I recall some years ago sharing with you a quotation from St John of the Cross. Of course he has many about life and death; and in one, he reminds us that, "In the evening of our lives we will be judged only on love". The one I prefer, he wrote towards the end of his life when he said, "What will take place for me on the other side when all for me will be overturned into eternity, I do not know. I believe, I truly believe only that a great love awaits me". And I read recently that the North American Indians only asked two things at the end of life: "Did you bring joy? Did you find joy?"

Christmas Meal in Liverpool

Our RYM coordinators Anita and Natasha, along with local parishes in Liverpool will be hosting a Christmas meal for those who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day. 

If you are able to volunteer in any way to help on the day - please get in touch.

 

Christmas meal 2018

Adoremus 2018 - Redemptorist Charism

As part of the parallel programme that ran alongside Adoremus 2018, Bishop Eton Parish held two events. The second of these was a talk by Fr Andrew Burns C.Ss.R on St Alphonsus and the Redemptorist Charism

The talk followed Mass at which Bishop Ralph Heskett C.Ss.R presided

AdoremusMass

Novena for the Intercession of the Servant of God Venerable Fr Bernard Łubieński

(For private prayer during the nine days of prayer)

 

The Sign of the Cross

The Intention

Through the Intercession of Venerable Father Bernard, I ask God for (name the intention)

            

PRAYER

O God who has granted your servant Bernard an apostolic fervour and strength of spirit to carry his cross, we beg you to allow that he, who gave his whole life to lead the people to the Kingdom of Truth and Love, may intercede for us with you and obtain for us the graces for which we pray with faith, through Christ our Lord Amen.

Our Father …

Hail Mary …

Glory Be …..

Venerable God’s Servant, intercede for us

 (At the beginning of the Novena it is recommended to go to Confession, and through the nine days of prayer to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion)

 

Information about graces received through Fr Bernard Łubieński’s intercession should be sent to

Fr Rector – Bishop Eton

Woolton Road

Liverpool

UK L16 8NQ

Adoremus 2018 - Family Hour

As part of the parallel programme that ran alongside Adoremus 2018, Bishop Eton Parish held two events. The first of these was a family friendly Holy Hour

The 17 young Altar Servers and the members of the Bishop Eton and St Mary's Youth Justice and Peace Group were a credit to their families.

The service started with the Youth Justice and Peace Group signing (Britsh Sign language) 'Bread of Life - Truth Eternal'

Holyhour 8

The family Holy hour was led by Bishop Ralph Heskett C.Ss.R

Parish Mission in Rathmore

 

Pray for the Upcoming Parish Mission in Rathmore. We will be combining forces with Irish confreres.

Rathmore mission

 

Click on the image to download the parish mission flyer with details of the mission itself.

Pray for the Synod of Bishops in Rome...

Bishop Ralph CSsR greets Pope Francis

ralph  francis synodralph  card. vincent

Bishop Ralph Heskett CSsR (Hallam), Cardinal Nichols (Westminster) Bishop O'Toole (Plymouth)

Fr Provincial's Letter 30th September 2018...

provincialsletterhead30th September 2018

Dear confreres and friends,

As you are aware, we celebrate two significant feasts this coming month: on 15th, the feast of Saint Teresa the great Doctor of Prayer and so beloved by St. Alphonsus, and then the following day the feast of our own St. Gerard Majella. Each year I ask for prayers for all our Brothers - but especially those in the Province and in the Region. In a special way we remember Bro. Thomas who resides with Little Sisters, but is visited frequently by the confreres from Clapham. Let us also continue to pray for good vocations to this special way of living our Redemptorist vocation.

September has been a busy month and we have seen the ordination of two of our confreres in Zimbabwe. Bishop Raymond, who ordained Frs. Albert and George has been in Rome for the New Bishops' Initiation Course, and then moved on to Germany to visit some of the funding agencies. He hopes to be able to visit his family in England before returning to his diocese of Chinhoyi.

Also this month we have had many meetings. Most of these took place in Clapham, and it is always good to be able to say thank you for the hospitality shown by the community there. There are confreres from various parts of the world living there at the moment, and it is always truly an international community.