" Jesus, thank you for everything, for my very beginning and my very end. "
Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa OSsR
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News and Events

News and Events... Updated regularly

A Book worth looking out for...

Forthcoming Title Info: Autumn 2011 

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Living in the Gap

Religious Life and the Call to Communion

 

Dennis J. Billy, C.Ss.R.

 

We yearn for communion with one another because of God’s yearning for communion with us. Fr. Billy reminds us that communion, according to Pope John Paul II’s Novo Millennio Ineunte, lies at the very heart of the Christian message.

 

Contemplating the other. Living in unity. Accepting each other as “gift.” Sharing each other’s burdens. Although such right relationship is meant to be practiced by everyone, the “spirituality of communion” has special significance for religious, since they are called to be “experts” in its daily practice. Fr. Billy points to the striking benefits and authentic renewal that embracing a spirituality of communion can bring to the life of men and women religious and their communities. He offers companionship and concrete strategies for helping to help narrow the “gap” between the vision of what we desire to become and the reality of who we are.

 

Each chapter opens with an epigram about religious life and closes with a series of reflection questions.

 

"Many members of religious institutes will recognize themselves in the reflection of Father Billy, who offers a clear-eyed view of our struggles over the last four or five decades. The author avoids useless polemic; preferring, instead, to situate religious life among the other vocations in the Church and indicates how religious can live their unique vocation in a spirit of communion … The book is an excellent tool for the initial and ongoing formation of religious women and men, as well as a reliable voice for all those who want to understand better how this religious life is to be lived today."

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.

Secretary, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life

 

 

About the Author

Father Billy, a Redemptorist of the Baltimore Province, taught for more than twenty years at the Alphonsian Academy of Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University, reaching the rank of full (ordinary) professor.  He is now scholar-in residence and holder of the John Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Semnary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania. Father Billy is the author of numerous theological and spiritual books.

 

New City Press     202 Cardinal Rd.     Hyde Park NY 12538

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Pub Date: August             

Page Count: 112             

Category: RELIGION/Clergy; RELIGION/Spirituality; RELIGION/Christian Life/Spiritual Growth

Binding: paperback             

ISBN: 978-1-56548-392-7             

Cover price: $12.95

 

 

Mission Season...

 

"We have just finished our Mission in Our Lady and St Patricks Walthamstow. It was, of course, a great success. The other parish in Walthamstow had a great mission recently from none other than Fr Jim McManus and Miss Marie Hogg. Glad to see the Redemptorists are making such an impact in a little corner of London.
 
 
Myself and Fr. Tom MacCarte are now giving a shorter Parish Retreat (Triduum) in Our Lady and St George Parish Penilee, a renewal in fact. Myself and Fr Charlie Corrigan gave a full 'process' mission here last year. The people loved it so much they invited the Redemptorists back again to help them with Lent.
 
 
I have been sent some photos of last night's Lenten (Healing) Service. 
 
The next date for the diary (a date that may have changed since I last sent you stuff) - I am off this coming weekend to prepare a parish and lead a Retreat day on Saturday - away Friday to Monday - in South Wigton, Liecester, preparing them for a process mission later in the year."
 
 
 
Yours
 
Fr. Kieran Brady C.Ss.R.
 
 

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20th March, 2011

 

 

Dear confreres and friends,

 

Until the Nominations are published I shall not be writing a monthly letter to each one. However, I shall try to keep you posted with updates.

 

If all goes well, the OPC hopes to be able to publish the Nominations early next month. However, there are still a few challenges to be dealt with before we are at that stage.

 

The funeral of Fr. Bill Lavery was a very blessed occasion, with many members of his family present; Brother Thomas of course, and a good number of confreres. I would again like to restate my gratitude on behalf of the Province, to Fr Maurice and Fr Kevin and the extended community at Hawkstone for their great care of Fr Bill over these past months in particular.

 

The OPC would also like to express their thanks for the warm reception we received in each community as we made the second round of visits. It really is heartening to experience such fraternity.

 

Please continue to remember Brother Malachy in your prayers. He is in a special Unit in Perth Royal Infirmary where is he receiving wonderful care and attention. His illness is progressing. However, Malachy is serene, extremely lucid and most edifying. His family have been able to visit, and there is no shortage of visits from local people each day. I was able to celebrate Mass for him at the shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help when I was in Rome recently, and he has also received a message of solidarity from the Superior General. Br Malachy is most grateful for these gestures of care, and spends his days inactive, but deeply prayerful.

 

We heard today of the death of the mother of Fr. Michael Kelleher, Provincial of the Dublin Province. His mother Maeve had been in poor health for a considerable period. Michael was with her when she died. I have written to Michael assuring him of the prayers of the members of the Province.

 

I also heard from the Novices on the Feast of St. Clement and they all seem to be engaging in the life of the Novitiate with focus and cheerfulness.

 

The confreres in Zimbabwe are in the midst of their first real Mission season. Last week they preached a school mission at St. Dominic’s, Chishawasha, which appears to have been very well received. Today they begin a mission in Waterfalls – the Franciscan area in the south of the City, and this is to be followed by a Mission in Bulawayo Cathedral. So they also welcome your prayers for these apostolic ventures.

 

I am a bit late for birthdays – Fr Richard Reid on 2nd, Bishop Ralph Heskett on 3rd, Brother Cajetan on 7th and Fr Gerry Mulligan on 11th. (As well as Fr Abel Makahamadze on 18th and Fr William Guri on 25th).

 

With best wishes for this Lenten season.

 

 

 

Ronald J. McAinsh, C.Ss.R.

Provincial Superior

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"Alphonsus believes that texts about the Passion are those most likely to provoke us to affections in our mental prayer, and to move us to love seeking union in our petitionary prayer. He is convinced that prayerful reflection on the Passion narratives from the Gospels will inflame the one who prays with divine love. As he says in his book on the Passion,...
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'There is nothing which unfolds to us the treasures contained in the sufferings of Jesus Christ better than the simple story of his Passion...it is enough to reflect on the narration which the holy Evangelists have given of the sorrow of the Redeemer and to view with the eyes of a Christian all that Christ has suffered in the three principal locals of his passion; that is in the Garden of Olives, in the city of Jerusalem, and on Mount Calvary.'
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The Passion narratives have a pre-eminent place in his theology and spirituality, because Alphonsus believes that meditation on the Passion texts will also make Redemptorists more effective evangelists.
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'Conversions if they originate only from fear, last only a short time, and are forgotten...I have had this image of Jesus Crucified painted, so that in the vita divota preceding the meditation on the Passion, you can place it before the people...The tears which result from gazing on the Crucified come from the heart wounded by love for his Passion. The conversion of the person through love is stronger and more lasting. Love can do what fear cannot.'
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Jesus was born to die, as each of us is born to die. We begin to die the moment we are born. Somewhere in his Preparation for Death he reminds us that each time we pray the 'Hail Mary', "now and at the hour of our death" we are getting closer to that moment... what a happy thought for the day!"

Praying in the Spirit and Tradition of St Alphonsus Liguori,

by Most Rev Fr Michael Brehl C.Ss.R.

 

Feast Day of St. Joseph...19th March

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A Parents' Prayer to St. Joseph

O glorious St. Joseph,

to you God committed the care 
of His only begotten Son
amid the many dangers of this world.
We come to you 
and ask you to take under your special protection
the children God has given us. 
Through holy baptism
they became children of God
and members of His holy Church.
We consecrate them to you today,
that through this consecration
they may become your foster children.
Guard them,
guide their steps in life,
form their hearts 
after the hearts of Jesus and Mary.

St. Joseph,
who felt the tribulation and worry of a parent
when the child Jesus was lost,
protect our dear children for time and eternity.
May you be their father and counsellor.
Let them, like Jesus,
grow in age as well as in wisdom and grace
before God and men.
Preserve them from the corruption of his world,
and give us the grace one day to be united
with them in Heaven forever.

Amen.

 

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Prayer to St Joseph for Protection

Gracious St. Joseph,

protect me and my family from all evil

as you did the Holy Family.

Kindly keep us ever united in the love of Christ,

ever fervent in imitation of the virtue of our Blessed Lady,

your sinless spouse,

and always faithful in devotion to you.

 

Amen.

 

Have a wonderful feast day!

HOMILY FOR FUNERAL OF FR. W. LAVEREY C.Ss.R

Delivered by the Very Rev'd Fr Provincial C.Ss.R.

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Two days ago I was on the London Underground travelling to Heathrow. Between the stations, the tube suddenly stopped and there we waited. What was most striking was that during the wait, not one person said a word. Some kept on reading. Some stared straight ahead, and some cast their eyes down. But there was no chit chat, no re-assurance to one another. Just a stony silence.

This was the atmosphere into which Fr. Bill was catapulted over 50 years ago as he began his journey to the Redemptorist priesthood. He often recounted the story to be with great amusement. Here he was, a young man from a rural area in which everyone knew everybody, in which you could enter a neighbour’s house without knocking, an environment of family closeness (which we still see here today) and friendliness.

And he described to me how after arriving in London, he took the tube to Osterley College to begin his studies. Here it was he encountered his first obstacle  - as he chatted first to one person on the tube, then to another; only to be met with silence, eyes lowered, and noses further into newspapers. That evening he arrived at Osterley only to find some of the same reserve – but worse, a curriculum of studies which included English literature, Greek and Latin.

I asked Fr. Bill how he coped in these first few weeks and his answer was a reply I would hear from him many times over the years. “Well I just said my prayer. That’s what helped me”.

Throughout Fr. Bill’s life, this situation of being thrust into the unknown was repeated again and again.

After ordination, he was appointed to work on the School Mission Team in Liverpool – something for which he had not in any way been prepared….. facing very large groups of teenage boys and girls. I asked him how he managed that! Again it was the same answer. “Well I said my prayers, and somehow or other the Lord did the rest.” And it worked. He related well to these young people

Later in life, he was appointed Parish Priest and Superior of the community in Plymouth, dealing with the diocesan administration. And again the response was the same. “I just said my prayers and the Holy Spirit did the rest”. And as someone who lived with him in the community at that time, I can assure you that the Holy Spirit did work through Fr. Bill and touched the hearts of many, many people.

Bill, both in Sunderland and Plymouth, started charismatic  prayer groups – again with complete trust in God to ensure that they proceeded well.

When he was appointed to Hawkstone to work on the team here – he told me laughingly – “I thought that Hawkstone was only for the intellectuals”. But the prayers worked, and countless people were encouraged and assisted by his kind words and the gentle encounter in the Sacrament of Confession, for which Bill was in great demand.

And when his health began to fail, he faced it with the same equanimity. First his protracted stay in the local hospital, where I visited him and found him trying to pray his rosary in the midst of a busy ward. And then when he moved to the care home, he confided to me on one occasion, “All I have to do here is say me prayers”. And he did

Out of the life of each Redemptorist, one can often draw a characteristic which marks them out…. A great administrator, a great preacher, a great writer, a great story teller. For me, whenever I think of Fr. Bill, the characteristic is a great pray-er.

We live in an age in which the value of prayer is doubted and perhaps even mocked. However, prayer remains not only as a support for our lives – but as a real power in our lives.

The founder of the Redemptorists, St. Alphonsus was clear. Prayer is our life line with God and if that  life line becomes corroded or blocked, then there is a danger that our souls will, as it were, wither and die. Prayer is not only the way in which we keep our relationship with God alive. It is the tool which again and again, gives us life and courage and strength to reach out to others, as we see so clearly from the life of Fr. Bill.

And perhaps the best way to remember Fr. Bill is to recommit ourselves to prayer. To be women and men of prayer. People who really believe in the power of God, not only to support us, to work in us and through us and to build a better world. This is certainly a feature of the Lavery family.

I prayed often with Fr. Bill – both when he was in ministry and when he was ill. I also prayed with Kathleen his sister in law, when she was in the hospice. It was Brother Thomas who suggested it to me. Thomas used to call Kathleen every afternoon for a chat, and then they prayed together. What a marvellous family act of love.

Someone from the family said to me this morning, “Thank you for all you did for Fr. Bill”. I would say rather, “Thank you to the Lavery family for giving us Fr. Bill and  Brother Thomas. Thank you for what each one of you has done for us……reminding us of the value of close family ties, reminding us of the value of prayer. Last year while preaching the Novena in Belfast, I met Patrick and his family. And again, I had the invitation and the joy of praying with them.

Before I conclude I would life to express my deep gratitude to those who live and work here at Hawkstone Hall. First of all, thanks to the Rector, Fr. Maurice who cared so deeply for Bill. Maurice visited him regularly, monitored the level of care he received, celebrated Mass for Bill in his room, and regularly prayed with him. Fr. Kevin was likewise a good friend and a confrere who accompanied Bill closely during these final months of his life. All the staff here at Hawkstone were wonderful. However, if I may, I would like to say a special word of thanks to Srs. Carole, Jackie and Laurice who loved Bill, and showed this love by their frequent visits to him in hospital and in the care home. Indeed Sr. Laurice and another Nazareth House Sister said the rosary with him just half an hour before he died. What a wonderful way to die, surrounded by love and prayer. On behalf of the Redemptorists and on behalf of the family, I thank everyone here at Hawkstone for their loving support of Bill in his final years.

As we gather to say our final farewell here to Fr. Bill, we are again reminded that those who die in grace go not further from us than God. And God is always very close. Today, as we celebrate this requiem Mass, we are reminded that Fr. Bill, Kathleen and all our deceased relatives and confreres are very, very close to us – and we ask them to pray for us – that we may live and die as they died……..people of prayer – people close of God our creator.

 

May Our Mother of Perpetual Help, our Holy Founder St. Alphonsus, and all the saints meet and welcome our Brother Bill today. Amen

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St. Patrick...17th March

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Today we wish to send greetings to:

all who bear the name Patrick,

 

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all the parishioners of St. Patrick's parish, Edinburgh

 

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all family and friends of the confreres of the London Province

 

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and to all the confreres around the world,

particularly those living in the DublinProvince!

 

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Have a wonderful celebration today!

St. Patrick - Pray for us!

Our second founder...who made us Trans-alpine!

15th March

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St. Clement Mary Hofbauer C.Ss.R.

1751-1820

To find out more details of his life -

go the "Redemptorist Saints" that you'll find

in the "Who we are" section of the main banner.

 

He wrote:

"I firmly believe in the presence of God... that I, as well as my companions,

do not refuse any work or discomfort for the glory of God and the salvation of souls...

I wish and passionately desire to sacrifice myself as much as possible for

Jesus Christ our Redeemer and for the souls who were redeemed

by him most precious blood."

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"I do not seek my personal comfort...

The glory of God, the good of the Church, the salvation of the souls who are

encountering so many dangers from all sides; that's what is in my heart!

I also urgently pray the King of Heaven to touch the hearts

of those who can promote anything that contributes to the maintenance and promotion

of God's glory among people, and that increases the good of the Church and looks to the salvation of souls."

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"...It's only wish and ardent desire (i.e. of the Institute)

is to sacrifice itself as much as possible

to gain the whole world for Christ."

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"Come on! Courage! God is master.

He directs everything to his glory and for our good

and nothing can resist him.

All human plans, however well contrived,

serve only, in the end, to accomplish his Holy Will.

As for me, in these circumstances,

I have abandoned myself entirely to his Holy Will.

I see that everything that appears contrary to us

leads us to where God wants us to be...

...My dear brothers, let us maintain our innocence

and strive for holiness.

It is the only thing we should be seeking.

Let us inspire and urge one another on toward the good,

unpretentious in our relationship with one another.

I greet you all in the heart of Jesus...

Pray to him,

adoring him only,

as I do not cease praying for you..."

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St. Clement Mary Hofbauer C.Ss.R.

Co-patron of Vienna and Warsaw

Pray for us!

Sunday in Lent - One

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Alphonsus writes,

 
"But this science of the saints is not acquired by the study of books, but by mental prayer, in which the master who instructs and the book that is read is a crucified God... I do not deny that study is useful, and even necessary for a priest, but the study of the crucifix is still more necessary."
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Perhaps our praying and pondering the Passion narratives from the Gospel, the book of the crucifix and the book of our own life, might help us to make Constitution 51 our own.
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"Through this total dedication to the mission of Christ, the members share the self-renunciation of their crucified Lord, the virginal freedom of his heart and his wholehearted offering of himself for the life of the world. They must, therefore, become signs and witnesses before the people of the power of his Resurrection, proclaiming the new and eternal life."
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May we so give our lives for plentiful Redemption, that we too may become living signs and witnesses of the power of the Resurrection today!

Praying in the Spirit and Tradition of St Alphonsus Liguori,

by Most Rev Fr Michael Brehl C.Ss.R.

Jesus goes into the wilderness...

Pope Benedict explains Ash Wednesday...

 

What is Lent...?

 

Miserere Mei Deus...

The Holy Season of Lent...

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Let's encourage one another and pray for one another!

The Edinburgh Parish's new shop...

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Lent Extra 2011...

This year’s Lent ExtraYour Journey to Easter, is available for immediate dispatch! This handy, A5-sized magazine is packed full of reflections and articles to guide you through the season of Lent towards the joy of Easter

                       

Your Journey to Easter will encourage everyone to follow Christ during this holiest of seasons and transform the difficulty of Lent into a living encounter with God for even the busiest of people

Each week the reflections follow a different theme, focusing on a different aspect of our faith. There are contributions from the ever-popular Fr Denis McBride CSsR and Jane Williams as well as thought provoking articles, prayers, and beautiful illustrations.

A colourful A3 double-sided sheet filled with reflections, prayers and lots of child-friendly illustrations for each day of Lent.

Visit www.rpbooks.co.uk to find out what other resources are available!

Letter from the Provincial - Feb 2011

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Kinnoull is in the news again...

This article appeared in the Perthshire Advertiser today (8th March '11)

and was written by Greg Christison.

 

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