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St. Gerard Majella C.Ss.R
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News and Events

News and Events... Updated regularly

Year of Faith begins...

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The Year of Faith

begins 11th October 2012

To find out more click here

Fr. Provincial and 'The Times'...

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Leading Catholics were contacted by a newspaper

and asked about their experiences of the Second Vatican Council.

Here is what our Fr Provincial had to say on Saturday in The Times... 

Feast of Bl Francis Xavier Seelos C.Ss.R., ...

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Feast Day - 5th October 

O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer,
let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in Your sight.
I offer praise to You for the grace You have bestowed
on Your humble missionary, Father Francis Xavier Seelos
May I have the same joyful vigor
that Father Seelos possessed during his earthly life
to love You deeply and live faithfully Your gospel.
Amen.

Divine Physician,
You infused Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos
with the gift of Your healing.
By the help of his prayers,
sustain in me the grace to know Your will
and the strength to overcome my afflictions.
For love of You, make me whole.
May I learn from the example of Father Seelos
and gain comfort from his patient endurance.
Amen.

Bountiful God,
in Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, You have given Your people
a model for those who labor joyfully in Your earthly kingdom.
May his smile dwell on those who find life burdensome.
In him, our eyes continually behold the gentleness of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.
Amen.

 COMPOSED BY BYRON MILLER, C.SS.R.

October C.Ss.R., Virtue and Prayer Intention...

Recollection and Silence... our virtue and prayer intention...

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Click here to learn more!

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's 80th Birthday...

This photo published recently in The Catholic Times shows Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor celebrating his 80th birthday in Westminister Cathedral. A young Redemptorist looks on!

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The Redemptorists of the London Province

wish the Cardinal

a Happy 80th! 

 

Feast of Blessed Kaspar Stanggassinger...26th September 

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Prayer in Honour of Blessed Kaspar Stanggassinger


Almighty and eternal God, you gave Blessed Kaspar the grace to announce the faith with joy and to dedicate himself to the formation of candidates to the priesthood. Grant through his intercession that we may follow his example and cooperate with the divine Redeemer in word and in deed. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, you Son, who live and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

 

To find out more about Blessed Kaspar, go here and watch a film about him.

 

UK Religious Life...

 

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If you haven't already found it, you might be interested to know that there is new web site dedicated to Religious Life within the UK. It can be found at 

 

http://www.ukreligiouslife.org/

 

You'll find many different and interesting stories and pictures.

See if you can find any pictures of our Redemptorist brothers!

They are definitely there!

 

 

 

If you want to read about the vocation story of our Brother Peter C.Ss.R., click here.

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Our Newest Priest, Fr. Isaac C.Ss.R....

 

The Ordination of Fr Isaac Curt Davies C.Ss.R 8 September 2012

 Fr Isaac Curt Davies was ordained a priest on the 8th of September 2012, by the Archbishop of Harare, His Grace Robert Christopher Ndlovu. It was a colourful ceremony at St Alphonsus Church, in the eastern Harare township of Tafara. Parishioners from nearby Harare parishes attended, but the majority were from the Redemptorist parishes of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St Fidelis in neighbouring Mabvuku and St Gerard’s parish in Borrowdale. There was also a delegation from St Mary’s parish Shurugwi in the Midlands diocese of Gweru, Fr Isaac’s hometown.

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The ordination ceremony was held outside the St Alphonsus Church in order to cater for the huge congregation that was anticipated. Thanks to our generous parishioners who provided shade and sitting. The joint Tafara-Mabvuku choir provided excellent music during the liturgy. Fr Guri delivered the ordination homily, on behalf of the Archbishop. The ceremony proceeded very smoothly and there was much happiness and jubilation. A banquet was served to all present, thanks to the generous contributions of the people from the Redemptorists parishes and many other benefactors.

Click to read more and see some wonderful photos...

 

Pilgrimage to Poland...

 

Fr. Charles Corrigan, Br. Gerard Carroll, Br. Peter Morris and Br. Charles Randall share something of their pilgrimage to Poland - read on to find out more...

"We were met at the airport by Fr. Peter Chyla who is the Vicar Provincial. He has organised this tour for us and will be giving us our retreat. After some light refreshment and an opportunity to sort out our rooms we went with Fr. Andrzes KukLa for a meal in the centre of Krakow and for a night tour of the city.

We started the new day with Mass and morning prayer and set off to Zakopane where we were to spend the next three days in retreat. On the way we went into Slovakia to visit our Redemptoristine sisters. They are only 20km from the Polish border. Many of the community spoke English and some of them had stayed with the Redemptoristines in Dublin. It was a very joyful meeting and we were very inspired by their life. Their monastery faces the Tetry mountains and the panoramic view is magnificent.

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Our retreat time in Zacopane was a special time in the mountains. We enjoyed Peter’s reflections and each afternoon an opportunity to walk in the Tetry mountains. One afternoon we went up by cable car and walked along the mountain ridge, one side of the path was in Poland and the other in Slovakia. Each evening after prayer we were able to discuss the days reflections. On the evening of the third day we had to return to Krakow as one of the confreres had died and Peter had to go to his funeral. Fr. Andrzes took over and we spent the morning sightseeing in Krakow and the afternoon at the shrine of the Divine Mercy. This has become a place of great devotion and pilgrimages come here from different parts of the world.

 

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The following day Peter was back and we headed for Warsaw to our church of St. Benno’s where St. Clement spent the twelve years of his life and established the on-going mission. There is nothing left of the original church but the community oratory in the basement is the place where St. Clement would have been present. It too would look different from what it was in St. Clement’s day. It is now the Provincial House. It is right in the centre of the old city which is now a well frequented touring area. The miracle of Warsaw is that having been destroyed by the German army it has been now totally restored as it was then by the Polish peoples themselves. It has the look and atmosphere of an old capital city steeped in architecture and culture. It has a castle, wonderful parks, open squares, market places as well many churches, palaces, and the presidential palace. Every night during the summer there is a free concert down by the river just outside our house. Fortunately for the confreres it always finishes at 10.00pm. Before the war Warsaw was called the Paris of the East and now it is restoring that reputation

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Before the Germans were forced to leave Warsaw in 1944 they destroyed 90% of the city, literally raised it to the ground and killed hundreds of thousands of people. From a Redemptorist point of view our house of St. Klemens saw the worst of it. In that whole district 50.000 people were killed in three days in August. Among them were 30 Redemptorists, 15 Fathers, six brothers and 14 students. They had been accused of helping the Jews, giving support to the Polish uprising and administering the sacraments to them. They were taken from the house and marched 1km to the place where they were shot. The Rector was the last to be shot. He had to stand there and watch the death of each member of his community. There is a memorial place there in remembrance of them and to another 2,000 people who were shot there. Outside St. Klemen’s church the courtyard is a memorial to the 50,000 people killed in that district.

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We also visited the grave of Jersy Popiekuszko. He was killed by the Russian secret police because of his support for solidarity and the trade union movement. He was sent to the church where his body lies by the archbishop who thought him to be a useless priest because of his bad health. He just happened to be in the middle of the area where the unions were on strike. He became their chaplain and soon thousands flocked to his church to hear his sermons. He was not a charismatic preacher but he brought great solace to those in need. He was a haven of refuge for solidarity. He was taken by the secret police and his body was badly beaten. He was then thrown into the boot of a car and chained to stone and dumped into the river. Thousands tended his funeral including his mother and brother and sister. It was an event that shocked the whole of Poland. His shrine and the museum under the church are a testimony both to his sanctity and to the people who loved him. God uses our weakness to show his power. He was canonised by Pope John Paul 11.On our way back from Poland we visited Jasna Gora, the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. It happened to be the annual pilgrimage in thanksgiving for the harvest. It was not the best day for a visit as thousands of pilgrims were there including the President of Poland. However we did manage to get to the altar where the picture is exposed and we were able to spend some time there in prayer. We also visited the Cathedral and the venue for the open air mass. You would need to spend a day there to appreciate the extent of the shrine and its many chapels and museums.

When we got back to Krakow Peter had to leave us as he was joining the Provincial for the beginning of the Province visitations. We were sad to see him go as he had been so kind and generous with his time and hospitality. Fr. Witold Hetnar, the prefect of students became our guide. On the first day he took us to Auchwitz the infamous Nazi concentration camp. Before our guide took over we watched a film giving us a brief history of the camp. Our guide took over and for the next three hours we saw something of the horror and suffering endured by those incarcerated there. Part of the tour took us to Birkenau where the people first arrived, mostly Jews. Here the people were divided into two groups. Those who were healthy. These were selected to work. Those who were too old or too young or too sickly. These were sent straight to the gas chambers. In order to avoid panic this later group were told that they were going to have a shower but instead they were gassed. The camp was initially for Polish dissidents, priests and government officials but it became the main camp for the extermination of Jews from all over Europe especially Hungary.

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On our return we visited the Polish Redemptoristines nuns. They gave us a marvellous reception and had prepared for us wonderful meal which we were hardly able to do justice to as we had ate only a few hours earlier. There are fifteen in the community and were very interested in how we all decided to join the Redemptorist. They told us the story of their vocations. We then joined them for night prayer before heading for home.

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The following day we went to the famous salt mine at Wieliczka. The mysterious underground city is located on nine levels below ground surface. It is a labyrinth of chambers connected by corridors. The whole length is 155 miles. We only visited three levels but walked about four miles. It combines many centuries of traditions and is a monument to the industry of Polish workers. It began at a time when salt was more precious than gold but today tourism brings in greater wealth than salt. For the miners it was dangerous work and many were killed over the centuries. One of the highlights of the trip is the chapel on the third level. Everything in it apart for the altar is made out of salt and all the carvings were done by the miners themselves. About a million people visit the mine every year.

 

From there we went to Tuchow our seminary. Unfortunately the students were on holiday but after we were settled in the prefect had arranged for us to go for supper to the Novitiate house which was 15 minutes away by car. There were five novices who had just started their novitiate. Two were from Solvakia and the others from Poland. One of them spoke good English. After supper we gathered in the common room and shared the story of our vocations. Afterwards we looked round the Novitiate house which is a magnificent building.

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The following day we spent the morning looking round the studendate. It could cater for a hundred students plus. The common rooms, chapel and refectory were designed to cope with such a number. They start in October with 23 students, some of them for the Slovakian Province. They also have a large community of 42 Redemptorists engaged on parish, shrine and mission ministry. Also there are many of them who are giving courses to the students. All formation is in Tuchow. There are three priests involved in formation.

On our way home we went south to the do some white water rafting. The river which works its way through the mountains is also the border between Poland and Slovakia. It was about 10.pm when we arrive back at Krakow. Fr Witold had to drive back that night to Tuchow.

Our final day was a free day and we were all able to do what we wanted. In the evening we went out again with the Rector Andrzej and had a wonderful meal in a restaurant opposite the Opera house and afterwards ice cream in a famous chocolate café. That night we had to pack for our return journey on the following day.

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 (NB. The momunent is designed to resemble the Redemptorist habit.)

Fr. Bernard Lubienski

All the literature about Bernard Lubienski is in Polish but his story was told to us by Fr. Piotr Chyla and Fr. Sylvester Cabala.

pol15Bernard Lubienski was born in Poland into a very influential and aristocratic family. They were extremely wealthy and his father had business in Durham. They wanted Bernard to have the best education possible and they sent him to England. They had relatives in Roehampton who must have had some influence as they consulted Cardinal Wiseman as to the best place for him to go to school. He suggested that he should go to Ushaw collage which was the junior seminary for the north of England. There he met other pupils who were interested in the Redemptorists. It is not clear if he himself felt that he had a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.

 

In 1864 he went to the Novitiate in Bishop Eton after doing a short postulancy in Clapham. He seems to have done most of his priestly studies in Bishop Eton and his last year in Wittem. He was ordained a priest in Aachen.

He returned to Clapham and became secretary to the Provincial Fr. Coffin. He also did missions in England, Ireland and Scotland. His dream which he shared with Fr. Coffin was to go back to Poland and re-found the Redemptorists. It had been a member of his family who had been responsible for the expulsion of St. Clement and the Redemptorists from Poland. His dream was encouraged by Fr. Coffin and Fr. Lubienski went to Rome to discuss it with the General. There he discovered that the Austrian Provincial had the same dream. He joined the Austrian Province and with other priests he went to Moscishack which is now in the Ukraine and started the Province anew in 1883.

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Soon they moved to Tuchow and then to Krakow. For the whole of the 19th Century Poland did not exist as a separate country. It was divided between three foreign powers. It was here that Fr. Bernard worked so hard to establish the Polish Province. He was renowned as a missioner both for his preaching and saintly life. After his death in 1933 his writings were collected and the process for his eventual canonisation started. He was declared Venerable in 1988. Everything is now ready for his beatification. All they need is that miracle to take place. His tomb is now in our church of St. Clements in Warsaw. His remains were brought here after he was declared Venerable. As a member of our Province we too should be praying for his Beatification."

 

 

 

RP and the Year of Faith... 

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"With the Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei - The Door of Faith - Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith for all Catholics throughout the world. This year begins on 11 October 2012 and concludes on 24 November 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

The beginning of the Year of Faith coincides with the anniversaries of two great events which have marked the life of the Church in recent times: the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.