" Have you ever seriously reflected what those words mean, a God to be made man, and to die for thee? "
St. Alphonsus Liguori
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News and Events

News and Events... Updated regularly

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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Fr William Lavery C.Ss.R.,

1931 - 2011

Requiescat in pace

 

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Fr. Bill as he was known, was born on the eighth January 1931 in Lurgan, Co. Armagh. Ireland. His early education was at St. Joseph’s school, Sacred Heart Technical and later in 1955 at Osterley the Jesuit centre for late vocations. 

He entered the Redemptorist Novitate in Kinnoull, Perth, Scotland and was professed on the seventh of September 1958.

He transferred to the Redemptorist Seminary at Hawkstone, making his Final Profession in September in 1961 and was ordained to the priesthood on the tenth of January 1965.

His first appointment was to Bishop Eton Liverpool then after a short stay to St. Mary’s Kinnoull to begin his work as a missioner on the Glasgow missions.

He returned to Bishop Eton to be part of a specialist team to give school missions. He moved to St. Benet’s Sunderland to take up again Mission preaching and again a spell of work in St. Mary’s Kinnoull .In 1973 he was appointed assistant in the Retreat House in Bishop Eton Liverpool before returning to St. Benet’s in 1976 to work on the parish there.

In 1981 he was made Superior and Parish Priest of our community in Efford Plymouth. In 1984 he went to St. Mary’s Clapham. London and worked on the parish there for six years.

In 1990 he was appointed to the staff of Hawkstone Pastoral Centre in Shropshire. After almost nine years there he returned to Sunderland to take up parish duties again, until ill health made it necessary for him to retire to Hawkstone and subsequently to a Care Home in Whitchurch Shropshire.

He celebrated his 80th birthday in January 2011. His health began to fail and after a short illness he died 3rd. March 2011.

Sadly the Lavery family suffered another loss, with the death a few hours after Fr. Bill, of his sister-in-law, Kathleen after a long illness. May she rest in peace.

 

During his life Bill made many friends; a tribute to his extraordinary interest in people and his care for them. Nothing was ever too much trouble, and he was always available especially to anyone in need.

He had the ability to dispel darkness with a warm wit and humour and an assurance of prayer for each and everyone. He had a strong faith and a quiet conviction in the healing power of God; something he had experienced in his own life and the lives of others. He was a true Redemptorist bringing mercy and plentiful redemption to all he encountered.

His funeral Mass and burial will take place at Hawkstone, 17th. March at 12.00 noon .  

May he rest in peace.

 

Prayers are asked for…

 

Fr William (Bill) Lavery C.Ss.R., died peacefully 3rd of March, at the Edgeley Care Home in Whitchurch. May he rest in peace.

 

Please also remember Br Thomas’ sister in law who also died on 3rd of March. May she rest in peace.

 

This is a difficult time for the Lavery family and Br. Thomas in particular.

 

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Please also remember Sr. Richard Gavaza LCBL, who is ill after having suffered a serious stroke.

Sr. Richard was the cook for our community in Tafara, Zimbabwe.

March's Virtue...

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To find out more...

Click above on the Preaching and Prayer

A banner will drop...

When you see Virtue - Click!

The Redemptoristine Sisters vote in the General Election...

Our sisters in Ireland left their monastery last week to do their civic duty - the country's General Election.

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Preparing for Lent...

Pope Benedict has issued his Lenten Message and encourages a "Lent without selfishness."

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