" 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

Fr Guri from Zimbabwe writes...

Below, there is an extract from a letter written recently by Fr Guri, detailing some of the work he and the confreres are involved in...


"December 2011

Greetings from Harare. I hope this finds you well. 


Here is a bit of news from my side:


I attended the Assembly of the Conference of Redemptorists of Africa and Madagascar (COREAM) from the 20th to the 30th of August in Nairobi, Kenya. Br Benjamin, who represents the Redemptorist brothers of COREAM attended with me. We had time to visit the Redemptorists in Kenya and reconnect with those confreres who studied in Harare.


We had the ordination of Fr Victor Bushu on the 1st of October in Mabvuku, which was a very memorable event. I assisted Fr Victor at his first Mass in Mabvuku and  Thanksgiving Mass in Tafara. I was unable to accompany him to his rural home in Mutoko for celebrations the following weeked due to a bad cold. But I am told that the celebrations were wonderful at the Bushu homestead and at All Souls Mission.



Free for the next five days...


For 5 days St Alphonsus is available free on Amazon if you have a kindle!

Praying to God as a Friend  is a beautiful version, in modern language, of St Alphonsus' book

"How to converse continually and familiarly with God"

Produced by our South African Province, it is now available free until sunday 18th December 2011.

Third Sunday of Advent...


Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, Rejoice!

A Helpful ADVENT Thought...






31st October, 2011


Dear Confreres and friends,


Already we are at the eve of All Saints’ Day and the month of November. It is once again a good time to recall those great Redemptorists of our Province who have gone before us, and on whose shoulders we continue our missionary work, especially here in these Islands and in South Africa and Zimbabwe. May I remind you once more, that in the month of November each priest offers Masses for our beloved dead:

  • The deceased members of the Province and Region
  • All deceased Redemptorists
  • Our deceased benefactors
  • Our deceased parents and relatives.

Our Statutes invite us to make this a Community celebration, and I know that several communities offer the Mass together on a specified day each week during November. I have fond memories also of the visits to the cemetery in Zimbabwe where our brethren are buried, a custom which the members of the Region continue to honour very faithfully.


We also celebrate the Foundation Day of the Congregation on 9th November - 279 years of service to the abandoned and poor in so many parts of the world. It is perhaps a time to reflect with gratitude on the wonder of our vocation.


Last week I was in Dublin attending the meeting of the Conference of Europe. The schedule was heavy as there was much to be accomplished. During the meeting we continued our discussions on the Apostolic Priorities of the Conference, and looked at ways of implementing them. In this area we heard reports from the French speaking Provinces about some new joint initiatives, from the Prague Province about a possible restructuring with Bratislava and Michalovce, and about attempts at revitalising our presence in Copenhagen.


The Coordinator of the Conference, Fr. Jacek Zdrzalek has been waiting for the election of two confreres to form his Council, and also the appointment of a secretary, as well as a decision about a permanent location for the Coordinator. During the meeting we elected two consultors, Fr. Pedro Lopez (Madrid) and Fr. Johannes Romelt (St. Clements) to the Council, and agreed to the appointment of Fr. Franciszek Stanula as Secretary. The Coordinator and his secretary will live in Rome – at San Gioacchino for the first year, and then move to a permanent location in Montparnasse, Paris.


We also discussed two projects which had not in the end come to fruition, namely the proposed shared projects in Karlvoe Vary (in the Czech Republic, and intended to be shared with Poland, Czech Republic and Prague) and in Clapham, to see how our experience of these can assist us; and then we heard of a new project for immigrants which will be based in Barcelona.


Fr. Gerry O’ Conner spoke to us on the Fund for Africa, and then a brief discussion on Common Formation took place with several possibilities being muted. We are aware that at present there is already considerable cooperation at this level within the Conference. It was decided that we will initiate a definite programme for common preparation for Final Vows.


Next October the Conference will meet for an extended period, as this will coincide with the mid sexennium meetings. The place proposed for the meeting is Lviv, Ukraine.


The Conference has to have Secretariates, and being conscious of the costs of meetings and the frequency of such meetings, there was an attempt not to duplicate competences. In the end, a proposal was made not to elect members of four or five Secretariates; rather we shall send in proposals to the new Council. They will meet in early December and make decisions.


Finally, Fr. Pior Sulkowski gave a presentation on the next meeting of Redemptorist Youth which will take place in Sardinia in August 2012.


I was also able to visit the new inter Unit initiative in Assumption parish in Dublin, and met with Fr. Winfried and the community. The community are living in a fine set-up provided by the Archdiocese of Dublin.


It is, I know, difficult to convey what occurs in a Conference meeting through a letter. However, there was a general feeling that the individual confreres in each Province need to be better informed about these gatherings if there is to be any real ‘ownership’ of the Conference.


Next week Fr. Gerry, Fr. Maurice and I go to Wittem for a meeting of the Dublin/St. Clements/ London group, and the new Dublin initiative is one of the topics on the agenda. I then go almost immediately to Rome where there is a ten day meeting of English speaking Provincials from many parts of the world. This will be followed by a similar meeting in Spanish. On my return, I have two Finance meetings in London, and then teach here in Kinnoull for a week on the Seven Week Course.


Tenders have been received from those handling the proposed sale of Hawkstone, and one company has been selected to implement this. Likewise three groups of solicitors are bidding to carry out the legal work in accordance with the Charities’ Laws. Please keep the confreres and staff at Hawkstone in your prayers, as these must be difficult times for all involved.


Fr. Guri has been to visit the Novices in Natal, South Africa and reports that they, and Fr. Tryvis the Novice Master, are all well. The Region continues its many outreaches to the poor, and Brother Benjamin has asked me to thank all who continue to support the feeding scheme which he runs, as well as the many parish based projects organised by the confreres there.


Birthdays this month are: Brother William and Fr Barrie O’Toole both on 18th (a good celebration in Liverpool no doubt) and Fr Brian Russell on 24th. William continues to recover well. He is contactable on his mobile phone.


I have just finished two books by a Jesuit(!), James Martin, which I can recommend. One is “The Jesuit Guide to (almost) Everything”, which although based on the Spiritual Exercises, contains many real helps for living an authentic gospel life for all. The book contains many practical examples, and is not without humour. The other “My Life with the Saints”, is a good compilation of spiritual hagiographies, which again is contemporary and very human.


May I just leave you with a quote from the great theologian Karl Rahner which I found in one of the books, and which for me was thought provoking: “Knowing God is more important than knowing about God”.


With best wishes,


In Christ the Redeemer,



Ronald J. McAinsh, C.SS.R.

Provincial Superior


Ps. With the Feast of Elizabeth of the Trinity being celebrated on our Foundation Day, and at the risk of sounding over pious, may I also suggest a book I am reading at present by Hans Urs Von Balthasar. It is called “Two Sisters in the Spirit”, and is a revised edition of his theological biographies of Thérèse of Lisieux and Elizabeth of the Trinity. It is published by Ignatius Press, and I purchased it though Amazon.



Fr General and the Immaculate Conception...

Rome, Italy
December 8, 2011

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Patroness of the Congregation


Dear Confreres, Sisters, Associates and friends of the Redemptorists,

On December 8th, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Under this title of the “Immaculate Conception”, the Redemptorist Missionaries honor Mary as the Patroness of our Congregation. During this Season of Advent, the Immaculate Conception of Mary reminds each one of us of the destiny to which we are called in Christ. Like Mary, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless, to live through love in his presence” (Ephesians 1:4). Mary stands as the shining witness of the glory and life to which we are all called.


St. Alphonsus was an ardent defender of the truth of the Immaculate Conception. He was convinced of Mary’s special role in the mystery of our Redemption, and the honor we should have for her as the brothers and sisters of her Son, Jesus. But St. Alphonsus was also convinced that the Immaculate Conception is a most eloquent witness to the power of God to redeem and save our human nature. To honor the Immaculate Conception is to praise the God whose will and power to redeem embraces all humanity.

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception...

Today the Congregation (C.Ss.R.) celebrates its Patronal Feast, as we celebrate Mary as the Patroness of our Congregation.

We hope and pray that Redemptorists everywhere are celebrating this feast, and our Redemptorist vocation with style!


Enjoy the Feast!

A Young, Holy Redemptorist Priest...

Read the story of one of our confreres, a young and holy Redemptorist who died aged 28 years old. His story is inspiring and should be read by all. He is a Patron of Alcoholics and those addicted to Drugs.




The Edinburgh Community and Venerable Margaret Sinclair...


Episode image for Scotland's Saint in Waiting


Press here to listen to a programme about the

Venerable Margaret Sinclair.

Our confreres in the Edinburgh Community look after the Venerable Margaret's tomb and shrine.

Listen to the programme and then you too can pray for her intercession.


December's Virtue and Prayer Intention...

To find out the virtue and prayer intention of this month,

click here.