" That which is important for me... are the simple eternal truths: the Incarnation, the Redemption and the Holy Eucharist "
Bl Kaspar Stanggassinger CSsR
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News from Fr. Provincial

Acting Provincial's Letter 1st March 2020...

provletter29 ii 2020

Click here to read the entire letter

CSsR Provincial News Jan 2020...

Letter from the Acting Provincial Superior

provincialletterlondon22 i 2020 page 1

Fr Provincial writes...31st October 2019


31st October 2019

Dear Confreres and friends,

As usual, we begin the month of November by remembering those confreres who have been active in the Province since the early 19th century, and who passed on to us our Redemptorist charism and our traditions - and of course above all, our ministry. Our Province Statutes remind us that we celebrate four Masses in community in the coming month, and that at these celebrations we remember also all of our confreres throughout the world, our families, our benefactors and our co-workers and Associates. In Zimbabwe all the confreres are able to gather at the cemetery for prayer. I know that is not always possible here; although last year I understand that many of the Clapham community went to our Redemptorist plot in Streatham. And we still retain cemeteries in Kinnoull, Liverpool and Birmingham. Some years ago I offered you a quotation from St John of the Cross which I found very moving and which I shall print once again at the end of this letter.

The month of October began with Fr. Richard and I in Cortona at the Mid Sexennium meeting of Provincials and Vocals of Europe. It was a long meeting and a very challenging one, and the main topic was restructuring.

As already communicated, after much debate it was decided that the Provinces of Southern Europe will in future form one Province. The Provinces of Northern Europe, that is Dublin, London, Saint Clements and Vienna/Munich shall create a structured Federation which will lead to one Province; while the Provinces of Eastern Europe will enter into a collaboration with one another in certain areas.

Fr Provincial writes...27th Septmeber 2019


27th September, 2019

Dear Confreres and friends,

I write this on the birthday of Saint Alphonsus and send good wishes to everyone for this special day. I am writing a short letter this month because I returned last night from meetings of the RPTC, OPC and EPC in Clapham, and on Sunday Fr. Richard and I head off to Cortona for the Mid Sexennium Meeting with all the other Provincials and vocals of the Conference of Europe. Please keep the meeting in your prayers.

After the meeting, I go for a short mission in our new European initiative in Lithuania, and also have a short retreat to the priests of the Archdiocese of Kaunas. I think that is the extent of my travelling for 2019.

Fr Provincial writes 1st September 2019...


1st September, 2019

Dear Confreres and friends,

Autumn is already in the air in Scotland and I suspect most people have completed any summer break they may have chosen. I hope everyone is refreshed.

This month saw the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Fr. Tom Molloy take place in his parish in Edinburgh attended by the Archbishop and a large group of friends and parishioners, and of course confreres from Kinnoull. Some great photos are available on our website. Fr. Joe Doherty also celebrated his jubilee here with his family, and as you know, the previous month, Michael McGreevy had celebrated in Clapham. This coming month our Vicar, Fr. Richard Reid is celebrating his Silver Jubilee of Profession along with Fr Kieran Brady and we wish all the Jubilarians every blessing.

In the middle of the month we also hosted in Perth, meetings of representatives of the EPCs of St. Clements, Dublin, AustriaNienna and London to continue conversations about the restructuring process. Fr. Johannes Roemelt chaired the meeting.

We have the mid sexennium meeting in Cortona at the end of this month and Fr. Richard and I will be present at that; and then we have another meeting of the OPCs these Units in early December.

Fr Provincial writes August 2019...


3rd August, 2019

Dear Confreres and friends,

My greetings for the feast St. Alphonsus are a little late since I have been in Nairobi at a meeting of the Conference of Africa. However I wish to assure you that I prayed for each one of you and continue to hold the Province in my prayers.

At the meeting we were talking about our Redemptorist life and our mission, and it strikes me always that our first mission is to engage in an actual encounter with Jesus; and I am also aware that this is one of the most challenging aspects of our apostolic life. You will know that I like to quote the letter St. Alphonsus wrote from Arienzo in 1774 to the first group of confreres. In it, he cites the primacy of prayer. I quote only a very short extract:

"You already know that the most efficacious means to enable us to bear contradictions is to have a very great love of Jesus. But for this much prayer is necessary. To love Jesus Christ is the greatest work we can ever do on this earth. But it is a work and a gift we cannot have of ourselves. It comes from him. And he is willing to give it. So that if we are lacking in it, it is through our own fault and negligence that we do not have it."

Fr Provincial writes June 2019...


29th June, 2019

Dear Confreres and friends,

This month sees the feast of the Most Holy Redeemer on 21st July and in some communities we will be able to renew our vows together, whilst others may choose to do so privately. I appreciate that quite a few confreres may be on holiday.

I had very positive reports of the Novenas in preparation for the feast of our Mother of Perpetual Help - and particularly from Clapham where Fr. William Guri led the celebrations, and from Liverpool where Fr. Michael Henesy with a group of lay people, animated the parish group.

During the month we also had a gathering of the Lay Associates in Liverpool with Anne Walsh from Canada; and as a bonus we had a visit both in Liverpool and in Perth from Jose and Teresa who are Portuguese Lay Associates who are hoping to visit all the communities of the Congregation to share their story. We were very happy to welcome them in Kinnoull where the Seven Week Course has just successfully concluded.

In Liverpool, both Frs. Gabriel Maguire and Martin Gay have been battling with ill-health and I ask you to keep both in your prayers, as well as any of the other confreres who are feeling unwell or advanced in age.

The ordination of Fr. Emerson Machepa took place in Tafara on 15th June, presided over by Bishop Raymond and today the new priest is celebrating his Thanksgiving Mass in his home area of Masvingo.

Fr Provincial writes...


4th June, 2019

Dear Confreres and friends,

Apologies for the late dispatch of this letter but May was an extremely busy month with EPC and OPC meetings, as well as a workshop I conducted in Nigeria. In addition I had a week of teaching here in Kinnoull and I was very fortunate to be able to preside at the funeral of Fr. Barrie O'Toole in the company of many confreres and four bishops as well as Barrie's family. A special word of thanks is due to the Bishop Eton community and their generous helpers who made it a very special occasion.

This month has also seen confreres moving to new communities, and we continue to pray that each one will settle and flourish in the new environment and be a blessing for the communities they are joining.

At present, the confreres in Zimbabwe are on retreat and Father Andrew Burns is preaching the retreat to the professed members of the Region. Please also remember in your prayers our deacon, Emerson Machepa, who is due to be ordained by Bishop Raymond on the 15th of June.

Fr Provincial writes 30th April 2019...


30th April 2019,

Dear Confreres and friends,

All good wishes for the month of May. When I look back over my letters for this month dedicated to Mary, I see quotations from Alphonsus, Augustine, Newman, Ephraim, Mother Teresa and Popes Benedict and Francis. Let me offer another from the Holy Father for this month - again from Evangelii Guadium (No. 285):

"At the foot of the cross, at the supreme hour of the new creation, Christ led us to Mary. He brought us to her because he did not want us to journey without a mother; and our people read in this maternal image all the mysteries of the gospel. The Lord did not want to leave the Church without this icon of womanhood."

I have another wonderful excerpt from Fr. Hans Urs von Balthaser in his book: "To the Heart of the Mystery of Redemption". I find this quite touching and very, very apposite for the times in which we are living. It is taken from the chapter, 'Mary and the Church in the Redemption,' and you will find it in the fourth section.

The Provincial writes...


6th April, 2019

Dear Confreres and friends,

Apologies for this monthly letter being late but as you may know I was in Rome attending a meeting of the leaders of all English-speaking groups of the Congregation. I was happy to meet up with Brother Benjamin and with Fr. Gideon Sidinga who is studying spirituality in Rome.

On my return, the OPC immediately began the second round of visits to the communities, and on their behalf I would like to thank you again for your welcome and for your openness and willingness to cooperate with us in attempting to continue to reinvigorate the Province.

We are hoping to publish the Nominations soon after Easter; but of course we still need to hear back from the local bishops in whose dioceses the proposed changes will take place.

At the meeting in Rome, the General Government presented us with the new Plan of Community Life which we hope to present to each of the communities in the coming weeks. As a sign of cooperation, Fr. Dan Baragry, the Provincial Superior of the Dublin Province and I have talked about the possibility of having this printed professionally and shared among the confreres. It will be part of the blueprint for our renewed way of living.

At the meeting, there was also a suggestion that the Provincial Councils of London, Dublin, St. Clements and MunichNienna meet during the summer to see in what manner we can continue to advance the restructuring process in the Congregation. As you can imagine, with a minimum of 12 people we are having a great challenge in finding suitable dates.

Fr Provincial writes...28th Feb 2019


28th February, 2019

Dear Confreres and friends,

Greetings as we come to the end of this short month of February and prepare next week to celebrate Ash Wednesday and a much later season of Lent. I hope this will be a grace filled time for all. I appreciate that it is a time of extra work and pressure for those engaged in parish ministry and on the missions.

During the month I was able to visit Zimbabwe for the annual board meeting of Holy Trinity College which continues to be a theologate for Religious communities in Harare. Our own Fr. Mark Chikuni is the Dean of Studies and we have several other of the confreres lecturing there.

Before the visit we had consulted extensively among the finally professed members of the Region in terms of nominations for the new Regional Council. The provincial government of the London Province has accordingly appointed the following ORC (Ordinary Regional Council)

Regional Leader: Benjamin Posvo

Regional Vicar: Joseph Musendami

Regional Consultor: Tryvis Moyo.

The ERC consists of the above plus: David Nyamuronda, Gift Mubayiwa and William Guri.

Fr Provincial writes...2nd Feb 2019...


2nd February, 2019

Dear Confreres and friends,

Many thanks for the kind wishes, the assurance of prayers and the support I received after the Chapter two weeks ago. I am very grateful to the confreres from the Province and from other Units, as well as our friends and associates for their kindness.

As you are aware, the new OPC has already visited the communities of the Province this past week for a brief opportunity to gauge the various situations in which confreres and communities live. The new EPC will also meet soon.

Personally I will try to find time to make a retreat and perhaps even have a few days of rest to prepare for the new quadrennium. Not expecting to remain in office, I had accepted two missions and a retreat during Lent, but I have also been turning down invitations for ministry in order to have enough space for the administration and the pastoral dimension which the office of Provincial entails.

The Provincial writes - Jan 2019...


18th January, 2019

Dear Confreres,

I ask your prayers for Zimbabwe and for our brethren there at this critical time.

You may aware that there are multiple reports of shootings, violence, looting and indiscriminate beatings.

The government has closed down all social media and we cannot contact the confreres by internet or telephone. 

The Zimbabwe Bishops' Conference has issued a statement, although they cannot get it out on the internet. Fr. General is also very aware of the situation and although on the way to World Youth Day in Panama, will communicate about the situation in the coming days.

In the meantime, I ask that you invite your parishioners, families and friends to pray for a resolution to the conflict in Zimbabwe and for peace.

I will obviously keep you updated if I get any news, and trust that all our confreres are safe.

In Christ the Redeemer,

Ronald J. McAinsh, C.Ss.R.

Provincial Superior

Registered Charity Number: 252041 (England and Wales) SC039359 (Scotland)

Fr Provincial writes...Dec 2018


31st December, 2018

Dear Confreres and friends,

From all accounts a very enjoyable Christmas has been celebrated in each of the communities of the Province. I appreciate that with the ministry, and also the efforts put into the community celebrations, a lot of the confreres are quite tired. I hope that people do get some rest and have the opportunity to enjoy the Octave of Christmas; and of course to continue reflecting on the wonderful exchange of God becoming one of us so that we could share his life - the mystery which entranced St. Alphonsus so profoundly.

In Kinnoull, we had Frs. Philip and Tom with us for Christmas day and the renewal of vows. On Christmas eve, Jim McManus had a health scare with one of his eyes, but after a visit to A & E in Perth and in Dundee and also the optician, he is now back to full health.

In Liverpool, Bishop Ralph joined the confreres who had just celebrated Jimmy Smale's 75th birthday. The two parishes kept the confreres very busy but they managed a worthy Christmas celebration.

The community in Erdington celebrated well, although Fr. Kieran had to be with his father who was unwell over Christmas. We keep his father, Gerry, in our prayers.

Clapham had very joyful celebrations in the church, in the refectory and in the common room. They look forward to welcoming some of the confreres from Zimbabwe who are coming for the Chapter.

Fr. Denis in Chawton celebrated Mass for Terry on Christmas Day; and his sister Ellen ensured that all were well fed!

The various communities in Zimbabwe celebrated in their own way, having shared a Regional festive meal together a few days before Christmas, at which Bishop Raymond was present.

In these days after Christmas some confreres will have the opportunity to get away for a break.

I know that you will all continue to pray for the Chapter which begins on the 7th of January. The Coordinator will be present together with the capitulars and other observers.

As we pray our Te Deum at the end of the year, I give thanks for the past quadrennium and for the kindness, generosity and cooperation of so many confreres, co workers, family members, friends and benefactors.

Birthdays: Frs J Doherty 4th, (M. Brehl 7th), J. Casey 17th, J. Musendami 19th, G. Webster 26th

I pray that 2019 will be a blessed year for each one of us. Happy New Year.


In Christ the Redeemer,

Ronald J. McAinsh, C.Ss.R.

Provincial Superior

Provincial's Letter November 2018...


30th November 2018, Feast of St. Andrew

Dear Confreres and friends,

As we approach the first Sunday of Advent it is a good time to recall our Redemptorist tradition of preparing for the feast of the Incarnation. This is at the heart of our spirituality, and "making flesh"that is making Jesus truly present in today's society seems to be an even greater challenge than previously. How we reflect during this preparation time will impact on our day-to-day lives as well as our celebration of Christmas. St. Alphonsus wrote much material on this Advent season. In addition there is a plethora of classical works as well as our own Advent Extra which can provoke our thoughts and minds.

As I indicated in my letter last month, I am hoping to visit the communities in the coming week. The plan at present is to visit Fr. Barrie in Ripon on Tuesday 4thBarrie is struggling these days and is grateful for our prayers. I shall then go to the Bishop Eton for a meeting at about 6.00 in the evening of that day. After this I will go to Clapham on Wednesday where I hope to meet the community which includes the Students, in the afternoon around 4.30. I am hoping that Fr. Denis will be able to travel up from Chawton for this. On Thursday I will go to Birmingham and meet with the brethren there around midday. My meeting with the Kinnoull community, and those attached but ministering outside, will take place on the 20th of December in the afternoon. I trust that everyone has the documentation so that we can discuss the draft of the Apostolic Plan for Europe.

Fr Provincial writes...Oct 2018

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?"