" A man must be ready, for death comes when and where God wills it. "
Saint John Neumann C.Ss.R
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Fr Provincial writes 30th April 2017...


30th April, 2017

Dear Confreres and friends,

As we begin this month traditionally dedicated to Our Lady, I offer a few words from Constitution 32.

"Let them take the Blessed Virgin Mary as their model and helper. For she went on her piIgrim way in faith, and embraced with her whole heart the saving will of God. Indeed she still serves as the perpetual help of God's people in Christ. Therefore let them relate to her as a mother with all the love and veneration they owe her as sons.

Let them be generous in fostering devotion, especially of a liturgical nature, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and celebrate her feasts with special fervour".

I will try and keep this letter short, as I intend to enclose an article I have written on our Lady of Perpetual Help which may appear in Scala soon. It is I hope theological, but also personal and devotional.

The OPC has just returned from three days of meetings. During these days we did a complete and comprehensive audit of every confrere who is attached to the London Province, reviewed the situations in our restructured communities, and tried to brainstorm in terms of our future as a Province within the Congregation and the Conference of Europe. We will share the latter reflections initially with the EPC.

This week I shall be attending the Conference Congress on the Icon in Madrid, about which I wrote to each community. I fully understand that after a year of celebrations locally, nationally and internationally in Rome, confreres and our lay partners did not feel able to participate. However it was felt that there should be some Provincial representation, and I am happy to inform you that Eddie and Maureen Loughton from Perth have booked plane tickets to attend and will accompany me to the event. 

During t~is past month I was able to be in the communities in Clapham, Liverpool, Birmingham and of course have been assisting in Kinnoull, as well as having an RPTC meeting. Thanks to all who participated in the funeral of Sister Bernadette, and particularly to the contingent of Redemptoristine Sisters who came from Dublin.

I am also happy to report that the work of making all the bedrooms in Liverpool ensuite has been completed. I am especially pleased for older confreres, and I am grateful to the community who were from time to time displaced. I also mention John Byrne who has been such a great help in Bishop Eton. I have arranged for a Papal Blessing for him and Joan, his wife, as they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Fr Andrew Burns has been asked to take up the post of European chaplain to the Marriage Encounter Movement and the OPC has agreed to this, since family life is such a vital part of our Christian community. It will only require a few meetings a year and Fr Andrew will not have to move! I consider it an honour for the Congregation that a Redemptorist has been asked to fulfil this role. Both Fr. Tony Hunt and Bro. William have been in hospital but are now back in the monastery.

When I was in Birmingham I was able to have two good sessions with Fr. Gabriel who is making progress and is very stoic about his situation, although speaking with him today he is a bit weak from another heavy chemotherapy session. Please continue to keep him in your prayers. I was also able to chat with Fr. Maurice who is settling into Oscott and to Frs. Dickie and Elias. Fr. Kieran was away on a mission at the time.

Bro. Chris Reynolds in Clapham is working on a small book which charts the ministry and .lives of our military chaplains during the Wars. It looks very interesting, and the parts I have read makes one realise the many challenges they endured. 

At the end of this month Fr. Casper will complete his course at St. Anselm's, which as you may have heard, is relocating to Rome because of Home Office difficulties. Fr. Casper will remain in the Province until mid July.

Fr. Paul Douthwaite has received the documentation from Rome by which he is incardinated into the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. I have written to  Fr Paul to wish him every blessing and to thank him for his ministry while a member of the Province.

The completion of the sale of Hawkstone is due to take place on the 26th May. Initially Fr. Michael and Bro. Michael were asked by the purchasers to stay on for one month. This was agreed. Subsequently they were asked to stay on for six months; but after discussion with them we have agreed a terminus ad quem, and, subject to contractual. papers being drawn up, they will take up residence in Bishop Eton on 1 September. Again I express our gratitude to both.

A new Director has been appointed at the Ace of Clubs. He is Andrew Tyers and we wish him every success and blessing. I again thank David Logan for facilitating a good handover and for his work over the years.

Please keep all the apostolic work for May in your prayers.

Birthdays this month: 7th Fr. McBride, 8th Fr V. Bushu, 8th Br. Madzonganyika.

With best wishes

In Christ the Redeemer

Ronald J. McAinsh, C.Ss.R.

Provincial Superior