" The Infant Jesus, far from being sorrowful at this proposal, is pleased at it, accepts it with love, and exults in it! "
St. Alphonsus Liguori
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The Provincial writes, 1st Aug 2017...

provincialsletterhead

 

1st August, 2017

Dear Confreres and friends,

I have already contacted most communities to wish everyone a very happy feast today. I hope that the spirit and zeal of Saint Alphonsus continues to increase among us in our Province. I also trust that his spirit of prayer will be our lifeline and our strength; and of course his approach to moral theology is a truly Redemptorist focus. There is a helpful article in the latest Studia Moralia by Fr. Sabatino Majorano on Chapter Eight of Amoris Laetitia which I recommend.

I cannot summarise the article in this letter, but it is well worth reading, as it proposes (as I indicated in my March letter) the pastoral approach of St. Alphonsus to those indifficult situations, and affirms the merciful and missionary conversion recommended by the Papal Exhortation, which in reality is at the heart of Alphonsus's moral vision.

I have just returned from Poland where I was involved in teaching on the course for Perpetual Vows and also for those who are ten years in ministry. Among those participating were three students from Zimbabwe and Massimiliano Mura from the Province of Rome, who has spent the past year in Clapham. Max will make his Final Vows on Saturday in San Gioacchino and would be grateful for your prayers. As you know two of our Novices made their First Profession last Saturday in Zimbabwe; and Mike Taylor and Royston Price renewed their vows today in Clapham and Liverpool respectively.

This past month has seen activity in all our locations. In Chawton work is progressing on material for the forthcoming Eucharist Congress, with new items being offered, and also traditional ones being updated. A new and very comprehensive Catalogue has also been produced.

As usual, Clapham is a hive of activity with visitors from all over the world coming and going. The community there provides an extraordinary service and welcome. This week we say a fond farewell to Jasper, our German volunteer who has worked in the Ace of Clubs and was very helpful in the community. We wish him well with his further studies. Brother Thomas remains in the Little Sisters of the Poor and is being well cared for and visited regularly by the confreres. The community invited the local clergy, Religious and some bishops to a celebration for the feast of St. Alphonsus this evening, and I know Bishop Ralph was attending.

The wonderful news from Birmingham is that Gabriel celebrated two public Masses on Sunday. Two weeks previously he had appeared at the Masses in the Abbey and received a standing of ovation. He still has the stem cell treatment ahead of him, but he is in positive spirits. And our thanks go to everyone in Erdington who continues to support him.

The two Michaels are due to leave Hawkstone on 1st September and this will be the first time I should imagine since 1926 but there have been no Redemptorists on the property. Once again I express the profound gratitude of the Province for their willingness to reside there for these past 18 month and wish them both well as they move to Bishop Eton. I once again reiterate our thanksgiving for all the Redemptorists who have worked or studied in Hawkstone since 1926, and in particular to those who laboured there in more recent years.

Bishop Eton continues to be busy over the summer months with the two parishes, and also the many extra commitments of the confreres. A new chair lift is being installed to facilitate movement of our elderly confreres. On 2ih August there will be a celebration of the 90th birthday of Father John Milcz. Jan phoned me yesterday to tell me about this, but unfortunately I am involved in a seven retreat for 32 Religious here in Kinnoull on that day. Jan's actual birthday is two days later and joining him and the community to celebrate, will be his niece and nephew from Poland. We wish him a very blessed day.

Here in Kinnoull the apostolate continues to develop. This weekend we have a full house from a local parish and during the week we have had the deacons for in-service training. At the end of the month we welcome as indicated, 32 Religious and then the priests of the Archdiocese of Edinburgh with their Archbishop for a week of retreat.

In addition we are preparing to host the Third Phase of the General Chapter. I well recall saying at the Conference of Europe that this would be too much for Kinnoull. However in the end we accepted to host it; but it means dealing with incredibly challenging logistics. I have been trying to sort out the translation booths and translation equipment, transport for over 40 Redemptorists to be met at Edinburgh airport and returned there, and book extra rooms in the Isle of Skye hotel for the younger ones since we have only 34 or 35 available rooms. Please pray for this meeting - both for a good outcome and also logistically. I believe it is important that a true apostolic and missionary outcome for us and for the Conference of Europe should be our goal.

I shall be celebrating the Golden Jubilee of my Profession which was actually on 16th October last year, but this is the first opportunity that we are able to invite some of my family and friends to the Monastery for the evening.

Last month I reminded you of the jubilees of Frs. Dickinson and Murray. To those I add:

~ Fr. Bev. Ahearn who will celebrate 70 years of Religious Profession on 15th August. Despite his loss of sight Bev remains a cheerful and active member of the Clapham community.

~ Frs. McManus, Casey and Johnson celebrate 60 years of Profession on 8th September.

~ Frs. Henesy, Hunt and Jones celebrate 50 years of priesthood on 17th September.

~ Frs. McBride and Keyes celebrate 50 years of Religious Profession on 16th October.

To all - many, many congratulations and the assurance of the prayers of the Province.

 

I am enclosing a list of Jubilees, courtesy of Fr. Kevin Callaghan, which has just arrived and which should be handy for the community bulletin board.

 

The post of Province Youth Officer was advertised this month and several applications were received. A panel to form the interview board met, and as soon as details of the outcome are available, I shall communicate the results to you. As indicated, the confreres in Zimbabwe celebrated First Vows last week and will celebrate Perpetual Vows in September. This week they participate in the Regional retreat which is being preached by Fr. Peter Chyla from the Spirituality Centre in Rome. The students will then begin the new semester at Arrupe College and at Holy Trinity College - and this year at Holy Trinity the keynote speaker is Fr. Steve Rehrauer, the Provincial Superior of the Province of Denver and Professor emeritus of the Alfonsian Academy. I am always impressed at the quality of the speakers that we have each year. Fr. Caspar Mukabva has returned after his year at Saint Anselm's Institute and also Fr. Mark Chikuni who has been studying communications, the fruits of which can be found on the Region's revived web site and Facebook page.

Birthdays: Frs B. Ahearn, M. Chikuni & J. McManus 1st, T. Govo 2nd, A. Hunt 3rd, C.Magova 7th, M. O'Mahony 9th, I. Davies 11 th,  A. Burns 13th, K. Brady, 17th, T. Tamai 20th, R. McAinsh, 21st, A. Mukabva 22th and J. Milcz on 29th.

With best wishes,

In Christ the Redeemer,

Ronald McAinsh, C.Ss.R.

Provincial Superior