" Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart? "
St. Gerard Majella C.Ss.R
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Fr Provincial's Letter 30th May 2018...


30th May 2018

Dear Confreres and friends,

As we move into the month of June we remember this is traditionally a month devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. Alphonsus, living in the mainstream of the French Oratarian school of Saint John Eudes, Cardinal Berule and the Jesuits, was steeped in this devotion. On 14th June we celebrate the feast of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus which is always held to be a Redemptorist feast, but seems less popular in this age.

When Pope Leo XIII celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of his priesthood the Catholics of the world had a collection for him. He used the donations for the building of the church which we staff at San Gioacchino near the Vatican where this devotion continues with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament each day. Leo's encyclical Annum Sacrum emphasises devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Eucharist. So happy Corpus Christi also.

In England and Wales we are building up to the ecclesial event of "Adoremus". Redemptorist Publications has produced much material on the Eucharist for this event. Many confreres have contributed and my little booklet on the Visits to the Blessed Sacrament adapted from St. Alphonsus, is now available for parishes and individuals.

Last week I was able to visit Fr. Barrie O'Toole who is staying with his sister Pat in Ripon. I found Barrie to be in good spirits although obviously struggling with health issues. I am very grateful to Pat for her care and devotion. After the COR meeting I was also able to visit the Birmingham community and I am happy to report that Fr. Maguire is making good progress with his health issues. Father Dickie continues valiantly in the parish, although he confesses sometimes to feeling his age as he will be 87 next birthday.

In Liverpool I was able to visit Tony Hunt in hospital. Tony continues to be under close medical supervision. I ask special prayers for Fr. John Milcz who is quite weak and quite unwell. However he still has that lovely warm smile. Other members of the community also have health issues including Fr. Smale who continues to go out on mission appeals. 

I am going to Clapham tomorrow for a Finance Secretariate meeting and hope to find the confreres in reasonable health. Again there is some diminishment in terms of age, and in particular Fr. Bev Ahearn who is struggling with walking and is challenged now with stairs. As indicated at the Visitation meeting, one of our students Chris Reynolds decided to discontinue his formation and we wish him well.

I am immensely grateful for the extraordinary generosity of so many confreres of the Province who care for those who are confronted with age or infirmity. This is a sign of true gospel living and fraternity.

The confreres in Zimbabwe are well. Bishop Raymond is trying to adjust to a new way of living. Fr. Gift will participate in the Spirituality Course in Rome and then come to Clapham for a week or so. Fr. Casper has not yet received the result of his appeal against the refusal of his Visa. We pray that he will be able to come and assist in the parish in Clapham. The Novice Master and Prefect of Students, Fr. Joseph Musendami and Bro. David Nymuronda respectively, shall participate in the Course for Formators of Africa in Nairobi; while Bro. Benjamin and Fr. Tryvis are will attend the COREAM meeting also in Nairobi. While I was working in Rome this month, I was able to meet with Fr. Gideon Sidinga who is preparing for his degree at the Gregorian University.

There has again been plenty of mission activity this month and it is particularly gratifying to see our two young priests, Frs. Charles and Peter both preaching missions. They had only just returned from Arizona where they participated in the Transition to Ministry programme, and both gave very positive reports of this event. 

Fr. Richard and I were both able to represent the Province at the funeral of the mother of Fr. Ed Hone in Knock. Ed is now back in Luxembourg and I hope to visit him shortly in order to finalise some contracts.

As we move into the summer season I'm sure that some of you will be taking your annual leave and I wish you well. I ask that you leave contact details with the local superior or with me.

I thought I had made unique discovery in a very large book called "Jesus" by Jose Pagola. It is a fascinating historical, anthropological, psychosocial and spiritual approach to the life of Jesus. As I was sharing my new discovery, Fr. Peter told me he is using it with young people - and Fr. Gerry Mulligan here is also reading it! So my "unique" discovery was not as special as I thought! However, I highly recommend it. I also managed to get the latest book by Tom Wright, one of today's leading New Testament scholars. It is a life of Saint Paul and is called, "Paul, a biography". It is published by SPCK.

That's all the news for the present time. Have a lovely summer.

Birthdays this month: Frs E. Hone 2nd, , P. Morris 15th, T. Molloy 18th, A. Zindonda 20th, G. Sidinga 21 st


In Christ the Redeemer,

Ronald J. McAinsh, C.Ss.R.

Provincial Superior