" 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 September 2018...

provincialsletterhead30th September 2018

Dear confreres and friends,

As you are aware, we celebrate two significant feasts this coming month: on 15th, the feast of Saint Teresa the great Doctor of Prayer and so beloved by St. Alphonsus, and then the following day the feast of our own St. Gerard Majella. Each year I ask for prayers for all our Brothers - but especially those in the Province and in the Region. In a special way we remember Bro. Thomas who resides with Little Sisters, but is visited frequently by the confreres from Clapham. Let us also continue to pray for good vocations to this special way of living our Redemptorist vocation.

September has been a busy month and we have seen the ordination of two of our confreres in Zimbabwe. Bishop Raymond, who ordained Frs. Albert and George has been in Rome for the New Bishops' Initiation Course, and then moved on to Germany to visit some of the funding agencies. He hopes to be able to visit his family in England before returning to his diocese of Chinhoyi.

Also this month we have had many meetings. Most of these took place in Clapham, and it is always good to be able to say thank you for the hospitality shown by the community there. There are confreres from various parts of the world living there at the moment, and it is always truly an international community.

We have had OPC and EPC meetings and have continued to try and deal with the matters involving confreres, special situations, and also properties and apostolates.

Tony Barrance is suffering from a bad back and so the Finance Secretariat met at his home where we received a warm welcome and were able to deal with the countless complex issues around finance and properties.

We also had the AGM of Redemptorist Publications, followed by an RP Trustees' meeting. This is a very challenging time for all Catholic publishers and so many have gone to the wall; but thank God RP, despite the struggle, continues to try and offer quality publications to the People of God, as well as support the Province.

Mike Roberts, the marketing manager for many years, has decided to take voluntary redundancy and is moving on from RP after 36 years. I have written to Mike to thank him for his loyal service of the company and the Province, and there will be a gathering to celebrate these years. Obviously there will be other changes in the staff structure at Chawton in the months that lie ahead.

The pilot group for the Associates continues to meet regularly and to expand the number of those who are showing interest in sharing and living our charism.

In Clapham as indicated, the community continues to offer hospitality and of course service to the parish. Frs. Bev and Jack struggle with health issues, but continue to be cheerful and positive. Fr. George has made a recovery from an earlier illness this year and Fr. McGreevy has cut back on his public work in the parish but continues to smile and welcome visitors to the community.

In Birmingham I am happy to report that despite a fall, and then a severe nosebleed episode which required hospitalisation, Fr. Gabby is recovering, and has said some public Masses. He will have a celebration later in the month which I hope to attend.

In Liverpool, the apostolate remains as strong as ever, and I was very touched recently when a very credible person who lives in another part of Liverpool said to me, "What is it about these priests at Bishop Eton that make them so different? They are always available and so positive". Fr. Barrie O'Toole continues to receive quality care from his sister Pat and the nurses who come each day. I spoke to Barrie today and he remains positive. Fr. Jimmy Smale is also cutting back on the appeals because of health issues.

In Kinnoull, Frs. Jim McManus, Tom MacCarte and Peter Morris continue to preach missions and retreats both outside and within the community. The ministry of the Pastoral Centre also continues to be fairly busy and viable.

The confreres in Zimbabwe welcomed Frances Sibert and Fiona from Bishop Eton who contributed to the mission and ministry; and a student from the Province of Madrid, Guillermo who is doing his pastoral year, has already given nine retreats to groups of schoolchildren.

I have no particular book to recommend this month as I am re-reading Tom Wright's 'Life of St. Paul' a second time. However being the month of the rosary, Denis McBride's book on the rosary could provide some quality reflections.

I will be away on holiday from Friday 5th with my family for two weeks and our Vicar, Fr. Richard will be available for any major issues which may arise

Birthdays this month:Our Brother and Fathers, K. Temba 5th, M. Gay 17th, M. Creech 18th, D. Koffi 18th, E. Makova 23rd and C. Madandi 31st.

In Christ the Redeemer,

Ronald J McAinsh CSsR

Provincial Superior