" Have you ever seriously reflected what those words mean, a God to be made man, and to die for thee? "
St. Alphonsus Liguori
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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.

I shall not give information on each House in this letter as we can talk at each local meeting. However, I would draw you attention to the letter of Fr. Kieran Brady, our Mission Coordinator with the positive news of forthcoming missions as well as other initiatives.

Last week we had an OPC meeting at which, among other matters, we reviewed the past year. The week beginning 9th December, the Finance Secretariat, the EPC and the RPTC will all gather for meetings. I shall be present at each meeting, and again these meetings will incorporate a review of our work over the past years.

All good wishes for our patronal feast of the Immaculate Conception on the 8th. The novena began yesterday - but if you start today, it finishes on 8th !!

There are several books that I could recommend this month! Besides "The Coming of God" by Maria Boulding, which is good for Advent, my main recommendation would be "To the Heart of the Mystery of Redemption", by Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr. This book contains very good brief summaries of various aspects of Redemption.

The book I was about to recommend last month, "The Re-birthing of God Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings" by John Newell left me with some questions - and like so many authors such as Timothy Ratcliffe - he uses Aung San Suu Kyi as a model of prophecy and courage in face of adversity...... The situation with the 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees now speaks to us in a very different way.

I have received some large pictures of Fr. Bernard Lubienski. I have already sent some to Bishop Eton and some to Clapham. I will bring extra with me during my visits. Fr. Bernard's birthday is 9th December!

I shall also bring some Christmas gift cards which we usually sell in our parishes at this time of the year for our feeding schemes in Zimbabwe. I know you will continue to support our missionary Region and its various apostolates.

Birthdays: Br R. Price 5th, Fr C. Randall 7th, Fr T. Moyo 12th, Fr G. Hama 15th, Fr A Johnson 16th, Fr J. Smale 23rd and Fr C. Mukabva 26th.

In Christ the Redeemer,

Ronald J. McAinsh, C.Ss.R.

Provincial Superior