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St. Gerard Majella C.Ss.R
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Fr Provincial writes...2nd Feb 2019...

provincialsletterhead

2nd February, 2019

Dear Confreres and friends,

Many thanks for the kind wishes, the assurance of prayers and the support I received after the Chapter two weeks ago. I am very grateful to the confreres from the Province and from other Units, as well as our friends and associates for their kindness.

As you are aware, the new OPC has already visited the communities of the Province this past week for a brief opportunity to gauge the various situations in which confreres and communities live. The new EPC will also meet soon.

Personally I will try to find time to make a retreat and perhaps even have a few days of rest to prepare for the new quadrennium. Not expecting to remain in office, I had accepted two missions and a retreat during Lent, but I have also been turning down invitations for ministry in order to have enough space for the administration and the pastoral dimension which the office of Provincial entails.

This past week I was able to meet with several of our older or more frail confreres, and also was able to visit Fr. Barrie O'Toole and his sister Pat in Ripon. We remain immensely grateful to Pat for her extraordinary support of Barrie. There are some challenges in terms of social services care which we are trying to resolve.

On Wednesday I go to Zimbabwe for the Board meeting of Holy Trinity College and I will also have the opportunity to meet with the confreres, although we have carried out a fairly broad consultation in terms of the leadership of the Region for the new quadrennium.

The Provincial Chapter has issued a statement of our goals and priorities for the next four years and I am enclosing the statement with this letter. Each community has already received the Provincial's report and I shall send also the Acta of the Chapter to each community. In this regard, I thank Fr. Timothy Buckley the secretary of the Chapter and Bro. Michael Taylor the notary of the Chapter for their hard work in compiling this document. It will of course be sent to the General Government, together with the directional statement of the Chapter.

Now it is up to each of us to try and implement it, and to prioritise on certain areas. It is too early to spell out the hopes and strategies of the Provincial government, having heard the chapter; but this is our Province effort, which includes our lay collaborators, and which we will progress in the coming months.

At this time of course there is always the question of the Nominations, and the question of who will be moving where! As stated at the Chapter, the Nominations will not be published until after Easter so as not to upset the apostolic work in missions and in our parishes during Lent, and also to give the Council more time to reflect on the best way forward. So please be patient as we try to discern the best way forward for all of us.

At this stage there is not much more I can share or propose to you, except once again to ask for your prayers for the Province and Region and to thank you for the great ministry in which you are all involved - whether it be ,through active ministry or the ministry of prayer.

Birthdays this month: 2nd Br D. Nyamuronda, 4th Frs P. Jones, 14th D. Keegan, 15th G. Mubayiwa, 24th M. Henesy.

With best wishes,

In Christ the Redeemer,

Ronald J. McAinsh, C.Ss.R.

Provincial Superior

Statement of the Provincial Chapter

Perth, Scotland

11 th January, 2019

The Provincial Chapter met in the presence of the Coor~inator of the Conference of Europe, Fr Johannes Romelt. Two lay observers, Frances Sibert from Liverpool and Eddie Loughton from Perth were also present for the first two days.

 

The Provincial Superior presented his report on the Province over the past quadrennium, and this was followed by the report of Brother Benjamin Posvo, the Regional Leader who then gave a report from the Region of Zimbabwe.

 

This was followed by the financial report, given by the Provincial Bursar, Fr Andrew Burns.

 

Later that day the Coordinator presented the second draft of the Apostolic and Restructuring Plan of the Conference of Europe, and a full discussion followed into the following day.

 

We proceeded to the elections with following results:

 

Provincial Superior: Fr Ronald McAinsh was postulated and the postulation accepted by the General Government.

Provincial Vicar: Fr Richard Reid was elected and confirmed by the General Government.

The Third Member of the OPC: Fr Andrew Burns.

 

The following were elected to the EPC:

 

Fr Timothy Buckley

Fr Charles Corrigan

Fr Charles Randall

 

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The Chapter then continued to try and find a way forward for the quadrennium that would be evangelical, credible and life-giving.

 

In terms of restructuring, we are committed to an ongoing dialogue with the other Provinces of Europe and with the Coordinator in order to move this process forward, and to collaborate freely and willingly with the steps necessary towards reconfiguration as outlined in the plan presented.

 

The Chapter highlighted the importance of the apostolic community life, and stressed the need for a community plan for the coming quadrennium from each local community. It also stressed the need to continue with the explicit proclamation of the Word, particularly through popular missions.

 

The Chapter affirmed the work of Redemptorist Publications and its commitment to sharing and spreading the Word. We also highlighted the need to work in the field of contemporary media and social communications and acknowledged RP's contribution to the life of the Province.

 

A possible new shrine ministry in each of our locations was highly recommended.

 

Our parish work was also evaluated and the EPC was asked to look at our locations and manpower and see how we can best continue to be missionary parishes in these locations.

 

Although much work has been done in the area of vocations, stress was placed on the importance of attracting vocations to both Brotherhood and priesthood. Spiritual accompaniment should also be a feature of this ministry.

 

A healthy and balanced self-care is important in order that we continue to be effective ministers of the Gospel. Communities are encouraged to explore the practical ways in which this may be implemented. (These, as with many other topics are covered more full in the Acta of the Chapter,)

 

Furthermore, good stewardship in terms of our properties and also budgeting and sound financial planning were highlighted.

 

We will continue to partner with lay people in mission and with our Associates.

 

Again and again the Chapter highlighted the importance of our relationship and partnership with our confreres in Zimbabwe and reaffirmed our support and fraternity with them.

 

That we know, own, affirm and celebrate ourselves, one another and our missionary vocation, became an accepted theme of the Chapter.

 

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