" My Jesus, my love, my all, gladly would I endure hunger, thirst, heat and cold to remain always with You in the Blessed Sacrament "
Saint John Neumann C.Ss.R
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 31st May, 2011

 

Dear Confreres and friends,

Now that the moves occasioned by the Nominations have taken place, I shall be able to resume my personal monthly letter to each of you. On behalf of the OPC I would again like to express our gratitude for the generous way in which so many confreres accepted the assignments offered to them, in order to keep the apostolic impetus of the Province alive and active.

Perhaps I could begin this letter by just mentioning (from North to South) the general situation in each community.

Kinnoull. With the departure of Fr Jim and Fr Richard, and the death of Bro. Malachy, the community is now much smaller and this reduced Redemptorist staffing puts pressure on the members of the new community. Fr Kieran has arrived and is settling in. As you will know, the application for Planning Permission was voted on by the local Council and the result was 5 for and 5 against. The Convener with the casting vote, rejected the application, and so the matter is now being reviewed with some new options in terms of planning being considered.

Edinburgh. Again with the departure of Fr Michael Henesy, the community is small in number. We had hoped for some extra help, but it was not possible. A young Kenyan priest studying in Sant’ Alfonso in Rome will come for 6 weeks in July to try and help Fr Desmond and Fr Joe get some summer break.

Sunderland. Fr Jim Casey, Fr Jan Milcz and Fr Terry Creech have all left the Monastery, and Fr Oliver Keyes will be moving within the next few weeks to the Presbytery at St. Hilda’s. Fr Brian Russell will remain in Sunderland as Chaplain to the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Middlesbrough. The community there is delighted to have obtained the services of Fr Michael Henesy who will no doubt bring his considerable talent for creativity and innovation to the John Paul Centre. Br Michael Duxbury continues working in the prison and also promotes devotion to St. Gerard. You will have seen the small prayer cards which he recently produced, and for which we are all grateful.

Liverpool. This is now our largest community. Fr. Richard has settled in, as have several new members. Bro. Glynn, whom I saw last week in Christopher Grange, is well. The twinning of Bishop Eton Parish with St. Mary’s, Woolton means that there will be plenty of work for all in the community. The Redemptoristines at Crosby have formally petitioned Rome for the canonical dissolution of their Monastery, and they will be incardinated into the Dublin community while residing at Nazareth House. When I saw them last week, all four members were well.

Hawkstone. The community at Hawkstone remains the same. I taught on the Course there recently, and the spirit among staff and participants was good and positive.

Birmingham. As with Hawkstone, the community remains the same. In July it is hoped that a young Indian priest, also from Sant 'Alfonso will come and help out until September. At present, he is trying to secure a visa, and my letters to him in Rome keep on disappearing, so we have to pray that Fr. James does indeed get the visa to help out Fr Dickie and Fr Gabby. Fr Richard and I will be attending the Invocation meeting for Vocations at Oscott towards the end of this month and will stay in Erdington.

Clapham. Clapham has seen some confreres move from the community and some arrive. At present Fr Michael McGreevy is recovering from his operation. I saw Fr Michael last week and I thought that he was in remarkably good spirits, considering the major surgery he has had. He is convalescing at present. Fr Charles Corrigan has also had a bout of bad health. Now that his medical condition has been identified, he hopes for good treatment and a resumption of full health. However, with Fr Michael and Fr Charlie out of action, considerable stress has been put on the shoulders of Fr Dominic. I hope that the presence of Fr George and Fr Jim can take some of the work off him. We also have hopes of some summer help there. The Ace of Clubs continues to be well patronised and Jan Haen, at the invitation of Fr Winfried, has been working there, painting the interior with the help of the clients. I was able to visit the Centre last week and the bright colours give the place a new aspect. Many of you will know that a dignified and sensitively celebrated Mass was held in the church for our former confrere David Cairns. I was able to be present at the family Requiem in Greenock.

Chawton. Fr Terry Creech is established in Chawton, but at present is back in Lourdes working as a confessor. Brother Anthony has again had a few health scares, but appears to be stable once more. I hope to see him this week. Redemptorist Publication continues to function well. This is a blessing at a time when many religious publishers are folding up.

May I remind those who are assuming the role of Rector for the first term in a new community, to observe the form of ‘Taking of Office of Superior’ which I will attach for the notice board.

Fr. Michael Creech continues to do great work in Heathfield, and is involved in a major consultation about restructuring in that parish.

Fr Kevin McEwen remains in Grantham in a care facility near to his twin sister Maureen. If anyone is in the Grantham area, Fr Kevin would love a visit.

Formation. The three Novices have made petition to be accepted for First Vows, and their petitions, together with their final reports, will be considered at the OPC meeting this week. A date has been set for the Profession as 6th August in Kinnoull, and the Rector has indicated that there will be accommodation for any confrere who wishes to attend. We also have two men who are very interested in joining us, and Fr. Richard is facilitating their request which may come to the OPC very soon. Please continue to be open to welcome and encourage men who wish to live our Redemptorist charism in our Province.

Last week the Finance Committee (of which I am a member) met and reviewed all our properties as well as the many issues which affect our lives. I thank Tony Barrance for his ongoing assistance in so many areas of our Province life.

Following the OPC meeting this week, the EPC will convene. The EPC, as Trustees, will consider many of the issues emerging from our Communities, as well as establishing the new Secretariates. This had to be postponed at the previous meeting due to the funeral of Bro. Malachy. The EPC will also begin to look again at our strategy for the next quadrennium and beyond. The AGM of Redemptorist Publication will also be held this week, and the Trustees will be present at it. RP have produced some very fine Mass leaflets and other updated liturgical material.

The confreres in Zimbabwe remain the same, in a difficult political climate. Fr. Abel Makahamadze has requested a leave of Absence for one year. Fr. Tryvis Moyo finishes his year in Dublin during which he has engaged in a Formation Course. I understand he will return to be Novice Master, with a Novitiate beginning this summer. There will also be the priestly ordinations of Victor and Isaac in September. The confreres in Zimbabwe continue to be grateful for the subsidy which the Province provides, as well as for the great fundraising done in our parishes and by individuals.

Birthdays for June are: Ed Hone on the 2nd and Tom Molloy on 18th.

Please remember that some of the above information, and also photographs, are available at the Province web site: www.redemptorists.co.uk

May I remind everyone of the importance of the Novena to the Holy Spirit which starts with Ascension Thursday? St. Alphonsus considered this as a very special time for Redemptorists.

 

With best wishes for those participating in the Novenas in honour of Our Mother of Perpetual Help this month, and with prayers, especially for our sick and aged confreres, relatives and benefactors.

 

In Christ the Redeemer,

Ronald J. McAinsh, C.Ss.R.

Provincial Superior