" A man must be ready, for death comes when and where God wills it. "
Saint John Neumann C.Ss.R
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30th June 2011

 

Dear Confreres and friends,

 

Today, the feast of Blessed Januarius Sarnelli, the Ordinary Provincial Council met in Edinburgh where we were able to speak with Fr. Desmond and Fr. Joe. A young Kenyan Redemptorist who is studying in Rome, Fr. Augustine, will be arriving on 2nd July to assist the community with parish work for the next six weeks.

 

Here is some news from the Province - other than that found on the web site: - www. redemptorists.co.uk

 

Two weeks ago I was able to spend the weekend in Erdington where Fr. Richard and I enjoyed great hospitality. We were attending the Invocation weekend at Oscott College. Fr. Richard managed to make some good vocations contacts. One man in particular from the previous year is in the process of applying to join the Congregation. During the summer, Fr. Gabby and Fr. Dickie will be assisted by Fr. James, another student from Rome. Fr. James belongs to the Bangalore Province and will stay in Erdington from next week until late September. Hopefully, this will allow our confreres there to get some form of rest.

 

At the end of June, Redemptorist Publications will celebrate the golden jubilee of their presence in Chawton, and I gather that Fr. Dickinson will be the keynote speaker. This is a good time to recall the wonderful impact on the UK, and indeed further afield, of the many publications that have been produced at Chawton over the past 50 years, the assistance to the Province and Zimbabwe rendered by RP, and to thank the many confreres and co –workers who have laboured there over those years.

 

Clapham seems to have a busy summer with visitors from all over the world. Sadly, Fr. Winfried Pauly will be leaving the community and the Ace of Clubs, and I again thank Fr. Winfried publicly for all that he has done to ‘rescue’, and then ‘rehabilitate’ the Centre. We wish him well in his new ministry. Fr. Michael McGreevy continues his recovery in Clapham and I am sure is grateful for your continued prayer. Later this month our Novices will return to Clapham from Canada after completing their Novitiate. Initially they will go home for a few days before coming to Perth to prepare for their Profession which is on 6th August at 11.30 in Kinnoull. All confreres are very welcome to this event.

 

All the changes have now been made, and the confreres in Bishop Eton are settled. Bro. Glyn is happy in Christopher Grange, and the clustering of St. Mary’s parish with our Bishop Eton parish continues well. The Redemptoristines have completed all the paper work for the canonical closure of the Monastery in Gillmoss and are settled in Nazareth House, Crosby. They will be incardinated into the Dublin Monastery.

 

I met Fr. Michael Henesy recently, and he has settled in well at Middlesbrough. The confreres there are delighted to have a third member.

 

The property at Sunderland has not yet been sold. This was predictable in this economic climate, and we are told we just have to be patient. In the meantime, Fr. Oliver Keyes is actively working on the cluster of St. Hilda’s and St. Benet’s, while Fr. Brian Russell remains chaplain to the Little Sisters.

 

Here in Kinnoull, the new Rector, Fr. Kieran, has taken office but has a schedule of missions he has to honour. At present he is working with Fr. Charlie Corrigan in Sevenoaks. The ongoing submission for planning permission continues, with some guarded degree of optimism.

 

Our confrere Fr. Kevin McEwen was due to go into hospital in Nottingham for a triple heart bypass today. However, I have been informed by his brother Billy that this is now postponed until the middle of July. Please keep Fr. Kevin in your prayers.

 

I am enclosing a list of the members of the new Secretariates for the quadrennium which was drawn up by the EPC. We hope that they will be one of the sources of energy for the Province. I thank all who have accepted to be members of Secretariates, and trust the Conveners will call meetings as and when appropriate.

 

As some of you may know, Fr. Martin Gay has been in the Province for a few months as part of his sabbatical year, and has been helping out in Clapham. Fr. Martin’s sister, Patricia died during the month and the funeral was yesterday in Bigglesworth. I have written to Fr. Martin expressing our condolences, and also asked Fr. Andrew Burns to represent the Province at the funeral.

 

Birthdays this month: Fr. Michael McGreevy 4th, Fr. Oliver Keyes 11th, Fr. Charles Corrigan 15th, Fr. Terence Creech 21st, Fr. Kevin Callaghan 24th, Brother Thomas 31st, Fr. Gabriel Maguire 31st. Congratulations to all.

 

Also this month we celebrate the Feast of our Most Holy Redeemer, our titular Feast. At that time, as is our custom, we renew our Vows in community. Might I suggest it is a good time also to reflect on the wonder of our Vocation? I offer just a thought for your consideration. It comes from Constitution 6 - The Gospel of Salvation: “This message has for its special object plentiful redemption: it proclaims the love of God the Father ‘who first loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation of our sins’....”

 

It seems to me that this is at the very heart of our Redemptorist vocation.....the God who first loved us. That is why the mystery of the Incarnation was so dear to St. Alphonsus, why we have had the tradition of privately renewing our Vows on the 25th of each month, and why we are so focused on the person of Jesus.

  

I believe that unless we are convinced, and also actually experience this white hot heat of the Father’s love in our own lives, touching the very depth of our being, we will never be able to fathom the depth of our vocation. And to do this we need our prayer times to reflect on this extraordinary gift. It was the very realisation of just how all-encompassing God’s love is in Jesus that impelled Alphonsus to dedicate his life to share this mystery with the abandoned; with those who did not appreciate their lovableness, had forgotten it, or whose lives had led them into self destructive life styles.

 

And I further believe that the realisation of this truth is what ultimately will sustain us in our vocation. It will also draw others to share in this privileged work of making plentiful redemption real in their lives.

 

So my invitation at this time is to reflect on the heart of Redemptorist life, and to renew ourselves as far as we can, remembering that the invitation comes from God who first loved us and sent his Son.

 

And to those going on holidays or taking a break, happy vacation.

 

In the Redeemer,

 

 

 

Fr. Ronald J. McAinsh, C.Ss.R

Provincial Superior