" Jesus, thank you for everything, for my very beginning and my very end. "
Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa OSsR
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Missions

Mission in Sevenoaks...

 

'Discovering God', this banner will hang over the sanctuary for the mission week. Various groups have been working for months to make this week a wonderful success. Judging by the turn out at the opening event, it is sure to be so.

 

The first night 'Discovering Healing - Restoring Hope'touched many people’s hearts, while the early mass is proving popular with many folk, a free breakfast thrown in before boarding the trains to London. Later in the week the school have organised a Eucharistic Procession to celebrate Corpus Christi. Members of the new 'Ordinariate' are also joining in the mission celebrations.

 

Browse a few pictures of our celebrations so far, including Fr Charlie Corrigan, Fr. Kieran Brady & Fr. Richard Harvey PP getting some sun. May this week be a time of prayer and growth in the parish of Sevenoaks, as the parish mission prayer book quotes:

 

Protect us O Lord, from thoughts without action.

Guard us O Lord, from words without feelings.

Defend us O Lord, from ideas without results and

surround us with Your Presence.

 

from a prayer by David Adam

 

 

A selection of photos from a couple of the nights and ceremonies

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Mission in Leicester...

 

As you may know, the Redemptorists have been giving all kinds of missions and retreats in the UK for about 150 years but we always move with the times and adapt our style.
 
Frs Kieran Brady and Charlie Corrigan CSsR have been adapting one particular style to suit some parishes. They have recently been giving a mission in the joint parishes of St Mary's and St John Bosco's in Leicester, needless to say the week has been going well.
 
All groups in the parish have been touched by the Word of God.
 
The lay people have been formed into small faith sharing teams and have themselves prepared many aspects of the liturgy and Mission.
 
The mission nights were intitled, 'A Healing touch' 'Heart to Heart' 'A Mother's love' while the young people of the parish helped construct a night called 'A Just Word' exploring Justice in our world. 
 
In the pics of the mission we see both Fr. Kieran and Fr. Charlie and their 'little helpers' on the Family themed event in the mission.
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Each night was, of course, judged by the people to be a great success and a special moment in the spiritual journey of these faith communities.
 
 
Feel free to contact the Redemptorists about a possible Renewal for your own parish.
 
The next scheduled event for Fr. Charlie & Fr. Kieran will be leading a similar format mission in the parish of St. Thomas of Canterbury, Sevenoaks in Kent towards the end of June.

 

Mission Season...

 

"We have just finished our Mission in Our Lady and St Patricks Walthamstow. It was, of course, a great success. The other parish in Walthamstow had a great mission recently from none other than Fr Jim McManus and Miss Marie Hogg. Glad to see the Redemptorists are making such an impact in a little corner of London.
 
 
Myself and Fr. Tom MacCarte are now giving a shorter Parish Retreat (Triduum) in Our Lady and St George Parish Penilee, a renewal in fact. Myself and Fr Charlie Corrigan gave a full 'process' mission here last year. The people loved it so much they invited the Redemptorists back again to help them with Lent.
 
 
I have been sent some photos of last night's Lenten (Healing) Service. 
 
The next date for the diary (a date that may have changed since I last sent you stuff) - I am off this coming weekend to prepare a parish and lead a Retreat day on Saturday - away Friday to Monday - in South Wigton, Liecester, preparing them for a process mission later in the year."
 
 
 
Yours
 
Fr. Kieran Brady C.Ss.R.
 
 

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Fr. Kieran J. Brady CSsR

mssion _logo - jpgWhere now for Parish Missions?

An article written for a Catholic newspaper (some time ago but still has resonance today)

Have you ever found yourself speaking a foreign language? I have. Recently I was speaking to a small group of Catholics, the conversation was in English but we were coming from very different perceptions of reality. I quickly learned that some on the parish council had never experienced a ‘Redemptorist parish mission’, while a couple of older members thought we had stopped conducting them all together. Of course parish missions have been the mainstay of parish renewal for many years in Britain. They have evolved with a changing church, yet people have widely differing views and expectations from them.

The recent calls for renewal, from John Paul II, among others are not a new phenomenon. Any group that engages in evangelisation is at the service of the church which is missionary by its very nature. I am aware that there are some new movements springing up and hopefully they will be co-ordinated by the development of an agency for evangelisation. I am sure that they will bring new energy and vigour to the life of the church. As a church in search of vision for evangelisation, I believe we should use all the gifts the Spirit gives us. That means investing in the new as well as continuing with the tried and tested ways of communicating God’s love.

phoca_thumb_l_alphonsus13The order I belong to was founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori to reach out to the poor and abandoned. Since then we have been creative in leading parish missions and retreats for over 270 years, gaining much experience and insight into the life of ordinary Catholics. Missions by their very nature have developed over the years, honed by the life of real people in real life situations. I am reminded of a comment made by Pope Paul VI about the Redemptorist work of parish missions. ‘The great joy you have is to be the witnessing church in people’s homes, in their kitchens and in their hearts’. This could also apply to all those engaged in this specialised ministry of parish renewal. This is where we begin to understand what church is, and what it can be. The building blocks of our church remain the parish communities, the people of God.

There is no doubt that parishes are in constant need of spiritual renewal. There are many different ways of achieving this. Some dioceses have been working on assemblies and pastoral plans. The new agency will encourage and support groups of committed Catholics to become evangelisers. Yet I truly believe that the ordinary parishioner needs to be supported in a more immediate way from time to time. A parish mission is about creating a space for God in the day-to-day life of a worshiping community. It is about being touched by the Word of God through a time of grace. This sort of experience should not and cannot involve targets, as it is simply immeasurable.

Fr. Paul Billington, formerly of CMS would describe the experience of a Parish mission as working on many levels. “An individual spiritual renewal, calling the community to be co-responsible for the life of the church, while inculcating in people a spirituality of mission in it’s widest sense”. As a Redemptorist also engaged in renewal, I am saddened at the decision to move what was CMS away from its fine tradition of parish missions. As I said earlier missions are not incompatible with other evangelisation strategies.

phoca_thumb_l_cssr windowMissions have great strengths but I accept they also have weaknesses. In my experience as a Redemptorist, we have not yet devised a viable follow up strategy for parishes that we work with. Perhaps a mission then, could be seen as a launching pad for a pastoral plan. In setting up small groups to work on the parish mission liturgies, a parish may then have an indication of how these groups could work on evangelising projects at local church level.

The initiative for evangelisation cannot be imposed by a remote group or committee. It needs to come out of a desire for renewal at a local level. I believe that parish missions are a vital part of this renewal, speaking as they do, to the people in the pew in a language that they can understand.

If you feel your parish would benefit from a Redemptorist parish mission, contact us

Fr. Kieran J. Brady CSsR

St Vincent de Paul Parish

Golden Jubilee of Church 1960-2010

 Redemptorist Parish Mission

18th September – 24th September 2010

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Building on the success of the inspirational Papal Visit to Scotland, Fr. Gerry Hill of St Vincent de Paul parish invited the Redemptorists to lead a Parish Mission in Thornliebank leading up to the feast of St. Vincent de Paul on Monday 27th September. This week of Renewal was also part of the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of the Church.

As well as an early morning Mass and a reflection given at a later Mass, there was a Mission service each evening covering a different aspect of faith and life. The people were especially touched by a service of Healing on Monday evening which proved a gentle reflective time for a packed church.

The family celebration of Wednesday attracted a large congregation of young and old. Both St Vincent’s and Our lady of the Missions Schools were also involved in this Mission event with masses being celebrated for both school communities. The excellent choir of Our Lady of the Missions sang part of their “St. Ninian Cantata” which they proudly performed at the Papal mass at belahouston park. Some of the families attending the event said it was a great boost to their faith coming on the back of the Pope’s Mass. Each family was blessed at the end of the night with the Blessed Sacrament, and reminded that we are all called to witness to a broken world through the grace of our Baptism.

mission_6The parish event has been lead by two Redemptorist Fathers. Fr Thomas MacCarte CSsR who is based in the Redemptorist Monastery, Retreat and Spirituality centre in Perth. Many parish groups can also spend a few reflective days retreat there. Fr. Kieran Brady CSsR is based in St. Patrick’s church on the Cowgate in Edinburgh, the home of the National Shrine of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair. In fact Fr Kieran began this Mission just after a National pilgrimage to the Shrine attracting people from all over the UK. 

A Mission is a special time of Renewal for the whole parish. St Vincent’s and associated schools certainly feel they have been given a spiritual boost by the occasion. Other parishes are also preparing for this celebration of faith, Fr Kieran said the Redemptorist team were now heading to St Quivox in Prestwick to organise an event in November.

If you would like information on parish missions or becoming a ‘friend of Margaret Sinclair’ contact Fr. Kieran Brady CSsR, St Patricks Church, South Grays Close, Edinburgh. If you would like to find out about the work of the Redemptorist retreat centre or to book a few quiet days, contact St Mary’s, Hatton Road, Perth.