Provincial's Letter April 2017...
2nd April, 2017
Dear Confreres and freinds,
It is difficult to believe that the month of March has passed so quickly, and that next Sunday will be Palm Sunday.
Then we will begin the final days of the drama of the life of Jesus, experiencing the ups and downs of the final week of his life, hopefully not as spectators but as participants in a real-life event which continues to be lived out in our contemporary world. Denis McBride's Stations of the Cross which I recommended at the beginning of Lent, focuses on this theme of the on-going and lived passion of Jesus in today's society. And we are all aware of how absolutely central the Passion of Christ was to the spiritually of St. Alphonsus and how important to our Redemptorist charism.
Tomorrow I will go to London to attend an RPTC meeting in Clapham, and then on Wednesday I go to Rome to participate in a meeting of the Preparatory Commission for Phase Three of the General Chapter. As you may recall, the Third Phase of the Chapter is held in each Conference. The Conference of Europe has chosen Kinnoull as its venue, and so the capitulars and vocals, together with the Superior General and our lay partners, will meet in the Monastery from 3rd to the 9th September.
Next weekend I will be in Liverpool as we celebrate the Requiem Mass of Sister Bernadette, O.Ss.R. at Bishop Eton - on Monday at 11.15. I have already expressed my gratitude to all who supported Sister over the years.
On Tuesday of Holy Week I travel to Birmingham to visit Fr. Gabriel Maguire who continues to make good progress, and to have a brief time with the other members of the community. Maurice O'Mahony is now in residence there and working as a spiritual director at Oscott College.
In this coming week there will also be interviews for the important post of Director of the Ace of Clubs. Again I thank David Logan for his dedicated service of the homeless, and his kind cooperation with the Redemptorists over the years. We pray that we will be able to select a suitable successor for this post.
Several missions (I am tempted to say many missions) have been preached during Lent from Kinnoull and from Birmingham. This week Frs. Jim MacManus and Peter Morris are leading a mission in Sheffield; and today a mission is concluding in Mabvuku. Please continue to keep all the apostolic work in your prayers.
At last I am offering some good news about the sale of Hawkstone Hall. On the Feast of St. Joseph (20th this year!) contracts were signed for the transaction, although completion will not be until 26th May. When this is done, we shall then proceed to market the two cottages. I thank all who have been involved in this process, and again express our gratitude to Fr. Michael and Brother Michael who have completed twelve months of living there.
Please remember in your prayers, Fr. Isaac Davis who is due to have a goitre operation, and also Fr. Gideon Sidinga who was involved in a car accident but who is recovering. Fr. Dominic Kofi has returned from his ordination and First Mass celebrations in Ghana. The ORC of Zimbabwe has made some community changes recently, and these will be shared with you at some stage.
The Province was happy to welcome the Provincial Superior of the Province of Rome, Fr. Giovanni Congiu, who was visiting one of their Students - Brother Massimiliano Mura - who is spending his pastoral year in our formation community in Clapham. Over the summer we look forward to hosting some students from the Province of Warsaw, and later in the year from the Vice Province of Michalovce.
Birthdays: Frs E. Gweme 6th, D. O'Toole 6th, F. Dickinson 10th, B. Manyenga 19th,R. Mupandasekwa 28th, T. MacCarte 29th, K. Macharaga 29th.
With all good wishes for Easter joy. May the wish of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium be made real in all our lives:
"I invite everyone, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, to at least openness to letting him encounter them. I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that the invitation is not meant for him or her, since 'no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord"'. (Ev. Ga. 3)
In Christ the Redeemer,
Ronald J. McAinsh, C.Ss.R.