Redemptorist Studendate on Tour!...
Over the seminary half term break the Redemptorist formation community, based in Clapham, took the opportunity to visit some of our historic Churches. We set off early to drive to Worcestershire to Blackmore Park and the Church of Our Lady and St Alphonsus. The Redemptorists were there for six years and in that short time had over 400 conversions! It must have been a truly blessed mission and entering the church it was immediately obvious that this was a Redemptorist house. The shrine of Our Lady, the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour and the chapel of St Alphonsus with its stained glass depicting his life made us feel at home. Fr Charles Corrigan C.Ss.R. said mass and in his homily reflected upon those Redemptorists whose ministry had changed the lives of so many people.
We had the privilege to join the family of Brother Royston Price C.Ss.R. for lunch and were treated to wonderful Welsh hospitality. It was a blessing to get to spend time with Royston's family: Fr Provincial spoke, in his homily at the first profession of Brothers Royston and Mike Taylor C.Ss.R., of the way in which the congregation welcomes the parents of the confreres as our extended family and it really did feel like an extended family.
We then continued on our journey to Hawkstone Hall where we would be staying and on arrival we were greeted by Brother Mike Duxbury C.Ss.R. and Fr Mike Hennessy C.Ss.R. who really looked after us throughout our stay. It was an opportunity for us to spend some quality time with our confreres and good food, good company and fellowship created a great atmosphere for the week.
The following day we once again set off for the valleys of Wales to visit Machynclleth where the Redemptorists were present for many years. Arriving at the church of St Mary we were greeted by a parishioner who remembered the Redemptorist Fathers.
At the 25th General Chapter of our Congregation Fr General had asked that on that day all Redemptorists should reflect upon Constitution 20:
"Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity and on fire with zeal, in
humility of heart and persevering in prayer, Redemptorists as apostolic men and
genuine disciples ofSt Alphonsus follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy;
denying themselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, they share
in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life and language
that they may bring to people plentiful redemption. "
Fr Charles Corrigan said mass for us in the church that had been the base for Redemptorists going out on mission as part of the LAMPS Society. After mass we visited the graves of four of our confreres in the nearby cemetery and prayed for them.
On the last full day we travelled to the historic city of Chester and were greeted there by Brother Charles Randall C.Ss.R. who was recently ordained a Deacon and to be ordained to the priesthood on the 8th December. We visited Chester Cathedral and after lunch headed back to Hawkstone for our last night.
We are all studying hard as we prepare for life as Redemptorists but it is always nice to lift our heads from the books and be reminded of the rich history of our Congregation in these Isles. We all felt inspired by the example of the mission at Blackmore Park and encouraged by the kind memories of those in Machynlleth. The opportunity to meet with confreres reminds us that we are part of a province community and the importance of praying for all those who have gone before us, those who help form us today and for vocations to come so that future generations can know the plentiful redemption of Christ the Redeemer!
Our Mother of Perpetual Succour
Pray for us.
St Alphonsus and all our Redemptorist Saints, Blessed and Martyrs.
Pray for us.
Brother Christopher Reynolds