" Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart? "
St. Gerard Majella C.Ss.R
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What we do

 

Ministry

phoca_thumb_l_majellaWe honour our fellow religious of the past, our heritage and tradition, by continuing the gospel message of plentiful redemption for all. We do this through working directly with people searching for truth and love.

"His calling is a declaration of love. Your response is commitment, friendship, and love manifested in the gift of your own life."

Pope John Paul II - Valencia, November 1982.

In the UK we do this through pastoral ministry, in our preaching and sharing ministry, in inner city mission, in parish renewal through retreats and missions, in our life giving writing, in our dedication to study especially the ethical questions of our day, and the answers found in the good news of Jesus Christ. In the tradition of Alphonsus we are especially proud of our healing places; our international pastoral centres and places of renewal.


phoca_thumb_l_celeste3He longs to be known by you, to be loved by you, to be embraced by you. He is born in your flesh, to make himself like you. The infinite God has made himself a child, has made himself small and humble, so as to be loved and imitated by you. From love he is born in a stable and will die on a cross. Be silent, then, and wonder at such love.

Mother Marie Celeste Crostorosa O.Ss.R.

We believe that our unique identity is in the way we see things and in the different ways we reach out to people. There is no one path followed by all Redemptorists, but there is one goal:  To defend our joy in Jesus Christ and to bring to others ‘Plentiful Redemption’.

 

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 3: 'New Paths'

Those who know me often describe me as that 'crazy travelling youth minister' sponsored by Virgin Trains. Such is the frequency of my train travel from city to city to work for Redemptorist Youth Ministry, I am renowned for making a good old journey.

Lent is also a truly epic season of 'journey' - a time where we aim to move that little bit closer towards God.

We try to do this through a renewed focus on the three pillars of Lenten observance - Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.

But of course this isn't always easy; it's a difficult journey with many struggles, doubts and anxieties. Stones often bar my path and there are times I fall (so that famous hymn once told us).

All of us are accustomed to making journeys in our lives. We journey to work or school; we journey with our family and friends through their highs and lows; and we journey with ourselves - trying to figure out who we are and our purpose in life.

But how often do we end up making the same old journey in our lives? How often do we walk the same paths which seem safe and familiar? How often do we make the same mistakes or fall into the same habits of sin? How often do we ignore new opportunities to look at things differently?

Yesterday morning in London before I started work I decided to take an early morning stroll along the River Thames from Westminster to London Bridge.

Now usually I always stick to walking the South Bank of the river - a path I know like the back of my hand. It's familiar to me and I don't get lost. I know the sights to expect and the views to marvel at. It's all rather safe, tried and tested.

But yesterday was different - I chose to walk a different path - to journey along the North Bank of the River. Whilst my starting point and destination were the same, the journey was completely new and different.

I walked paths I'd never taken, encountered places I'd never seen and observed familiar landmarks with fresh eyes.

Taking the different path was liberating and rather exciting. All it took was a desire to explore and to take a leap of faith to experience something new.

So it can be similar with our faith journey. How often do we fail to take advantage of looking at our relationship with God with fresh eyes and a new heart?

Perhaps if we do one thing during Lent - let us commit to seeking the Lord more and more by being open to new ways of encountering Him and journeying towards Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the Father in new and unexpected ways.

Take that leap of faith. The journey can be an exciting one - if we walk some new paths!

Paul Murphy

 Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry

RYM Daily Lenten Moments

Day 2: 'Let Go and Let God'

Well Ash Wednesday has come and gone for yet another year. We have all been to Mass, received our ashes, and have fasted. Our Lenten season has well and truly begun.

For those of you who haven't given up social media for Lent - you will have been aware yesterday that it was awash with talk, photos, videos and articles on Ash Wednesday.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other form of technological wizardry showed people proudly displaying pictures of the ashes they had received - many with clearly marked and visible crosses on their foreheads.

Just before I dozed off to sleep last night I decided to stop for a few moments. I just stopped and stared at my own ashes in the mirror. I had just received them earlier in the evening at Mass in the beautiful Maria Assumpta Chapel at Heythrop College in London.

The more I stared at my ashes - the more I couldn't stop thinking about the symbol which was emblazoned on my fair Scottish skin. The symbol of the cross!

The cross is a powerful symbol of our faith. Indeed many of us wear crosses around our neck as a visible sign of our faith in Jesus Christ - who suffered and died for us on the cross and who rose again that we might live.

We all have crosses to bear in our own lives - some that are bearable; and others which can often seem overwhelming and at times too heavy to carry on our own.

So isn't it truly wonderful that we don't have to carry these crosses on our own!

Jesus is with us every step of the way. He walks with us through our darkest night and brightest day. All we have to do is call on Him, trust in Him and follow Him.

As we enter more fully into this beautiful season of Lent, let us renounce our old ways and our habits of sin, pick up our cross daily and follow Him. Quite simply let us 'let go and let God!'

Paul Murphy

 Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry

RYM Daily Lenten Moments:

Day 1: Ash Wednesday

Here we are again. Can you believe it? Lent 2016 begins today and it feels like it has arrived very early this year. It doesn't seem so long ago since we were feasting with turkey and the trimmings, over-indulging in Christmas parties with family & friends, and celebrating the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ.

But here we are - it's Ash Wednesday - and it's a day where we reflect on where we have come from, where we are just now and where we are going.

As I get older Lent somehow feels different. It's no longer a time of just giving up those cakes and sweets or raising money for charity - often with a glum face, desperately counting down the days until I could taste chocolate again. No - it definitely seems different!

Lent increasingly now feels like a time of sheer grace. It feels like a time of real joy. A time to draw closer to Christ - through prayer. A time to give witness - through almsgiving. A time to exercise self-control - through fasting.

It's also a time for us to simply BE OURSELF. To be our true self. To be the best version of ourself. To live our lives with love, mercy and hope. It's a time to reject our false self and turn away from sin and turn back to God.

St Irenaeus once said that 'The Glory of God is us fully alive.'

Let us remember these words today as we begin our Lenten journey together! Let us remember that God wants us to be who He created us to be. He doesn't want us to pretend to be something we aren't. He just wants us to be the best we can be!

God simply wants YOU this Lent! Just the way you are!

Happy Lent everyone!

Paul Murphy

Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry

A friend who attended the group in Liverpool recommended I attended the group in Birmingham as I lived close-by, so I thought I would see what it was like.  Having only lived in the area for a few years, I did not know many people in Catholic circles.  I attended mass, but I only knew a few people in my parish.  All the people I knew through church and going to Lourdes were from the Archdiocese where I grew up in Liverpool.  It was due to this I wanted to extend my network and spend some reflective prayer time with fellow Catholics in the area.

It was May 2014 and I was in the middle of completing my clinical psychology doctorate.  Although very enjoyable, it was also stressful and I felt I needed more quiet prayer time.  I was hoping the Redemptorist group may be able to provide this.  On my way to the first session, I had many thoughts fluctuating in my head; ‘what will it be like?’ ‘What will people be like’?  ‘Will I enjoy it?’  I need not have worried, immediately the group made me feel very welcome.  I had met Paul previously (who runs the group) in Liverpool, through our mutual friend, Pat, who attends the Liverpool group, so felt some familiarity.  The rest of the group were equally friendly and I did not feel judged in any way.

 

Paul leads the sessions really well, but equally gives us space to say what we want to say.  I really enjoy exploring topics which I had somewhat forgotten about.  Having a focus for each session helpsraise my awareness of important elements. For example, we focused on the Holy Spirit one week, which I had not thought about for a long time.  We touched upon using the sign of the cross and thinking about what the Holy Spirit means to us and that the sign of the cross is a prayer in itself.  Short video discussions have been helpful to aid our discussion and reflections in many areas.

Another aspect I have enjoyed has been silent/quiet prayer time.  Leading a busy life, I don’t always give myself the opportunity to do this and this has been a nice space to be able to do this.  We also get the chance to say prayers aloud and share this with the group, which feels a supportive element, that we are not alone.

Gathering socially after the group session has been another nice space to develop friendships and to eat some nice food!  This feels an important part of the evening and I always enjoy the evening as a whole and go home with a smile on my face.

The option of retreats and other activities provided locally and nationally are another great aspect of the group as previously I did not know all of this was occurring.  It showed that not only was there a group locally, but we could congregate with others further afield.  Lots for us to engage in and further develop and strengthen our faith.

It is also nice to hear visiting priests discuss the Redemptorist faith and what that stands for and we recently had Fr Maurice give an interesting talk about Redemptorist Spirituality.  This culminated in a shared supper at the end of the evening with everyone coming together; a sense of feeling belonged, my Catholic family in the area. Long may this continue.

 Damian Wilde

When I first heard about the RYM Young Adult Group at Bishop Eton I was a little apprehensive. Unfortunately friends of mine had been to Young Catholic Adult groups and had been disappointed. They usually fell into one of two categories: too spiritless and nothing ‘Catholic’ about them, or rigid and unaccommodating to anyone who doesn’t share the same views as the leader of the group!

I didn’t know what to expect, whether everyone would have the same outlook and approach to religion that I had, and whether the style of worship and activities would be what I’d have chosen. I decided to leave my prejudices at the door and a year and a half later, I’m so glad I did. The group was not what I expected, and not how I would have done things – it was so much better! When I opened my mind to the possibility that this might just be a group of normal people doing something a bit different to what young people might normally do, I found a new spiritual home among a new group of fellow Catholics whom I am now proud to call my friends.

What is most wonderful about this group is the balance between prayer and social activities. There is a clear separation of the two, and we all seem to gel together in both sets of activities equally. We come together to pray – that is our primary aim – and to learn about our faith through music, scripture, talks and each others’ experiences. After about two hours in the church, church hall, or wherever we choose to conduct the spiritual side of the group, we move on to the social side – for a walk, sports, bowling, pub, pub quiz, a meal, etc. There is always a buzz of excitement because this is where our second aim of the evening is fulfilled – to make and maintain lasting friendships.

        

It is so wonderful to find a group of people who share your faith. Religion isn’t exactly in fashion these days but everyone comes to the group with such honesty, humility and a thirst and passion to open up to God that there is no awkwardness and no apologies. We worship together with such fervour that it sustains us for the fortnight ahead. And yet it is still gentle – Paul’s gentle approach leaves space for silence, for reflection, for time to just be present.   

        

The social element to the group is always fun. As tempting as it would be to just call it a night at 9:30 on a Tuesday evening after the prayer session, we’re all ready to go because we know it’ll always be a night to remember.

        

One of the highlights of this year was a weekend retreat to the beautiful Redemptorist retreat centre, Hawkestone Hall. I was fortunate to spend the weekend with 12 other members of the group, sharing meals, attending Mass, taking part in sessions exploring scripture, a really beautiful and profound healing service, and of course our usual late-night socialising! Before I probably would have considered myself a spiritual introvert, and probably would never have chosen to go on a group retreat, but this was an amazing experience which brought us all closer to God and closer together.

        

Overall I am immensely happy that I found this group, and proud of all that Paul has achieved during his short time here in Liverpool. Countless groups like this have been started and lost their appeal, but this group has gone from strength to strength, on some weeks attracting forty members! It has maintained many of the original members too, and we’re all starting to worry about where we’re going to go when we’re too old for the group! If you’ve heard about the group but haven’t yet joined us, then give it a go, you won’t be disappointed. There’s nothing to lose, and a lot to gain!

Natasha Pritchard

Paul was speaking on the fourth aim of Youth Ministry. 

 

"Prophetic witness of Christ, calling the world and the Church to a renewal of faith, hope and love"

 

paul murphyHe was a little concerned that he had gone overboard with slides. If he was nervous about speaking.

 

He decided to focus on the word witness. Paul's presentation was suddenly interrupted with music though initially most people thought it was meant to be part of the presentation as it fitted right in.

 

Paul spoke on what he believed Pope Francis wanted to say to us and what Pope Francis would want for us.

 

  • Are we living life to the full?
  • Are we truly using our gifts?
  • Are we living life in the middle lane?
  • Are we prepared to use everything for the greater glory of God.?

 

Paul spoke how a prayer by Cardinal Newman's had become meaningful to him :

 

 

God has created me to do Him some definite service.

He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.

I have my mission.

I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.

I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.

He has not created me for naught. I shall do good;

I shall do His work.

I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place,

while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.

Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away.

If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him.

If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain.

He knows what He is about.

He may take away my friends.

He may throw me among strangers.

He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me.

Still, He knows what He is about.

 

God wants us to serve the poor. We are capable of great things for God.

 

Paul also quoted Pope Francis from World Youth Day in Rio. 

 

IMG 1974He then quoted a statistic he had learnt at the Northern Catholic Conference.  92% of the world had heard of Coca Cola but only 52 or 53% have heard of Jesus Christ.  He then explored why that was and said it is our job to spread the joy of our faith. 

 

Recalling that it was the eve of the feast of Corpus Christi he said We are not alone we are a team together one body in Christ.

 

We have to help people in need, reach out to those in pain, welcome new people when we see them.

 

Paul explained how confronting bigotry in his own life has helped his faith to grow. 

We have to be open to the Holy Spirit. 

 

With Jesus' help we can all make a difference.

 

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace

 

                                                                                                         1  Peter 4:10

 

We need Jesus but Jesus needs us as Pope Francis tells us

The Lord needs you, young people, for his Church

My friends, the Lord needs you!

 

                                                                      Pope Francis, 2013, World Youth Day Vigil

 

He finished with asking all to join in a short prayer.

 

To listen to the whole of Paul's speech watch the video below. Apologies for the delay of about 7 seconds before the video starts.

 

 

" Okay, I’ll admit, it was the Matt Damon grin that got me. However, that wasn’t his purpose when, early this year, Paul Murphy took to the Bishop Eton pulpit to announce the new youth ministry he was opening to young adults in the parish.

 

For all the novelty that an unfamiliar face in the pulpit might possess, that person also has to convince the congregation they are worth listening to. In sporting parlance, they need to win the crowd over. Paul did that. And he achieved it not just by flashing a smile redolent of a certain film star.

 

 If the initial response was positive, Paul has since managed to hold, and then build on, an encouraging level of interest. Between March and July, more than 50 young adults participated, at one point or other, in the group’s twice-monthly meetings, normally held on a Tuesday evening.

 

The core focus of the meetings has been prayer and spiritual reflection. Any attending social activity is a pleasing corollary to the main event. There is a sincerity of purpose; the sole gimmick is guest speakers.

It is not only the uptake that is uplifting. What immediately appealed to me about Paul’s mission in Bishop Eton, St Mary’s and beyond was its underdog aspect: here was somebody willing to stand up and be counted. Thankfully his initial message fell on sympathetic as well as maybe sceptical ears – and it is to his credit that Paul has since taken other young Catholics with him in making similar acts of faith."

 

(Patrick, Young Adult Group)

 " As soon as I heard that this group had formed I felt relieved and excited that something had finally arrived for young adults. It feels like such a big need. I have been going to Mass since my students days at the University Catholic Chaplaincy and although I am not a student anymore I have felt nourished in sharing my faith with other young people. There are a growing number of young adults, who have now graduated and still go to mass there as many of us share this desire to stay connected to other young people of faith.

 

The young adults group at Bishop Eton has provided a 'step into the gap' where young people from all walks of life are united in prayer. I feel it has been an exciting program so far due to the tremendous efforts of Paul and the ongoing commitment and enthusiasm of the group members. I feel relieved and excited to be part of this and so far the meetings have helped me feel more connected to other young adults with similar mind sets. The content of the prayer and discussions seek to include everyone and appear to be pitched perfectly to enable deeper discussion as well as structure. There have been automatic friendships that have formed which to me show the depth and life of the group as it stands. I have been amazed to see the numbers grow and grow, and feel this is due to the contagious nature of young adults sharing in faith and truth. I am aware there are others still being attracted to attend. This feels like a dramatic step in the right direction for the church and I look forward to seeing the fruits of what will grow in the next Academic year. Well done Paul."

 

Lizzie

 

Collecting and Praying for Zimbabwe...

jimmysmalezim2

 

This is the smiling face of one of our confreres, Fr James Smale C.Ss.R., who preaches and gives appeals to help our mission in Zimbabwe as part of his ministry.

 

Fr. Jimmy travels around the country, visiting parishes, telling them about the work of our men in Zimbabwe. He has raised tens of thousands of pounds for the mission in Zimbabwe, and he can assure the people in their parishes that every penny will go directly to Africa.

 

The internet is a wonderful place for Fr. Jimmy to say a huge "THANK YOU" to all who have given so generously in the past.

 

It also gives the Redemptorist Province a chance to say another huge "THANK YOU" this time to Fr. Jimmy for his commitment and dedication to this work and the confreres in Zimbabwe.

Fr Tom Molloy a Hospital Chaplain...

tommolloy

Fr Tom Molloy holding the oil of the Sick and his prayer book.

A short account of my work as a chaplain at the Western and Victoria Hospitals in Edinburgh.

"I have now almost completed seven years as Chaplain to both hospitals. This means that I am on call  sixty hours a week, beginning on Sunday 9.a.m till 9p.m  and this runs through to Thursday. I have Friday and Saturday  off duty  which gives me an opportunity to visit my community in St. Mary's monastery in Perth, or St. Patrick's parish in Edinburgh.
 
The priests in the deanery look after the night calls and because I am able to spend  ten to fifteen hours visiting the wards and attending to the sick each week, very few night calls are made.
 
I offer to cover the night calls now and again and if I get a call, a taxi comes to my place in Currie and brings me back home.
One problem we chaplains have is finding out who is who in hospital, this is the direct result of data protection.
Chaplains are not regarded as fully professional members  of staff  and so we have some difficulty in gaining access. However, I have good relationships  with many of the staff who come to my rescue.
 
Despite the difficulties, I have managed to administer the sacraments to some 8000 people in the last seven years."
 
 
_________________    
 
Fr Tom Molloy is a man of incredible energy.
Throughout his priesthood he has been involved in many projects
- that have seen him in Africa, and New Zealand!
Perhaps he will write something of these adventures for us!

International Spirituality and Renewal Centres

“Healing Places – the Redemptorists unique contribution to The Church in Britain”

St. Mary’s Kinnoull & Hawkstone Hall are our Retreat Centres. Click on the links to see the associated web-sites.

phoca_thumb_l_jim_mcmanusFather Jim McManus CSsR. works in our international Spirituality centre in Kinnoull, Perth, Scotland; this is how he describes our task:

"In our renewal centre we offer guests the opportunity to define themselves for themselves. Then we help them to reach the decision to live up to their own definition of themselves. We all run the risk of trying to live up to somebody else’s definition of us and thereby never discover our true selves.

The Vatican Council said that “we can only discover our true selves in sincere self-giving” (Church in Modern World 24)) To make this discovery we often need a lot of inner healing, interior discipline, personal growth and time with the Lord in prayer and silence.  The gospel word for this is Conversion. In our centres we accompany people on their journey of self-discovery through the experience of conversion."


phoca_thumb_l_hawkstonecameliaListen to what others say of our ministry at Hawkstone Hall:

"Hawkstone is a place of astonishing loveliness and grace. From a frenetic city theatre in China I moved to an English house and landscape that were crafted to calm you: at Hawkstone you learn to walk slowly, noticing God's grandeur. For me the highlights of the course were the lectures on the Gospels and the Hawkstone pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which re-introduced me to Jesus of Nazareth. For that I will be forever grateful."

Sister Clara Liu Qiao, an eye surgeon from China

 

"The course changed the direction of our married lives. We both decided to become lay missionaries, and we now work in Goa for AIDS patients"
Karl & Josephine - Singapore 

phoca_thumb_l_manprayers

"The course was excellent because it helped me to face my demanding ministry as a diocesan priest in a new and confident way. The lecturing and the preaching were simply the best I have heard anywhere... After three months I feel renewed physically, spiritually, and psychologically. Truthfully I have rediscovered myself in a wholly affirming way."

Fr Cain Mkhwebane, a parish priest from South Africa