Collecting and Praying for Zimbabwe
Collecting and Praying for Zimbabwe...
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
Fr Tom Molloy a Hospital Chaplain...
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.
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.
Sharing God's forgiveness and Grace - Hearing Confessions in Lourdes
This article was written in 2007 since when Fr. Terry has received the title Honorary Chaplain to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.
I began this ministry about seven years ago. I had been going to Lourdes on pilgrimage for many years, latterly involved with HCPT - The pilgrimage trust, as director of the pilgrimage. In all my visits to Lourdes over the years, I had never been to confession in Lourdes (though I do go to confession regularly!).
I volunteered my services to the sanctuary and was accepted. The ministry involves about four weeks at a time, consisting of about six hours of confessions a day. If possible we also have a rest day. People don't talk about "miracles" very often in this day and age, but there are hundreds of miracles of God's grace and love daily in the reconciliation chapel in Lourdes.
My years of preaching parish missions had prepared me for hearing confessions, but a week in Lourdes is a bit like a year's confessions on a mission. The picture of Rembrandt's "prodigal son" is in the confessionals and is a marvelous starting point to help people experience the unbelievable love and forgiveness of God. The experience of hearing confessions in Lourdes is a truly humbling and uplifting experience, knowing that the Prodigal Father uses me to bring his peace and love into people's lives.
Terry Creech C.Ss.R.
St Gerard Family League
The St. Gerard Family League is an association of Christians united in prayer for their own and other families, to preserve Christian values in their home and family life. It is an extension of the Redemptorist family and its apostolate.
St. Gerard Majella born in Muro, Italy in 1726 was a Redemptorist brother.
During his lifetime and after his death in 1755, God was pleased to work miracles through his intercession. St. Gerard is the patron of mothers and young children and has become well known as a constant help and inspiration to parents.
Membership of the League is open to all and a monthly Mass is offered for all members and their intentions.
Serving the Poor in Spirit as a Prison Chaplain and a Redemptorist
Brother Michael Duxbury C.Ss.R.
As Redemptorists we are called to follow Christ our Redeemer in the spirit of St. Alphonsus, proclaiming the Good News to the most abandoned, especially the poor. I have tried to do this through the prison ministry which I have been involved in for 15 years.
As a chaplain within the prison establishment, I have an in-between role in the system, not exactly as one of the staff, but with a definite role. This lack of a tight role definition is actually a strength. Most staff members have closely regulated jobs to do, I have the freedom to make contacts on an unstructured basis, ready to respond to needs as they arise.
Significant conversations can ignite spontaneously in the oddest of places: the kitchen, waiting your turn at the 'hot water' tap. One characteristic of offenders, and often a reason for their personal difficulties, is their tendency to act on impulse. I would label as 'immediate people'. The 'loitering with intent' model of ministry is quite an appropriate one in my job.
The role of the chaplain is ultimately connected with being a member of the "Body of Christ", sharing the Good News with all who find themselves behind the prison walls. My task is to affirm belief where possible, and to encourage all whom I meet to accept a way of life which can enable them to live up to the fulness of their potential. This obviously involves a challenge for myself, as it requires that I challenge those around at times. After all Christ's message was that he had come "that you may have life and have it to the full." Jn 10:10
Traditionally chaplains have been involved in the total life of the prison with a number of daily tasks, these include visiting every newly received prisoner within twenty-four hours. Some prisoners may not want to be visited, others will be polite but will not want any follow up, but there are always those for whom God can be the answer.
It is with these encounters that the chaplain has the privilege of sharing the riches of the Gospel, often in the most pathetic of situations. I have often found that prisoners met on reception often respond later, perhaps when they have grown in confidence in their new surroundings, or conversely, when they find that they are not able to cope with their new found situations.
Every prisoner held in the segregation wing and those held in the health care centre (still known as the prison hospital) receive a visit from a member of the chaplaincy team on a daily basis. It is often in these situations that the chaplain becomes the only real friend a prisoner allows himself. Even the most violent of men will take the chaplain into his confidence. This does not happen overnight, but when you have been journeying together for some time.
Unfortunately I have often had the sad task of "welcoming" ex-prisoners back into our prison community and can recognise how their various tendencies have destroyed their personalities and health since our last meeting.
There are many times when you find yourself dealing with a prisoner who is mentally challenged or perhaps a person who has been judged to be criminally insane.
This work is particularly challenging and has been likened to working in the "gutter of life". In these situations, the Lord's message of "I am the way, the truth and the Life" can be powerfully grace filled and proclaimed.
In every prison there is a chapel and it is the right of every prisoner to be taken there to worship. The celebration of the Eucharist every week with my prison community is a time of openness and fidelity, even among prisoners who are attending mass after having been lapsed for many years.
Around the altar we are a community of men entering into the Eucharistic mystery whilst trying to embrace our brokenness and be in solidarity with one another.
It is at such times that I thank God for the privilege of of my apostolate.
PRAYER FOR PRISONERS
Lord, you offer freedom to all people,
we pray for all those who are in prison.
Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exists.
Support with your love,
prisoners, their families and friends, prison staff and all who care.
Heal those who have been wounded by the activities of others, especially the victims of crime.
Help us to forgive one another,
to act justly, love with all our hearts and walk humbly with
Christ in his strength and in his Spirit.
Now and every day, AMEN.
Middlesbrough - John Paul Centre
A little taste of the Middlesbrough community.