Working alongside Redemptorists are lay people who have exhibited an extraordinary faithfulness, diligence and generosity in supporting the mission of the congregation. To Redemptorists, it feels like these close associates are part of us. Redemptorist provinces around the world may request the superior general in Rome to admit such close associates as oblates to the congregation.
As a boy I regularly served Mass at the monastery in North Perth. The monastery became a home away from home, though in those days a boy like myself was not allowed into the inner precincts.
How different things are now. After a life in the accounting department of the Western Australian Railways, I am in my ‘retirement’ at the monastery most days working among the community and in my office. It all came about after a fateful visit to the North Perth post office on Fitzgerald Street. It was 1985, and I ran into Fr Keith Teefey, the rector of the monastery, when he was posting some mail.
‘Len, he said, ‘what about giving me a hand? I’m going to be away on a long mission and I would like you to do the books for me while I’m away’. I did do the books while Fr Teefey was away on mission. I was doing them, too, when he came home.
Then Father said, ‘I have to go overseas. Len, would you continue doing the books while I am away?’ And I agreed to continue. The thing is, Father Teefey never came back to North Perth, for on his return to Australia he was appointed interstate. And so, over twenty years later I am still at the monastery.
I have enjoyed working with the Redemptorists and am proud of what I have been able to contribute, especially with regard to the Retreat House.
The rector at the monastery in 1999 was Fr. William Goldman. He it was who arranged for me to be made an Oblate of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.
(Len Waldock, Redemptorist Oblate.)