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One thing that humans know about themselves is that they respond well to periodic (for example annual) practices that have merit in themselves, have practical and symbolic benefits for those who practice them, and have similar benefits for the world at large. Examples would include more real prayer, fasting, abstinence, and a deeper awareness of others that engenders appropriate responses – visiting the sick, protecting outcasts. But it remains true that today, on the broad plains of Western culture, the old Lenten practices don’t seem to have quite the same bite they used to.
“Tensions and differences should be expected among thinking Catholics” says Redemptorist bishop Kevin Dowling. In a recent piece published in the January 11, 2010, issue of the National Catholic Reporter. Bishop Dowling of the diocese of Rustenburg, South Africa, explores the place of prophetic leadership in the Church.
Fr. Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R. was elected the Redemptorist Superior General on November 4, 2009. He is a Canadian from the province of Edmonton-Toronto.
On November 15, 2009 Fr. Brehl wrote to the members of the Congregation and its co-workers on mission. The main tenure of his letter was to notify everyone of the main directions and outcomes from the General Chapter which met in Rome, October-November, 2009, and which elected Fr. Brehl. Kindly click below for full letter.
Whatever a person’s calling in life, inevitably there are moments that ask of them courage and perseverance. How many married people have had a moment when they felt like walking out and closing the door? How many parents raising demanding teenagers have felt unappreciated, a failure, and alone?
Missionaries have moments like that too. Sisters, priests and brothers sometimes feel on the outside, cut off from the people whom they serve. At some time most will feel alone or unappreciated. I know this because I too have felt it, at least sometimes.
June 5 is World Environment Day. For 37 years the United Nations has invited people to stop on this day, take account of the environment, and make a decision to support it.
An awareness of the environment is at the heart of the Judeo-Christian faith tradition. True, there have been times when Jews and Christians did not fully appreciate this part of their faith. It is also true that in the name of their faith they sometimes abused the environment. Today is a new day. People of faith know it. The world knows it.
March 4 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of John Paul II’s first Encyclical in 1979.
John Paul II’s First Encyclical - 30 Years On
By Anthony Kelly, C.Ss.R. STD,
When “The Redeemer of Man” (hereafter, RM) appeared thirty years ago, Redemptorists, as their name would imply, could not but be interested in its message. As we see now, looking back after these three decades, this first encyclical was to a large degree a first run at many of the themes that John Paul II would constantly visit during his long pontificate. As with so many of his encyclicals, there was something here for everyone: a piercing criticism of contemporary culture, an emphasis on human rights, a recognition of ecological responsibility, the imperatives of ecumenism, evangelisation, and much else.
Edmond Nixon, C.Ss.R
If one grew up on the Canterbury Plains under the eye of the Southern Alps, or by the rolling green hills of the North Island, and knew its bays and primal energies, I’m sure in some quiet place of the heart, there would be a likely hope that one’s final resting place would be under the soft light of the Long White Cloud.
Peter Robb. CSsR
In 1973 I had a severe attack of Typhoid Fever, was hospitalised in San Juan de Dios hospital, 15 minutes down the road from Baclaran. Quarantine was rigid. However, a Philippine Bishop, a good friend, visited me, clad in special garb, with a nurse, likewise clad, and spraying their solemn entrance. He told me about 150 families resettled in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains.
Paul Pang, C.Ss.R.
The Book of Numbers, tells us about a group of spies Moses sent to explore Canaan, the land God promised he would give to the people of Israel. They came back with glowing reports of a bountiful land flowing with milk and honey. But they were fearful of the people who occupied the land. They were powerful giants and the Israelites seemed like grasshoppers compared to them.
John Martin, C.Ss.R.
I was driving in the Outback, in South Australia. As I drove along I was listening to a program on the radio about links between remote towns. I began to notice some of the links on the landscape around me. I pulled over, took out my camera and took a photo. There before me was a scene of a vast expanse of saltbush country AND links!