Redemptorists of Australia and New Zealand

Australia, New Zealand and Samoa

Province of Oceania

Bringing Good News to the World

Enjoyed mission

By Br Anthony Callen C.Ss.R.

After some years working in the clothing store of Matthew Talbot Hostel, in Newcastle, New South Wales, I worked at Charles O’Neill House (CONH), an inner city project of the St Vincent de Paul Society.

At CONH we provided a residence to a group of younger men whose capacity to manage ordinary life had disappeared or been severely diminished. A key part of our strategy was to re-educate them for independent living. It was a mission I really enjoyed.

Troy and his friend Troy (not his real name), a 25 year old man, came to us after an extended period on hard drugs. The first few weeks were tough on him but he adjusted. Troy was a gutsy person and he gave everything a go.

After a couple of months he told us he would like to work in a bank. We got a bank to take him on for two days a week as a volunteer. The bank then asked him to work for them on an employed basis, full time.

Troy has since moved into his own unit. He has a girlfriend. Sometime later his family sent us a beautiful letter of thanks for “bringing him back to the family”.

I have moved on from CONH, but having enjoyed the years there and the people who came to us, I gratefully retain the memories.

Because there are lots of Troys out there, my life as a Redemptorist brother has given me the opportunity to accompany some of them.