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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Monthly Archives: November 2010
Wednesday

The Redemptorists recently presented New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan with two icons of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Known for his Marian devotion, the archbishop said the larger framed icon would be displayed in his residence, while the smaller one, painted by Polish Redemptorists, would be placed in the sacristy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The Redemptorists maintain several parishes and residences in the archdiocese including Most Holy Redeemer in Manhattan and Immaculate Conception in the Bronx.

Wednesday

This time of year, there is so much to think about. We’re always on the go, trying to finish our to-do list before December 25. The shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the traveling, the entertaining.

What would happen if we just stopped? For a few moments, just stood still. Paused to remember the real reason for the lights and the parties and the decorations. Are we preparing our hearts as diligently as our houses for the Christmas feast?

During the Advent season, we invite you to join us on a journey through the daily Scriptures. Beginning November 28, on the First Sunday of Advent, we’ll be "tweeting" a daily quote from the day’s readings. Not following us on Twitter? You can find us @redemptorists. The daily quote will be delivered right to your Twitter feed.

Prefer to keep up with us on Facebook? We’ll share each day’s quote there, too.

Not even sure what Twitter or Facebook are? Not to worry. Each day’s quote will also be posted on our homepage.

These are short quotes. To tweet them they have to be 140 characters or less! But they’re just long enough to sit with for a few moments in our busy day, to help us prepare our hearts for the real Christmas celebration.

So come along. Pray with us through this Advent season and let the boundless love of Our Redeemer, who became one of us out of love, fill your heart this Christmas.

Thursday

More than 250 people from a variety of ethnic and faith backgrounds gathered November 11 at the Shrine of St. John Neumann at St. Peter’s Church in Philadelphia for a prayer service for immigrants. Gathered around the earthly remains of the patron saint of immigrants, participants prayed for all those who have come to the U.S. in search of better opportunities, especially those who are unjustly treated.

“It was basically a time to learn about St. John Neumann, the immigrant’s bishop, to listen to God’s Word and to hear testimonies from immigrants — documented and undocumented,” said Redemptorist Father John Olenick, associate pastor of Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, and one of the evening’s organizers.

The prayer service drew people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds including Hispanic, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Filipino. Testimonies were offered in English and Spanish, including one from Rabbi Linda Holtzman. The rosary was prayed in Vietnamese as participants placed lit candles at the tomb of St. John Neumann. Father Olenick said all in attendance were invited to take a fortune cookie home with them at the end of the evening as a symbol of the many vibrant immigrant communities within Philadelphia.

Other local organizers included Bethany Welch of the Providence Center, Medical Missionary Sr. Barbara Brigham, and Peter Pedemonti, co-director of the non-profit immigration rights advocacy organization New Sanctuary Movement.

Similar prayer services are being planned for 2011 when the Redemptorists celebrate the 200th birthday of St. John Neumann — a Redemptorist, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia, and the first male American saint.

The Redemptorists were founded in 1732 with a special mission to serve the poor and most spiritually abandoned. They came to the United States in 1832 to serve the needs of the flourishing Irish and German immigrant communities along the East Coast. Today, Redemptorists in the Baltimore Province continue that tradition of service to the poor and abandoned, serving immigrant communities in several parishes in Brooklyn, NY, the Bronx, NY, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

Thursday

The Grouard-McLennan regional mission, preached by more than 20 Redemptorists and lay associates, wrapped up November 17. By all accounts, this was a grace-filled time for participants and preachers. Here are a few final thoughts from our missionaries:

Late last week, the Redemptorists wrapped up the mission in Grande Prairie, which drew as many as 800 to 900 people per night to St. Joseph’s Church, the only Catholic church in the city. Fr. Frank Jones said the tri-lingual (English, French and Spanish) mission was “a real success.” He writes:

There are seven Catholic schools attached to the parish and every one of them was visited by the mission preachers. I, myself, visited the high school and gave an 80-minute presentation four separate times to the young people there. I think when I was finished I had preached and talked with all 835 kids in the school.

Confessions were held Monday night at the church with 12 priests available. We heard confessions for two hours that night, and then myself and another Redemptorist heard confessions again Tuesday night for another two hours. It really has been an extraordinary experience.

The heart of McLennan.

This week, the mission moved to McLennan, the seat of the archdiocese, which encompasses the more rural areas of the territory. Mission services took place in the cathedral there, and Archbishop Gerard Pettipas, himself a Redemptorist, hosted the missionaries.

Fr. Patrick Woods has spent the mission preaching with Fr. David Louch of the Edmonton-Toronto Province. Fr. Woods writes about his experience in McLennan:

It is a very small town. The good news is that there is a pizza shop, but the bad news is that there is no New York Post in town! There was a time when it was thought, because of the railroad, that this area would be booming, but it has not happened. We’ve been visiting schools and a nursing home, and have had a good response to the mission here.
 
Archbishop Pettipas has been with us for the first three days of the mission. He is a most gracious man; several times he cooked meals for us. It is a missionary diocese and he often has to make many long car rides. I loved to think about connections. Gerry and I first met at North East (our former high school seminary in Pennsylvania) many years ago at a formation meeting. Little did either of us ever imagine that I would someday be preaching a mission in his Archdiocese many years later.

God always surprises us.

More From the Missions:

Sowing the Seed of the Word (11/8/10)
Following in Alphonsus’ footsteps (11/9/10)
Week 1 wraps up as the mission moves to McLennan (11/12/10)

 

Students in McLennan.
Archbishop Gerard Pettipas.
Monday

Fr. Theodore "Ted" Heyburn died November 12 at the St. John Neumann Residence at Stella Maris in Timonium, MD, at the age of 77.

Fr. Heyburn was born March 11, 1933, in Brooklyn, NY. He professed vows as a Redemptorist August 2, 1955, and was ordained to the priesthood June 19, 1960. Much of his ministry was in parishes in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, including St. Mary’s in Annapolis, MD, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Edgewater, MD.

Viewing will be held Friday, November 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 109 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis, MD. A wake service will be held at 7:30 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, November 20 at St. Mary’s at 9:30 a.m. Burial will follow in the Redemptorist cemetery.

Please join us in praying for the repose of the soul of Fr. Heyburn, as well as for the comfort of his family, friends, and fellow Redemptorists who mourn his loss.