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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: February 2011
Wednesday

A big thank you to all the students who entered our Neumann Year Essay Contest! We have been overwhelmed by the response — more than 2,000 entries from across the country!

Winners in each category — 6-8 grade and 9-12 grade — will be announced later this spring.

Thank you to all who participated. Your hard work and scholarship have already shown how St. John Neumann’s legacy of Catholic education continues to make a difference in the world.

God bless you and St. John Neumann, pray for us!

Monday

“You can’t always get what you want,
And if you try, sometimes you find,
You get what you need.”
(Mick Jagger and Keith Richards)

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are not exactly fonts of spirituality, but in these lyrics they have a point.

No one gets what we want. We don’t get the Church we want. We don’t get the family we want. And for us Redemptorists, we don’t get the Redemptorist Congregation or Province we want.

I had the privilege to be elected (by default because I was the only student not attending school) to the Baltimore Province’s Chapter, held last month at our retreat house in New Jersey. It was an amazing experience to witness and participate in the Province’s governing process.

Some discussions were heated with emotion and passion, and sometimes feelings were hurt. Yet, we would still celebrate Mass together and eat our meals together. In the end, some of the results of the Chapter disappointed us. Some of us who submitted legislative items had those items voted down. None of us, I expect, got exactly what we wanted, and yet we have what we have.

And the Holy Spirit is with us in what we have — since we don’t always get what we want. Like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards said: “And if you try, sometimes you find, you get what you need.”

Every day, we Redemptorists bring the Gospel to many people. We set out on our mission with certain expectations, and sometimes those expectations aren’t met. But we always get what we need because the Holy Spirit is in charge.

I enjoyed my experience at the Chapter and I witnessed the Holy Spirit at work. Even if we didn’t get what we wanted, the Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province will continue spread the Gospel to all creation!

Until next time,

Deacon Jim

Deacon Jim McCabe is a Redemptorist preparing for ordination this summer. He is stationed at St. Martin of Tours Parish in Bethpage, NY. He will be writing a monthly blog about his ministry experiences.

Previous blog entries:
Keeping it real (January 11, 2011)

Monday

The ancient icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is among the most recognized images of Mary in the world. Generations of Catholics grew up attending weekly perpetual novenas that attracted standing-room only crowds.

This golden image of Our Lady has spread worldwide on prayer cards, medals, in colorful framed prints, on booklets, bumper stickers and pocket calendars.

Now, this inspiring image and this time-honored method of prayer are just a tap away for iPhone and iPad users. The OLPH Novena app invites the user to pray with the icon for nine days. Each day’s prayer, written specifically for the app by Redemptorist Father John Hamrogue, is both a meditation on the icon and a call to personal conversion. Prayers can be shared via email and Facebook. The app is available from the iTunes App Store for $0.99.

“For the first time ever, it will be possible to pray a novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help on iPhones and iPads,” said Father Daniel Francis, director of the Redemptorist Office for Mission Advancement, which produced the app. “Our hope is that it will turn viewers into pray-ers, and curious Catholics into devotees of Mary.”

Father Francis continues: “Wherever we go, preaching the Good News of God’s bountiful love, Redemptorists also introduce people to Our Mother of Perpetual Help and share with them our confidence in her prayers. We have brought her with us on our missions around the world, and now we are bringing her on our missions in the digital world.”

The original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, which hangs above the main altar in the Redemptorists’ San Alfonso Church in Rome, dates from at least the 14th century. According to legend it was stolen from a church in Crete where it had a reputation for being miraculous. The icon was eventually displayed in a church run by the Augustinians, but it fell into obscurity in the late 18th century. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that a young Redemptorist who had grown up with the Augustinians remembered the icon and encouraged the Redemptorists to display it in their new church, which was built on the site of the icon’s original home.

In 1866, Pope Pius IX entrusted the icon to the Redemptorists and commissioned them to “make her known.”

Sunday

In a statement released January 18, the Redemptorists announced that they were no longer able to maintain the aging historic buildings of St. Michael’s/St. Patrick’s Parish in East Baltimore.

In consultation with the Archdiocese of Baltimore, they developed a plan to close St. Michael’s and create a bi-cultural parish at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Highlandtown, which is also cared for by the Redemptorists. This new bi-cultural parish would allow the Redemptorists to continue and to expand their ministry to the Catholic community in East Baltimore, especially the Hispanic community.

Complete details of that plan were shared with the affected communities the weekend of February 5-6 in a joint letter from Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien and Redemptorist Provincial Kevin Moley. Click on a link below to read the letter (PDF) in English or Spanish.

Click here to read the letter in English.

Click here to read the letter in Spanish.

Thursday

After 26 years of retreat ministry and more than 75 years as a major seminary, the Redemptorists will close Mount St. Alphonsus Retreat Center on January 1, 2012. 

The end of ministry at “the Mount” comes as the Redemptorists are reexamining their pastoral commitments in light of the increasing age of their members and the need to continue their primary ministry to the poor and most abandoned.

Mount St. Alphonsus will continue to conduct retreats and to host weddings, conferences and receptions through the end of 2011.

“The Redemptorists have been at Mount St. Alphonsus for more than 100 years, since it opened as our North American seminary. Many of our confreres have wonderful memories of their years here, so the decision to close was not an easy one,” said Very Rev. Kevin Moley, provincial of the Baltimore Province. “We are grateful to have spent so many years in Esopus and to have served so many people through our retreats and conferences. The Mount will always hold a special place in the heart of all Redemptorists in the Baltimore Province.”

Mount St. Alphonsus was built between 1904 and 1907, and operated as the Redemptorist seminary until 1985 when the students were relocated to Washington, D.C. because of declining numbers.

Future plans for the property have not been finalized.