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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: May 2012

Ascension Verbs

(A verb is a part of speech that denotes action)
Go out (into the whole world)
Make disciples (of all the nations)
Baptize (them)
In the name of the Father
And of the Son
And of the Holy Spirit
(Share with them our life)
Welcome them into the community of our love
(Reveal to them their true identity)
Teach (them)
To observe (the commandments)
Know that
I am with you (always)
God with us.
An Ascension Christian is a verb person, a person of action.
The Christian is a missionary, one who will not sit home,
 but will leave comfort and comfort zones with the love of God burning in their hearts.
Disciples are made — by welcoming people into our hearts.
Disciples are made — welcoming people into an embracing community.
In Baptism, heaven and earth meet in us.
The powerful seed of faith is sown.
We are God’s children, and brothers and sisters
of the same Father God and Mother Church.
Teaching most often happens, not in a classroom;
It happens in the home, in friendships on the sly, what we see out of the corner of the eye; how we treat, talk about, and care for each other.
Teaching comes only after the experience of being welcomed as a disciple
 into the community of disciples.
Baptism only makes sense in the context of community.
We have to know who before we learn what.
Who is God? Who am I and whose am I?
Jesus remains with us forever;
In Eucharist, in the Word, and in Community of the disciples, the Church.
Fr. John McKenna, C.Ss.R.

The Redemptorists invite all to join us in celebrating the close of 18 months of festivities marking the 200th birthday of St. John Neumann, Philadelphia’s “little bishop.”

The Neumann Year will close with a special Mass on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is scheduled to be the main celebrant. Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, a Redemptorist and the secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, is scheduled to be the homilist. Several other bishops from dioceses where Neumann served are also expected to participate.
A ticketed reception will immediately follow at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown.
“During his lifetime, John Neumann worked tirelessly to build up the community of faith — teaching children, visiting homes and parishes, celebrating the sacraments, being among the people,” said Fr. Daniel Francis, chair of the Neumann Year Committee. “This bicentennial celebration has renewed Neumann’s ministry in our own day, reminding us all of the power of community and faith. May St. John Neumann continue to intercede for us as we continue to preach, teach, and pray for our Church and our world.”
Since January 2011, the Redemptorists have celebrated the life and legacy of our saintly confrere with several special events including Neumann-themed parish missions, two nationwide essay contests for Catholic school students, Forty Hours Eucharistic devotions, and several special Masses in Philadelphia and elsewhere.
The Year also included a traveling relic of the saint that visited several locations including Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City; the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.; St. Alphonsus Church in Baltimore, MD; Buffalo, NY; the Diocese of Trenton, NJ; and several parishes in Pennsylvania.




“Do you have the keys to the car, your time card, switch key, watch, your light, your lunch, and your money?”

These words are ingrained into my brain as my mother recited this litany to my father every morning on his way to work. He would be rushing, of course. It would be early, probably still dark. His four children would be in their pajamas. He worked for the railroad on the Boston and Maine Line and the train would not wait. He was young and had mouths to feed. He took his responsibilities seriously and he never let us down. 
This small example from my life comes to mind as we remember St. Joseph the Worker. Joseph, too, went off to work every morning. I wonder if Mary recited a similar litany: “Joseph, do you have your nails, mallet, measuring cord, awl, your plane, your lunch, and your money?”
Joseph had responsibilities and he did not shirk his duties. I’m sure that Joseph’s example was a huge factor in Jesus’ march to Jerusalem.  Jesus learned his sense of duty at home.  Not even the torture and death awaiting Jesus at the end of his journey could sway him from the mission at hand. 
Finally, we cannot speak about St. Joseph without mentioning faith. His whole life is an example of faith in action. In opposition to popular opinion and advice, he invited Mary and her unborn child into his home to share his life and his love. He did not let his family — nor God — down. He shouldered his responsibilities when it would have been much easier to go it alone.
So what lesson do we learn from St. Joseph? Quite simply — work hard. No matter what our age, position, gender, or health; God asks us to contribute to the building up of God’s Kingdom. There will be moments when we are tempted to give up and give in to the pressures of the day. When these stressful times occur, we can "Go to Joseph" for help and guidance. Just as we have learned from those who have gone before us, so through St. Joseph’s intercession, we can help those who will carry on after us.
One final question before you head out the door: "Do you have the keys to the car, your time card, switch key, watch, your light, your lunch, and your money?"
Go to Joseph in thy joys, thou wilt rejoice the more.
Go to Joseph in thy grief, when death knocks at thy door.
Go to Joseph no matter when, thy refuge he will be.
He holds the key to Jesus’ Heart, Its treasures are for thee!
(Originally published in the Catholic Chronicle of St. Lucia)
Fr. Kevin MacDonald professed vows as a Redemptorist in 1987 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. He is a mission preacher stationed at St. Patrick’s Parish in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.