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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: June 2012

"Living the Word: Scripture Reflections and Commentaries for Sundays and Holy Days" recently won third place in the Resources for Ministry category at the 2012 Excellence in Publishing Awards given out by the Association of Catholic Publishers.

Co-written and edited by Redemptorist Fr. James Wallace, the book is a commentary on the Sunday readings for 2012. The book is available from the publisher, World Library Press online at or by calling 800-566-6150.


On July 14, Redemptorists and friends will gather to celebrate significant jubilee anniversaries of profession and ordination of several confreres.

A special Mass will be celebrated in the main chapel at Stella Maris in Timonium, MD, also home to our St. John Neumann Residence for Redemptorists in need of skilled nursing care.

Please join us in congratulating these men who have given their lives to proclaim God’s plentiful redemption offered to us in Jesus, Our Redeemer.



Professed as Redemptorists

Ordained to the Priesthood

70 Years 65 Years
Rev. James Lundy Rev. Philip Cabasino
Rev. Raymond McCarthy Rev. James Lundy
Rev. Raymond McCarthy
60 Years
Rev. Russell Abata 50 Years
Rev. Robert Cheesman Rev. Carlyle Blake
Rev. Robert Lennon Rev. Clement Jolly
Rev. Thomas Loftus Rev. John McGowan
Very Rev. Charles Vermeulen Rev. Paul Miller
Very Rev. Francis O’Rourke
50 Years Rev. Francis Poux
Rev. Thomas Barrett Very Rev. Thomas Travers
Very Rev. Arthur Gildea
Rev. John Harrison 40 Years
Rev. Kevin Milton Rev. Eugene Daigle
Rev. Donald Miniscalco Rev. Charles Donovan
Very Rev. Gerard Szymkowiak Rev. James Gilmour
Rev. Francis Skelly
40 Years Rev. Thomas Sullivan
Very Rev. Michael Sergi Rev. Mark Wise
Brother Christopher Walsh
25 Years
25 Years Very Rev. Paul Borowski
Rev. Edmund Faliskie Rev. Blas Caceres
Rev. Kevin MacDonald Rev. John Collins


Redemptorist missionary, Fr. Pierce John Kenny, remembered as a dignified priest who never lost the common touch, died June 25 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Towson, MD under the care of his religious confreres at St. John Neumann Residence, Stella Maris in Timonium.
A viewing will be held in the lower church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, June 28 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM with a wake service conducted at 7:30 PM and a funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, June 29 at 10:30 AM, followed by interment at the Cemetery of the Resurrection in Staten Island.
Father Kenny was born on November 28, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York, professed his first vows as a Redemptorist on August 2, 1963, and was ordained a priest on June 22, 1969.
Please pray for Fr. Kenny, and for his family, friends, and Redemptorist confreres who mourn his loss.



Four Redemptorists participated in a special three-day celebration in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, June 25-27. We have shared the homilies from each day’s Mass on

Feast Day, Part 2: To magnify the Lord — Mary and witness

By Rev. Patrick Woods, C.Ss.R.
I have an Apple iPad. I often bring it with me when I visit my family since I like to keep up with my emails. However, when I arrive home, my great niece, who is six, and my great nephew, who is four, descend upon me, give me a hug, and then ask me if I brought my iPad.
They love playing games on it, and quite honestly I think they are more skilled in using it than I am. I assign them each fifteen minute shifts so they both get to play with it equally. However, oftentimes an argument breaks out, and one of them wants to hold onto it longer than the other. Sometimes this leads to loud wailing, some pushing back and forth, and my iPad becomes like a rope in a tug of war match.
I sternly tell them to stop. I threaten to take the iPad away from them. I tell them that they will never get to play with it again as long as they live. None of these threats have much impact. Then, my niece Claire, the mother of the children, just looks at both of them, her eyes make contact with theirs, and they grow silent, say they are sorry to one another, and begin happily sharing with one another. I am amazed at this miracle. What power the eyes of a mother have.
In the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, one of the most powerful features of this painting is the eyes of Mary. The artist has painted the image in such a way that whether you are in front of her, or on the left, the middle or the right, Mary’s eyes are upon you. She is gazing into your eyes.
Some would say that her eyes are sad. The two archangels in the picture are carrying the instruments of the crucifixion. Our Blessed Mother knows the terrible suffering that her son will endure out of love for all of us. One day she will stand under that cross and experience the devastating pain of seeing her son die on the cross.
Other people see a sense of mystery in the eyes of Mary, something akin to the famous Mona Lisa smile. Mary’s eyes invite the viewer into the mystery and wonder of God, a God who calls a young woman to bring Jesus into the world by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Mary is filled with mystery, the mystery of knowing that she has given birth to the Word made flesh, that the Divine Creator of Heaven and Earth has met in her womb. Her eyes reveal a woman who pondered and treasured all these things in her heart.
My own interpretation is that Mary’s eyes are inviting. Although her eyes are on us, since she is our mother given to us by Jesus from the cross when he told all generations, “Behold your mother,” there is also a slight glance downward at her son. Her eyes direct us to her son, Jesus, the Savior of the World. Certainly, the long graceful fingers of Mary that are centered in the image are pointing directly to her son. All five fingers of her hand are directing our eyes to Jesus. We think of the words that Mary spoke at Cana when her intercession brought about the first miracle that her son would do by turning water into wine. At Cana she says to the waiters: “Do whatever he says.”
My brothers and sisters, the story of the Blessed Mother is so beautifully revealed in this beloved icon. She is the woman of mystery, in awe that that Almighty God has given her this call to be the bearer of the Son of God. She is the Mother of God. Her eyes, loving looking at each one of us, her sons and daughters, tell us that we are her beloved children. She is our mother, too. She gives us a most simple and profound message: “Do whatever He says. Follow my son. Make Jesus the Lord of your life. Walk with him through life.”
We live in a very complicated world of iPads and computers, of DNA and quantum physics, of political debates and financial concerns, of family joys and sorrows, of health concerns and vacation plans. Our minds can be going in a thousand directions at once. Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother, in the simple beauty of the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, calls us to behold her Son, the God who loves and redeems us. Her eyes speak to us: “Follow Him. Do whatever he says.”

Four Redemptorists are participating in a special three-day celebration in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. We will share the homilies from each day’s Mass on

Feast Day, Part 1: His mercy is from age to age — Mary and God’s love

Who was she to be pregnant with God’s love for the world? Who was she that she too became the first tabernacle? Mary was probably of little account in the world’s accounting. She was poor. She was unexpectedly expecting, and possibly ashamed of her unmarried status.
Now I’m saying all of that because we, too, are pregnant with God’s love for the world. We, too, bear Christ to the world. As God’s people in Christ, we are very much like Mary. And we may wonder, who are we to be this? We may feel inadequate to be God’s bearers of love. We may feel unqualified to bring God’s mercy into the world. We may think we are unprepared to do the things of God. We may sense we are unworthy of such a high calling.
But as pregnant as Mary was with Jesus, so is the pregnancy pregnant with the power to create more love than hatred, more light than darkness; more hope than sadness. It’s a big claim, not an easy one to make or accept, but without it, God’s mercy is meaningless. Mary gets it, and she sings her song.
Mary sees and accepts that in her lowliness, in her smallness, in her poverty, in her unimportance, God was doing what God always does. God works his ways through people such as Mary. God needs and uses people who are truly humble, genuinely in need, truly able to trust God above all things, and so let themselves be small within the realm of God’s greatness.
Who was Mary that she should be pregnant with God’s love for the world? Who was Mary that she should bear Christ to the world? She was no one, and she knew it, and she embraced it, and she magnified God for it. Who are we that we should be pregnant with God’s love in our lives? Who are we that God should use us to bear Christ to the world? Whether we know it or embrace it, when we use it we magnify God.
It’s tough here in the city to do this, what with all the lights, but if you ever, on a clear night, look at the stars, it can leave you with a sense of wonder and astonishment. I am so small. This world is so vastly bigger than I am. What place do I possibly have in it? But Mary’s song should put an end to that question.
Mary’s song is radical and astounding and full of promise. Mary’s song says that God lifts up the lowly and needs them for God’s purposes, and God will help the proud and powerful understand this by bringing them down to their true humanity, their lowly status, their true need before God. Who are we that we should be pregnant with God’s love and bear Christ to the world? Absolutely nothing and nobody. And that is exactly as it must be.
And then there’s this reality to accept: Being pregnant is never an end in itself. In this final line of the Magnificat, we are listening to Mary ponder her own astonishment at being so small and yet bearing something so great in her. But we know the goal for this is to get to the birth. If we as God’s people in Christ are pregnant with God’s love for the world and bear Christ to the world, then the only purpose this serves is to actually give birth to it.
For our lives of faith, getting beyond merely being pregnant with God’s love for the world means actually living it out here and today. Who needs lifting up? Who is lowly among us that God is seeking to honor? Who is poor and hungry and in need of mercy and compassionate food? This is how we bear Christ to the world, this is how we give birth to God’s love for the world: We live out Mary’s song. We become lowly ourselves by serving and giving and loving. We become powerfully pregnant with Christ as the church.
But we don’t stay pregnant for long. There is life to give. There is love to share. There is mercy to grant. There is a song of praise to sing, magnifying God for all these good things God does, even including the likes of us in God’s purposes.
Mary, to be sure, was the first bearer of Christ but she was not the last.