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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Solemn Requiem Mass for the soul of Bishop John Basil Meeking, STD

Tuesday 15 June, 2020
Father Anthony Mary, F.SS.R.
Solemn Requiem Mass 
for the repose of the soul
Bishop John Basil Meeking, S.T.D.
Emeritus Bishop of Christchurch.

The Deacon was Rev. Fr. Sumich, F.S.S.P.
The Subdeacon was Rev. Fr. Yousef Marie, F.SS.R.

The Mass was served by the
Knights of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.

The Requiem Mass was live streamed.
The link is here.

Friday, April 03, 2020

The Live Streaming Link to our Latin Masses in New Zealand

Dear Friends,

Praised be Jesus and Mary ever Virgin!

The events over the last weeks have prompted us to live-stream the Holy Mass from New Zealand. In this way those who cannot be present at Mass may join us in spirit. These are difficult times for everyone.

We hope that our Latin Masses will add to the availability of Masses especially given that the New Zealand Time Zone begins the day that will later dawn upon all the other countries in the world. (New Zealanders pride themselves on their being the first out of bed on each and every new day in the year!). Bear in mind that New Zealand live-streams across the Date Line from America's tomorrow.

We will also begin live streaming from Papa Stronsay when possible.

Mass is celebrated in Wilderness of Mt St Joseph's Kakahu, in the Te Moana Gorge,
2079 Te Moana Road, Kakahu, N.Z.
 at 8.00 a.m. 
(N. Z. Daylight Time).

Holy Mass is celebrated at the
 Mother of Perpetual Succour Oratory, 
141 Rutland Street, St Albans, Christchurch, N.Z.
 4 hours later at Midday (N.Z. Daylight Time).

Both of these Masses are displayed on the same link. 
It is possible to press the Set Reminder button for each of the forthcoming Masses.

We hope that these Masses will be pleasing to God and of benefit to the souls that seek Him.

Father Michael Mary, F.SS.R.
Papa Stronsay

Monday, January 20, 2020

Come and See

This past week saw our third annual Familiares retreat.  The Familiares are young men who, being too young to formally enter the monastery, and wishing to further explore the religious vocation, join themselves to the Sons of the Most Redeemer as Familiars, in the spirit of the Minor Seminaries and Juvinates of old.

Those who wish to become Familiars join themselves to our religious family in a formal manner.  They are clothed in the habit of the Congregation, and are permitted to wear it on certain occasions, to enter into the enclosure of the monastery and join us for an experience of religious life.

One such occasion is the annual Familiares retreat.

In this way they respond to Our Lord's offer to "come and see":

The next day again John [the Baptist] stood, and two of his disciples.  And beholding Jesus walking, he saith: Behold the Lamb of God.  And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.  And Jesus turning, and seeing them following him, saith to them: What seek you? Who said to him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?  He saith to them: Come and see. They came, and saw where he abode, and they stayed with him that day: now it was about the tenth hour. (Jn. 1:35-39)

The retreat is held at our Mount Saint Joseph's Kakahu Monastery, in New Zealand.  The week began with the clothing of a new Familiar who came all the way from the United States

The candidate waits at the start of the ceremony.

He receives the Habit of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer from the hands of the Superior.


During the time of the retreat, the Brothers moved out of their cells to make way for the Familiares, and set up camp in a new and temporary monastic Laura.

Br Xavier Maria, beads in hand, leaves his temporary desert-cell.
Cassian says: “The religious prays little who prays only when he is on his knees in the choir or in the cell.” To fulfil the obligations of his state, a religious should keep his soul continually united with God; but to maintain this constant union, continual prayer is necessary. There are three means of acquiring the habit of continual prayer; namely, silence, solitude, and the presence of God. These were the means that the angel suggested to St. Arsenius when he said: “If you wish to be saved, fly into solitude, observe silence, and repose in God by always keeping yourself in his presence.” — St Alphonsus, The True Spouse of Jusus Christ

The Familiars took up their residence in Valsainte, an old wool-shed converted into accommodation.

 It is named after an old ruinous Carthusian monastery occupied for a time by Venerable Fr Joseph Passerat, C.SS.R.

The front door, with Fr Passerat's portrait beside it.

 Valsainte's small but beautifully decorated chapel.

 The Familiars' home for the week.  It's a work in progress but already Valsainte is sealed, double-glazed, heated by a wood stove and fully insulated. It has hot and cold running water, showers and toilets.

There are seven cells.

Each day began at 04:55 with the sound of the bell.  All, Familiars and monks, rose promptly, and made their way in the first grey light of dawn for the morning meditation, followed by the Divine Offices of Matins and Lauds in common, starting at 05:30.

 At 07:00 the Familiars served the morning Mass.

Our Lord's sacrifice renewed mystically, yet really, upon the mount, drawing down graces for the world.

 Breakfast followed Mass and Thanksgiving.  In the monastic fashion, breakfast was taken in silence.

 The body having been refreshed, it can once more be engaged in offering praise to God.
The Office of Terce at 09:00.

 Each day after Terce, the Farmiliars received a conference in Valsainte on aspects of religious life from Fr Anthony Mary or Br Martin Mary.

 Then followed the morning's labour.  Here The Familiars are cutting wood, generously donated by a neighbour.  It's loaded into the back of the vehicle...

 ...driven to the wood-shed...


 ...and carefully stacked to dry for winter fuel.

Br Seelos Maria cut the logs, which were split, and stacked in the same manner.
 Another important task was picking the abundance of ripe cherries.

Many made it...but there were quite a number which mysteriously disappeared between the branch and the bowl!

So much fruit ready for harvest...

The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few.  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth labourers into his harvest.
(Matt. 9:37-38)

After the Office of Sext, and Particular Examen, lunch was served.  We were most grateful that, once again, Sr Marie-Celeste and Mrs Enander were able to be part of this retreat and provide the all-important work of preparing meals.
Thank you both for you great effort and generosity!

The afternoon was for spiritual exercises in one's own cell: spiritual reading and mental prayer followed by a visit to the Blessed Sacrament.

Vespers and Rosary were said in common at 17:30, followed by supper and community recreation.

Night prayers and Compline at 19:30 brought the day to a close.

On Thursday they took a long hike, and conquered Devil's Peak, which stands at 1587m (5206ft), planting a cross at the top and renaming it Holy Cross Peak!

The retreat was ended with a beautiful sung Mass, served by the Familiares and Br Seelos Maria.

Well done Familiars for a good and grace-filled week.  May God continue to lead you along the path of perfection, and draw you ever closer to Himself, and if it be His Holy Will, into the sanctuary of Religious Life!

Friday, December 06, 2019

Papa Stronsay Calendar 2020

The Papa Stronsay Calendar for 2020 can now be purchased from our website HERE.

As always, our Calendar is jam-packed full of all kinds of Liturgical, religious and secular information, that will leave you wondering how you ever managed without it!

It features a photo from the life of our Congregation for each month.

Each month our calendar gives you the Liturgical feast and colour, the four major phases of the moon, the liturgical zodiac, the traditional days of abstinence, the major astronomical occurrences, national public holidays for eight English-speaking countries, as well as many other interesting treats that help you live your day-to-day life as a Catholic, and participate in the life of our Religious Congregation.

The video below shows our 2016 calendar and gives a good idea of what you can expect from this years calendar

Click below to order your 2020 Papa Stronsay Calendar!

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

News from Mt St Joseph's Kakahu in the New Zealand Wilderness

- Mount Saint Joseph's Kakahu -
Kakahu is the district in Canterbury, New Zealand,
Kakahu is Maori for a cloak.
The 300 acres of wilderness is named after the cloak of St Joseph.
We are here to stay and our nest move
is to build a monastery of huts
in honour of the Infant Jesus hidden in the cloak of Saint Joseph
and we will call the place
The Monastery of the Hidden Jesus
if God so Wills, so will it be.
St Joseph in his cloak presenting the Hidden Jesus.
We implore St Joseph to be
the patron and Foster-father of this place.

St Teresa said we'd only need a bell to begin a monastery.
It marks the hours of prayer, work and silence.

Our first construction:
The Oratory of St Joseph in the Wilderness.
It was blessed by the Bishop of Aberdeen. 

During the retreat we held last summer we set up our cells in the field. 



Winter 2019.

Time for action.
In the solitude of Rosary Gully
we decided to build a prototype cell.
The first foundation hole.
St Teresa said that everything was in beginning.
So we began in earnest.
The ground was stony, the digging was slow, but....

We all got into it, 
and God is good who give work to men
Gloria Patri et Filio + et Spiritui Sancto...

(to be continued)

Thursday, August 01, 2019

St Alphonsus High and Dry

On the eve of the feast of our Holy Father St Alphonsus the time and tide are just right to easily remove the Monastery barge, St Alphonsus, from the water in order to undergo some maintenance.

The trailer having been rolled down the slipway and under the St Alphonsus, both are slowly pulled back up the slipway.
 Whilest each tractor individually has the pulling power to do the job, they do not have the traction to pull the St Alphonsus's 20-plus tonnes, so the wheels spin.
 With both pulling in tandem, however, the objective is easily accomplished.

 Br Romuald checks with Fr Magdala if this is far enough.

Using a powerful jack, the vessel is lifted off the trailer.

Each pull of the lever lifts the St Alphonsus's bulk only a few millimetres, but by this an enormous weight is lifted with little effort.

With the weight lifted off the wheels by the jack, Fr Magdala and Br Edmund bring more blocks to place underneath.  The St Alphonsus is not sitting quite correctly on the trailer.  With the weight lifted, the trailer can be repositioned.

The trailer having been repositioned, Brother moves the slightly precarious support-blocks at the back of the boat further forward so that they are lifting both the boat and the trailer off the ground.

 The aim is to ensure that the massive weight of the boat is not resting on the wheels for longer than it needs to, in order to prevent damage to them.

Done.  The St Alphonsus and its trailer are held securely, just slightly above the ground.

We wish a very happy feast of St Alphonsus
to one and all!

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