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Friday, October 19, 2007

No strings attached!

New Zealand foundation update!
Rev. Fr Clement Mary, C.SS.R. rector of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour Monastery, Christchurch, New Zealand, has begun a new blog: Transalpine Redemptorists in Christchurch. Please feel free to go visit it:
Our island of Papa Stronsay is not connected in any way to the neighboring islands, and that’s not just talking about roads. There are no water pipes coming to Papa Stronsay. There are no gas pipes, electricity or telephone cables either. Our Water is pumped from large underground wells, and for electricity, we have a generator powered by a diesel engine. If the generator breaks down, we have no electricity at all. This also leaves us without water, because the pumps, which bring the water, the sometimes 100ft distance from the wells to the surface, are powered by electricity. Therefore, it is vital to get it back up and running as soon as possible. Below can be seen our generator being repaired after a breakdown.

Rev. Fr Anthony Mary, C.SS.R. and Br. Magdala Maria, C.SS.R. working on our 16 KW generator.

The generator split into two parts.

Out with the old...

...and in with the new.

Fr. and Br. working on the new generator set.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Our Lady, Queen of the Rosary.

We know that today’s feast was instituted by Pope St Pius V after the stunning victory of the enormously outnumbered Catholic naval fleet over the Moslems at Lepanto on 7th October 1571. But what we can we take from it? The Pope attributed the Catholic victory to Our Lady and to the praying of the rosary. If we take a look at the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, we can see that there is a central point which just keeps coming back again and again: "Pray the Rosary every day". So the Holy Mother of God instructs us to pray the rosary every day, but what kind of an answer can we expect to get from the praying of the rosary? Sr. Lucy answered this question for us herself:

"The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which
we live has given new efficacy in the recitation of the Holy Rosary. There
is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve
by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves.
We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of
many souls."

Our Lady also gives us a proof of this in the apparitions. She told the three children, that they should pray the rosary everyday to obtain peace in the world and the end of the war (World War I). These are two great graces. Peace for the entire world, every country, every place! And the end of the war! In another place, Lucy presented some petitions from other people to Our Lady. Lucy said afterwards that she couldn't remember exactly what these were, or the individual replies, but that Our Lady told her that these people would have to pray the rosary to obtain their requests. So the rosary, according to the Mother of God, will obtain both great graces and small ones. Did Our Lady give any other examples of Graces that could be obtained through the rosary? She told Lucy that she and Jacinta would go to heaven, and that Francisco would also go to heaven, but that he would have to pray "many rosaries". It is unlikely that Francisco at his young age, would have had such a great stock of sins to expiate in order to save his soul, so perhaps there is another explanation of Our Lady’s remark. It seems that Our Lady gave the rosary to Francisco to be for him a shield against the corruption of the world. If he were to escape sin, save his soul and get to heaven, he would have to pray "many rosaries". So there are two more graces that can be expected from the recitation of the rosary: protection from temptations and the allurements of a sinful world, and the salvation of souls.
We conclude then, that if Our Lady, the most perfect being after God, who in the Kingdom of heaven, stands above all other creatures, comes down from her heavenly throne, and in every one of her apparitions at Fatima stresses that we should pray the rosary Every Day, we should probably take her advice.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!

Friday, October 05, 2007

140th anniversary of Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos', C.SS.R. death

Father Francis Xavier Seelos, C.SS.R.
Born January 11th, 1819, Fussen, Southern Germany
Professed as a Redemptorist May 16th, 1844
Ordained priest December 22nd, 1844
Died in the odour of sanctity October 4th, 1867
"Father Seelos, cure me!"
The voice came from a crippled man in the Redemptorist monastery of St. Philomena's Church in Pittsburgh. "My good man, I'm no doctor. I can't cure you," replied Father Seelos. You may well imagine how startled the good priest was when he saw the crippled man pick up his crutches and throw them out the window!
"I'm not leaving until you cure me!" It was easy to see that he meant what he said. There was an expression of genuine amazement on the face of the priest as he marvelled at the great faith and trust in the soul of the man. "I know he has overestimated my power," the priest thought to himself. "But maybe.....???
"wait a minute," said Father Seelos. Back into the monaster he went. Returning a few moments later with the Gospel in his hand, he told the man to sit down. He opened the Holy Gospel according to Saint John and began to read. When he finished, he closed the book, lifted his eyes to heaven and began to pray with all his heart. Then from the ritual blessing of the sick...
"Dominus Jesus Christus apud te sit, ut defendat... May Our Lord Jesus Christ be with thee to defend thee, ... Benedictio Dei Omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii, + et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super te, et maneat semper. Amen."
A strange indescribable feeling came over the crippled man. Somehow his legs felt strong again. Tears of joy began forming in the corners of his eyes. He took several sobbing breaths and slowly stood upright. Legs which for a long time could not carry him were now able to support his body.
"God be praised!" he cried, "May God be praised! Oh, thank you, Father Seelos. Thanks be to God!"

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The harvest is over

The last week has seen the members of the community working together in the field to get in our harvest of potatoes. After a long spell of wet weather, the good Lord saw fit to send us a few days of dry, bright, sunny weather, which we took full advantage of. We have been truly blessed this year since the harvest was excellent. We bagged approximately 9 - 10 tonnes of potatoes, enough to last us to next years harvest.
The view from the tractor cab.
Rev. Fr Anthony Mary, C.SS.R. pulls the harvester through the field.

After the harvester has passed by, the potatoes are left on the surface to be collected.
Br. Columba Maria, C.SS.R. inspects the crop.

The hard work having paid off, the potatoes and the brothers take a ride out of the field.

The potatoes now lie drying, after which they can be stored.

Deo gratias et Mariae!

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