Yes, it has been a long time. In fact, I have not posted to this blog since May 14, 2011, the day before leaving for my wonderful trip to Ireland. I promise that details will follow. Reasons for the seven-week hiatus are many; more travels upon my return to this side of the pond; the on-going search for a new location for our monastery; celebration of my Dad's 90th birthday; the annual novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help; and a myriad of other normal day to day kinds of things. In time there will be updates on all of this. In an effort to start that update, I am publishing below the letter sent out by our community in preparation for the novena.
Dear Friends, Spring, 2011
• the poor, the sick, the suffering people of our world
• peace and harmony for all families and nations
• an end to violence and war, and the safe return of our armed forces
• a future full of hope for our young people
• our Church and all its needs, for healing and holiness
• the guidance of the Holy Spirit upon our President and Congress
• those coping with natural disasters
• vocations to the religious life and priesthood
If you are able you join us at Mass on these days the times are as follows:
Sunday, June 19th 11:00 a.m.
Monday – Friday, June 20-24th 8:00 a.m.
Evening Triduum of Masses:
SATURDAY, SUNDAY AND MONDAY, JUNE 25TH – 27TH 7:30 p.m.
We will have Rev. Kevin O’Neil, CSsR, a native of Kingston, as our celebrant and homilist for the Triduum, June 25-27. Fr. O’Neil, has a Ph.D. in Systematic and Moral Theology and teaches at Washington Theological Union in Washington D.C. He has co-authored a book, "Seeking Goodness and Beauty: The Use of the Arts in Theological Ethics" We are delighted to have Fr. Kevin with us these days.
We began this year of 2011 with the blessing of being able to care at home for our Sr. Peg, with the help of the wonderful people of Hospice, during her final months. Sister died peacefully on February 21, 2011, with the community surrounding her with love and prayers.
We look forward to welcoming many of you, especially for the concluding Triduum. It will be the last one hosted by our community here in our beautiful Chapel, as we prepare to move by June 1, 2012. As we write this letter we do not yet know where we will be going but we place our trust in God’s loving Providence, and entrust this intention, too, to the kindness of your prayers.
At the end of January we received this news from the newly elected Redemptorist leadership, Rev. Kevin Moley, CSsR Provincial and his Council that a decision had been made by their Chapter to end Redemptorist ministry at Mount St. Alphonsus in January of 2012.
The Church Communities, also known as the Bruderhof, have leased the entire property and plan to continue the use of the existing facilities as a religious community and an educational center. Some of the property will be used for farming, which hearkens back to the days when Redemptorists first worked the land when it served as the Congregation’s North American seminary.
Our monastic community was begun by the first Redemptoristine Nuns to come to the United States. After fifty-four years of living our life of prayer along the Hudson River we will miss living beside the majestic Mount and all the priests, brothers and you, the people who have graced its halls and our lives over the years.
Our Foundress, Ven. Mother Maria Celeste Crostarosa, a dear friend of St. Alphonsus, knew well what it was like to move when she left the founding Redemptoristine monastery in Scala, Italy and ended her wandering in Foggia.
In her mystical writings Celeste often spoke of Jesus as the Wayfarer (uomo viatore): the ‘One on the Way’ doing the work of redemption during his thirty-three years here on earth. We are called to be a ‘Living Memory’ of Him in the here and now, ‘united to him through a union of love and holy works, and through the grace of the Holy Spirit we will continue to carry out the salvific plan of love of the Father of Jesus, living once again with His believers.’ The Mystic Who Remembered by Rev. Joseph Oppitz, CSsR
As a Church gathered in prayer we can obtain many graces from God through Mary’s powerful intercession. If you live at a distance or are unable to come, pray from your own special place. You are part of the ascending chorus of prayer, and God and Mary will be pleased with your offering of petition, praise and thanksgiving.
Your Redemptoristine Sisters in Esopus
Holy Mary, help all in distress, encourage the fainthearted, console the sorrowful, be the advocate of all the clergy and religious, strengthen family life,bring peace to our world, intercede for all God’s holy people; let all feel your aid who implore your Perpetual Help.
Our Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
That we may become worthy of the promises of Christ.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us your Mother Mary,whose miraculous image we venerate, to be our Motherever ready to help us, grant we pray, that we who earnestly implore your aid may deserve to enjoy perpetually the fruit of your redemption.You who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Pray for Us