Life out of Ministry

January can be a long, and fairly dreary, month. In my years of ministry it was a nice break from the travel and intensity of mission preaching. More often than not it was also a time when I was preparing for the Galway Novena, which usually takes place in the first half of February. A few days ago I was talking to one of my Redemptorist colleagues who was going off for a badly needed break for a week.  ”You should take a month”, I said to him.  He told me it was possible because of the proximity of the Galway novena. That really brought back memories for me, and inevitably some regret over where I find myself in my life now.

But instead of preparing and planning for a novena I am now engaged in organising a three day conference of leaders of Church Reform movements around the world, which we are holding in Limerick next April. I am really excited about this, and I will write more about it as we get nearer the time. It will probably be the biggest gathering of representatives of reform movements that has ever taken place, and it is great that it is happening in Ireland. The purpose is to get to know each other, to ‘network’ in modern jargon, to see what we have in common, and how we can support each other, and indeed Pope Francis, in pushing forward the reform agenda.

In relation to what I wrote here last week regarding the Redemptorist Chapter:  There was a further development in the story.  After I had left the gathering, on the final morning, there was a lengthy discussion on my situation. From what I have been told, the large majority of people who spoke were supportive of me, and calling on the new administration to do what they could to find a satisfactory resolution to the situation I am in.  The administration accepted the challenge, and already a meeting has been organised for early next month between myself and some of the authorities. So can I suggest to the many who tell me they are praying for me, that now might be the time to give an extra little push!!  Miracles do happen!!