Reality Magazine October 2020

Reality Magazine October 2020




October is traditionally ‘Mission Month”. This year, it has a special significance for Irish Redemptorists as it marks the anniversary of our sixty years in Brazil. Four Irish Redemptorists set sail for Brazil in 1960 – James Collins, who was later Bishop of Miracema (“Don Jaime”), Michael Kirwan, James McGrath and John Meyers. Only Don Jaime had former overseas mission experience: his three companions were young men recently ordained. Brazil was so far away from Ireland that they had little sense of what they were taking on. It proved, however, to be an extraordinary success. Of the small group of pioneers, only Fr John Meyers remains. He continues to serve God among a people he dearly loves and who love him in return. At the age of 90, he is still bright and active. Fr Brendan McDonald gives us an account of those early days. He set out with another group of seven four years later. Frs PJ Clear, Joe McLaughlin, and Eamonn Kavanagh who were among his companions on the sea-voyage, continue to flourish. Fr Brendan’s account of their early years in Brazil is the leading article of this issue. It is well-illustrated by photographs of Redemptorists over that 60-year period. Maria Hall introduces us to the list of extraordinary women of the early Church that occurs in the Roman Canon. It is surprising how often it is overlooked or shortened by omitting the names of the women. To help you sort out your Perpetua from your Anastasia, Maria helpfully provides us with a set of brief biographies. John Scally introduces “Chaplains for All Seasons’ the men and women who minister in schools, hospitals, prisons, parishes – and that is only naming the best-known chaplaincies.   This year we celebrate the centenary of the birth of a remarkable American Catholic woman writer, Flannery O’Connor. Although she died 56 years ago at the early age of 39 after a long battle with illness, her novels have always remained popular. Her world is not middle-class Irish-America but the world of poor black or whites from the wrong side of the tracks. For Flannery, this is the setting for the “divine comedy” that is human life. The professor of theology and culture at Maynooth, Dr Michael Conway, shares with us his rediscovery of bread-making during the days of the pandemic. As we follow the story of St Clement, we arrive back at one of the places where he spent his early life, and where his later years earned him the title of ‘Apostle of Vienna.’

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