Edition 8: March 2003
Greetings all and welcome to this autumn edition of Edmund
Rice News for 2003.
Quick Guide to this issue:
Special Report: The
Cause of Blessed Edmund Rice -- update on the process for Canonisation
a time of renewal
is a time of renewal. Its name is actually taken from an ancient
word for the season Spring or Lencten. It is a time when we are
invited to re-connect with our roots.
is a particularly appropriate time to be bringing out this first
edition of Edmund Rice Family News for 2003. The new Province Leadership
Team has had to time to find its feet and adjust the sails for the
new conditions facing the Christian Brothers and the Edmund Rice
Pat Kelly has taken on new responsibilities liaising with the many
ministries working under the Edmund Rice umbrella and Br Rod Ellyard
has taken over responsibility for publishing the Brothers
Newsletter and Edmund Rice Family News which has a wider circulation
to everyone working in Edmund Rice endeavours in the Holy Spirit
Province. (See the separate article of the responsibilities of the
Rod has written the editorial for this issue. In that, and in the
other articles that make up this edition, one begins to pick up
a sense of the renewed enthusiasm sweeping through the Edmund Rice
Family. The international Chapter in Rome this time last year has
sparked a resurgence of interest in the charism of being Brother
to others. As Rod writes in this editorial, the Christian Brothers
are open for business again after the long and tortuous
years of self-examination.
world might be a very different to what it was in 1802 when Edmund
Rice established the Brothers. While our general affluence has increased
what has remained constant is that there are never enough volunteers
to be assisting those who, for one reason or another, are in need.
One of the seven heart decisions taken at the Congregation
Chapter in Rome was the imperative of seeking new Brothers.
In this edition of Edmund Rice Family News we throw this question
open to all members of the Family.
10 days in the ancient Celtic Landscape of Ireland. Breathe
in its depths, touch its sacredness, smell its beauty, stand
in its richness and solitude and know within yourself the
call to fullness of life. Sing, dance, pray and be silent,
imagine and reflect in quiet places, ancient cities and sacred
sites, that will give you space to know the longings of your
own heart and time to let the search for meaning shape the
way you live.
Musgrave and Monica Brown will facilitate a 10
day pilgrimage that will take you to Glendalough, Newgrange,
Waterford, Carlow and Kildare, visiting ancient ruins, old
burial sites, high crosses, holy wells, medieval cities and
sacred places. Through music, song, story and myth, dance,
mime, imagery and scripture-storytelling, Hilary and Monica
will invite you to listen to your own story in this Celtic
Landscape where you can come home to yourself and to your
us on the journey through the Celtic Landscape will be Irish
story tellers, celtic singers, historians and Irish dancers.
Guest presenters will include Michael Rogers from Glendalough,
Mary Minihan from St Brigid's Centre Kildare.
When: 10th August 2003 - 20th August 2003
Where: Based in Teach Bhride, Retreat Centre, Tullow,
Cost: $1580 approx (Includes accommodation and meals,
all pilgrimage travel, entrance fees to sites and presenters
For bookings and further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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8: Mar 2003
Seeking New Brothers...
by Br Rod Ellyard cfc
Rod Ellyard cfc
Christian Brothers Congregation Chapter met in Rome through March
2002. For over a year in preparation, the whole Congregation tried
to listen prayerfully to what God was saying to us at this time
in our history. Weakened by dwindling numbers and aging members,
and shamed by the exposure of the sins of some of our members,
many among us were feeling disheartened.
the Chapter, like the two forlorn disciples on the road to Emmaus,
our Brothers shared their stories, their hopes and their dreams.
As they did so, it gradually began to dawn on them that in their
midst walked One who was opening their eyes to the gift which
had been theirs from the beginning, the precious gift of brotherhood
that makes us who we are. They discovered anew that relating truly
as brothers is our distinctive way of living and loving. The flame
in their hearts began to burn more strongly and brightly as they
listened deeply to Jesus alive within them.
this prayerful listening they discerned seven 'heart decisions'
that charted the road ahead. These were:
the Spirituality of Being Brother,
Need and a Call for Healing and Reconciliation,
Imperative of Seeking New Brothers,
Enduring Importance to us of Educating the Minds and Hearts
of the Young,
Unfolding Story of the Edmund Rice Network,
Prophetic Call to a Quest for Justice, and
Urgent Need to Transform Hearts and Minds by Restructuring our
is hardly surprising that, fired anew with the awareness of and
enthusiasm for, the beauty and transforming nature of this precious
gift of brotherhood, the Chapter should issue a call for new Brothers.
This call should not be interpreted as a desire to reverse the
trend towards smallness of membership, so much as a realisation,
that we have something special we want to share. Our source of
life is a particular kind of relationship with our God and our
brothers. It is modelled on Jesus' relationship with his Father,
and rooted in our celibacy and it enables us to walk with those
most in need.
it is with those most in need that our brothers are found. The
days of our power and prestige have been stripped away. We do
not invite new members to join us to become important, influential
people. We invite them to come to be Jesus' hands serving the
poor. We invite them to come to live with us as brothers, open
and sharing, ready to risk all for love love of Jesus expressed
in his needy ones. Never has there been such need! Never has the
world needed Brothers so much!
Perth last July, our Province Chapter sought to build on what
had emerged in Rome. This was how we expressed OUR DREAM.
this time in our story we are, more than ever, called to live
our brotherhood as a 'precious gift' to us and to others, especially
those most in need.
recognise that 'being brother' is to live as Jesus and Edmund
did, with hearts open to each other and our world in compassion,
with hearts willing to bear pain and be broken for love.
be brother is to walk with others in a way of solidarity. It
is a calling, not a job, a relationship, not a title. It is
an attitude of heart that is anchored in our celibate loving.
willingness to give to every person, especially each Brother,
the gift of our self in Gospel friendship, opens the way for
a mutual sharing of gifts, and makes possible real community.
Brother is our way of seeking God, and is nourished by solitude
with God and by a readiness to encounter Christ as we walk the
road of life in conversation with each other.
are convinced of the relevance of brotherhood as a gift for
our world, and seek to invite others to share this gift with
us, especially as new members of the congregation.
so we invite you who read this article to share the word that
we are open for business; that we want to invite those who are
keen to serve God in their neighbour as brother. Edmund showed
us the way. Let us follow his lead and pray as he did, that Jesus
will live forever in our hearts!
-- an important resource of the Edmund Rice National Formation Program...
by Peter Nicholson, Coordinator National Formation
FEW DAYS AGO
I arrived at work to find the Treacy Centre in uproar. Disaster
was clearly writ on the face of our receptionist. On the edge of
tears, she could barely manage the words, the system is down,
no internet, no email, and we dont know how long it will be.
it turned out I spent the day offline quite profitably, mainly catching
up on reading hardcopy books as they are called. But the
experience brought home to me just how much I had come to rely on
the net and how, within the space of a few years, it had shaped
my work practices and mode of communication. On most days I am in
touch with people many miles distant throughout Australia and throughout
fifty years ago Jesuit, Teilhard de Chardin envisaged a stage of
evolution whereby a complex web of communication fuelled by human
consciousness enveloped the globe. He termed it the noosphere. Today
we live in the midst of a web of telephone wires, satellite transmissions
and computer circuits which enable us to be instantly in touch with
our fellow human beings on the other side of the globe, and to tune
into the massive bank of accumulated information and human wisdom.
Edmund Rice network is one tiny subset of the global human community.
With its origins in the charism of Edmund some two centuries ago,
it is its own network of relationships with its own history, meaning,
dynamism and continuing evolution. But it does not and cannot exist
in isolation; its wires connect us to so many other networks, ultimately
to the whole noosphere.
two years ago Edmund Rice Online began as a means of sharing information
about the network, a way of connecting the various parts of the
network and tuning in to its inner spirit. To some extent its development
has taken us by surprise for it seems to have taken on a life of
its own and shown us pathways that we never planned. All of that
we celebrate. Edmund Rice Online, www.edmundrice.org goes into its
third year with a healthy average of 43,000 hits per month.
further information visit www.edmundrice.org
or telephone Peter Nicholson (03) 8359 0100.
2003 Camps at Moore River...
Mark Walowski reports
on the camps which this year were held at Moore River
Well I must say,
what could be a better way to start 2003 than to be involved with 120
young adult leaders making a difference to the lives of 130 kids and their
families during the summer vacation at Moore River, some 90 kilometres
north of Perth. Four camps were held with each being 4 days long for the
kids and 6 for the leaders with the age groups being 9 to 11 (2 camps),
12 & 13 and 14 to 17yrs. To say that our leaders worked well together
and that the kids had a ball is to say the least.
at the Edmund Rice Cricket Challenge...
Our story begins
on the mornings of January with 120-odd hip and happening guy and gals
gathering outside Westcourt, to begin the formalities. The leaders and
the camp teams introduced themselves to each other (Richard and Mark ...who???).
After a rundown of policy and guidelines, it was off to Moore River in
Wal's big bus - a great opportunity to get to know new faces, re-acquaint
with familiar ones, or to simply indulge in a quick nap (before the real
fun begins). On arrival, all in sundry slipped into something more comfortable
and moved to meet the most important people on camp - the cooks and head
off for a quick dip. As the first day drew to a close, all could see that
the camps would truly rock. All that was needed now were the kids...
So, after another
trek in Wal's big bus, it was time to meet the kids / participants / young
adults / whatever! What an electric bunch they were indeed - a complete
mixture of sizes, shapes, tastes, opinions, experiences, and cultures.
The trips back to the camp were filled with introductions, stories, laughs,
and the regular dose of singing -obvious signs that groups were about
to have the time of their lives. After choosing sleeping arrangements,
it was finally time to get on with the camp - yay!! !
The next few weeks
were filled with a range of great activities that kept everyone going
the whole time: mini 'seminars' on why what's cool is cool (and Mav just
ISN'T cool!), trips to the beach, regular games of cricket (often a little
too scary for most...), canoe trips along the Moore River (are we there
yet???), crazy and hilarious '.luaus', jelly fights, water bombs, body
painting, arts and craft, the camp photo (Squeeze Up!!!) and the Skit
However, the climax
of any camp is definitely the always popular but weepy Graduation Ceremony
and final reflections. Sadly, this year, we said a huge thankyou and goodbye
to Jaime-Marie, Natasha, AJ, Brett, Griffen, Chris, and Paul, all of whom
had been having fun with us since they were 9 years of age - some 8 years
and 16 separate camps.
all good things must come to an end. By the time the last morning had
come around, nobody wanted to go home. Everyone climbed back into Wal's
big bus for one last time and headed back to Perth. The last goodbyes
were again a little sad, but all leaders and kids felt better for the
experiences that they had shared on these camps
Everyone would agree
that these January camps truly did ROCK!!!)
ERF MEMBERS have said to me recently that the movement needs a sense
of direction, more specifically, that it needs a mission or sense
of purpose. Do you agree? When I reflect on the life of Edmund particularly
in the thirteen years between when he lost his wife, Mary, and starting
the Brothers in 1802, I see a man constantly crossing the street
to help a neighbour. Read his story again. The examples pile up.
If anyone would like to access his story, let me know and Ill
happily supply it.
seems to me that prayer and acts of service, to those we meet at
work within our daily lives is not beyond us, and could be the direction
we seek. How do we do this? Can we not learn from each other? I
know many of you are significantly involved in both prayer and service
suggest those of you who read this, who would like to meet with
me to discuss how best we might proceed, could contact me on 9365
2804 or email ellyard.rod@westcourt.
wa.edu.au, or drop me a line at Westcourt. I am thinking of
a late afternoon or evening weekday timeslot. When you contact me
please let me know what time suits you and leave a return contact
number and address. I will call for meetings in both Adelaide and
other thing: in about 1793 Edmund contributed finance to the production
of an edition of the Bible quite an expensive undertaking
in those days. He then purchased a copy for himself. Edmunds
Bible is today one of our most precious heirlooms. Many passages,
those that guided his life, are marked. An example is that every
reference in the Bible to money is highlighted. At the time, Edmund
was a wealthy man. The second half of his life was marked by the
careful use of money but always for others. This is an example of
how the Bible guided and informed his life decisions. I think we
could learn from this.
be true to Edmunds spirit we need to turn to the same source
he did. My suggestion is that when we meet we begin by sharing one
Scripture passage and say briefly how this has guided our lives.
This might lead us to prayer and then to a sharing of how we are
or could be of service to others.
look forward to hearing from you. ...Br
uplifting interview with Kelsey Wilson --
an Edmund Rice volunteer on her way to Tanzania
here is something to really lift your spirits. Kelsey Wilson (23)
graduated from Murdoch University at the end of last year with a
degree in Psychology. She has long been involved in the Eddie Rice
Camp for Kids program as have her two older sisters and her
younger sister. At the end of last year though following an awesome
personal experience at a leaders camp she felt this deep call
to take on an even bigger challenge. She approached the Brothers
to become an Edmund Rice Volunteer for twelve months. Shortly before
she left for the school at Arusha in Tanzania where she will spend
the next year Brian Coyne conducted an interview by email. This
is Kelseys story in her own words. Be inspired by a young
woman who really has been captivated by the vision of Edmund Rice.
Wilson and her mother at the send-off
held at Westcourt on 20th February
Coyne: Kelsey, could you tell us a little of your background and
how you first became involved with the Edmund Rice Family?
I am 23 years old, I went to Mercedes College in Perth and became
involved in ER camps as I was following in the footsteps of my two
older sisters who were also involved in camps, my younger sister
has also been heavily involved. So the camps have been very important
in my family. I have just finished my four year Bachelor of Psychology
degree at Murdoch and was intending to begin masters studies in
speech pathology this year until I got another idea....
there been any particular highlights in your involvement with Camps
have been a leader on ER camps for more than six years but even
before that I spent alot of time at ER social and fundraising events
and couldnt wait to get on camp as a leader myself. In my
time on camps I have been on many of the different action groups
and did a stint on the executive committee. On camps themselves
I enjoyed being camp coordinator a few times, even camp cook (well
cooks assistant!). And the last two camps Ive been on
I have enjoyed the role of camp coach as we are experimenting with
the role being filled by lay experienced camp leaders as well as
of the things I have appreciated most from camps is the opportunity
it gives me to look at different ways I can serve others and the
community. It is practical. Nurturing children is the most important
thing we can do for our world. Nothing can be more important than
the education of a child and to build their confidence, by opening
them to acceptance and love.
involvement with camps has also provided wonderful opportunties
for self-growth and self-awareness. And I have seen that in so many
leaders, not only myself.
you articulate what has led you from involvement at that level to
the level of dedicating a year of your life as a full-time volunteer
in Tanzania? Is it something that you would classify more as a feeling
in your bones that
you felt called to give this a go, or was it some specific invitation
that was offered to you?
have great faith that this is a path that I was meant to be following
and it came to me quite by surprise. I had not spoken to anyone
or really thought about this commitment as fitting into my life
at any stage in the near future. I had admired a close friend spending
a year in Broome a couple of years ago but I was more interested
in furthering my studies for the next few years.
spark began with the culmination of an extraordinary camp and finishing
my degree in October last year. On the camp I was able to experience
being camp coach for the first time combined with rock climbing
and abseiling. The physical adventure left me with an amazing adrenalin
rush and a feeling that I had tested my limits, succeeded and loved
it. The camp coach role allowed me to develop a close bond with
the campers and leaders alike. I felt like I was in a position to
nurture and mould the experiences of the others to care. My principal
role to make sure the whole group was ok was so fulfilling.
After camp I was on a high for about two weeks then it hit me that
instead of only interacting with fellow leaders and children in
camp why didnt I really build on that and work on it
experience it for a whole year.
was funny because after I had made my decision I was telling one
of my sisters and she immediately said to me Kelsey, that
was what you always wanted to do and you just forgot, I then
remembered that until about the age of 12 I always dreamt of going
away to a place where people had less than I did and devoting my
capabilities to being with them and assisting them. It was always
Africa! I guess in the process of adolescence and working out my
place in this society I had forgotten what had been my first aim
all along. The inner voice was being drowned out by too much noisethe
noise of everyday life!
you put into words what you are seeking to achieve from your endeavour?
Is it is a social justice type call of wanting to help others who
are not as privileged as you feel you have been, or is it a sense
of wanting to explore how the other half lives, or is
it a sense of adventure, or is it something you cant fully
describe and has a spiritual dimension to it?
answer yes to all of these questions for myself: I feel that all
too often in this society we put things off or negate things rather
than living. There is too much of people saying when this
..... happens then I will be happy. I want to start living,
I want to be brave, I want to broaden my horizons and I want to
cant presume what I will be able to accomplish on this journey.
I guess I can only hope that my different perspective and energy
might get some things going. I hope that I will be able to have
ideas that will help in the school and for the present lifestyle
and future prospects of the students I come across. It hurts me
being in such a materialistic society where the things you find
yourself caring about have nothing to do with survival or the basic
quality of life. I was lucky to be born into my life but there are
multitudes that have so much less and they far outnumber the Western
world. Sometimes I dont understand where we get off being
so insular and that we spend most of our time feeling sorry for
ourselves in this society. I am excited about learning about the
culture of the people in Tanzania and what their formula for happiness
and life is.
the world, at this present time in the world with so much fear and
unrest, I am more determined to be part of the good of the world.
If things get worse I want to be somewhere living out a practical
giving and have faith in the ripple effect.
last couple of months have been a roller coaster of fear (mixed
with self-doubt) and sheer excitement, sometimes this switches every
five minutes, sometimes week-to-week. With a week to go now I feel
mostly excited. Most of all I feel faith, lately I have felt my
faith growing and I want to harness that with an experience such
as this to nurture my faith and my belief in the human spirit.
you know yet what type of actual work you will be involved in and
who else you will be working with?
think my actual role is yet to be determined, Frank OShea
(the Principal of the school in Arusha) seems to have many ideas
in the pipeline I think it will depend on whats currently
in need and the kinds of things that I will be able to tackle. As
I am not an actual teacher, there are a variety of tasks he has
in mind from AIDs education groups to organising camps and assisting
with behaviour issues. This is probably the factor I am most scared
about as alot of my role will be determined as we go. I feel like
there is alot relying on my own innovation, I hope I can come up
with the goods!!
will be living with two women volunteers who have both been there
for about a year which is very comforting! I am looking forward
to meeting so many people in the school as I have heard many little
stories along the way and it will be wonderful to actually be there!
you have any reflections from friends or parents on what you are
proposing to do that might be worth sharing?
family and friends have all been very supportive and seem to have
been on the same journey as I have in the preparation process. I
think alot of them are probably in disbelief that I am really going.
My Mum says she is proud and worried but I also know that, like
everyone else close to me, they know this whole experience will
be invaluable to me at this point in my life. I cant wait
for it to begin.
News from all around Holy Spirit
of members of the new Province Leadership Team...
new PLT at one of their first meetings.
From left and proceeding around the table: Pat Kelly,
Kevin Ryan, Rod Ellyard and Peter Negus
THE HOLY SPIRIT PROVINCE CHAPTER IN JULY 2002, a new Leadership
Team was appointed to lead the Province until 2008. The team consists
of Kevin Ryan as Province Leader, Dean McGlaughlin
as Deputy Province Leader, Pat Kelly, Peter Negus
and Rod Ellyard as Province Councillors.
was Deputy in the previous team and Pat and Peter were team members.
Dean comes to the team having recently completed 10 years as Principal
of Rostrevor College in Adelaide. He currently wears two hats as
he is also Coordinator of the National Planning Committee on Schools
Governance, a role he will carry until the end of 2003. Rod brings
extensive experience in Papua New Guinea in a variety of leadership
roles. He returned to Holy Spirit Province 6 years ago.
member has his own areas of responsibility, but a new feature is
that the team works in two mini-teams. Peter and Rod are responsible
mainly for issues related to Brothers, ERF and Formation. Dean
and Pat are responsible for Ministries. There are monthly meetings
with Kevin by each mini team and monthly whole team meetings. Much
work has progressed on developing a Strategic Plan for the Province.
Meanwhile the day to day administration continues. The team is well
supported by a competent, hard-working staff at Westcourt.
Br Tony up to?
SIX YEARS AS PROVINCE LEADER and another six before that on the
Province Leadership Team Tony Shanahan reports that he feels quite
at ease with the lack of deadlines and pressure. Presently
he is engaged in a three month course in Apostolic Spirituality
at the Jesuit-run St Beunos, in North Wales. This course includes
the Thirty Day retreat, or Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, and
runs from January 31 to April 29.
says I have chosen this course at St Beunos because
the Spiritual Exercises focus on discernment and commitment, and
these seem very appropriate themes for me at this transition time,
as I try to discern where I am being called to next in living out
my commitment as a Christian Brother. I have got as far as knowing
that I want to make available my skills and training in the areas
of psychology and formation, and that I want to use those within
the Congregation or the Edmund Rice Network.
Tony is looking at options including working in Africa or taking
up some endeavour back here in Australia. He writes:
the course at St Beunos, I will take a break of a couple of
weeks, probably seeing the west and north of Ireland, country Ive
not seen. Around mid-May I will head for East Africa. I will probably
spend about six weeks there to suss out what living
and working in Africa would be like. The visit will help me be realistic
in weighing up the Africa option. I think I have some expertise
and skills that could be of assistance there. The countries I intend
to visit are Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. There are young men entering
the Brothers in these countries, a few of whom I met earlier this
year. The situation for us in Africa is promising but there are
all sorts of issues to be dealt with in developing our presence
there, including poverty, threats of war (especially in West Africa),
terrorism, and adapting Christian Brother life to the cultural realities
of Africa. One key factor in deciding whether our African presence
will flourish will be the quality of formation we give young African
Brothers, which is where I may be able to help.
will be back in Perth in early July, and by then our own Province
will have completed a review of its own formation needs. So the
new Leadership Team will be in a better position by then to say
what they might want me to do here. At that stage I/we will have
the difficult task of deciding where I am best suited. I say difficult
because I think that there are potentially a number of things I
could do, all things that I would enjoy and that would be very worthwhile.
Thats where the time of reflection and prayer at St Beunos
will be important, in helping me understand better where Im
meant to be at this time.
the meantime he warns everyone to beware. Hes also been acquiring
some computer skills using the new laptop he was presented with
at the end of his term as Province Leader.
Walawski's TRASNA Report...
The TRASNA 2002 Partipants
WALAWSKI, Executive Office of Edmund Rice Camps WA, recently published
an enlightening report of his Trasna experience last year. The report
was originally published in Rice Paper, the newsletter for Eddie
Rice Camp Leaders. As what he wrote will be of interest to a wider
audience we are including it as a supplement to this newsletter
along with all the colour photographs. Click here
to read Mark's report.
photographs in Mark's report are worth looking at in their own right.
Jackamarra reports on Indigenous Ministries activities...
Marlene with the new posters.
JACKAMARRA reports to us that the awaited
CD-ROM of resources on indigenous issues for use in schools and
study groups is now in the final stages of mastering in Brisbane.
There has been a significant input of resources from Holy Spirit
Province to this national initiative. Also
at the national level two posters have recently been published to
further the work of reconciliation between Edmund Rice Ministries
and Indigenous Australians. Copies of these posters can be seen
in the photograph of Marlene above. Please feel free to contact
Marlene (08 9365 2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
to order copies of the CD-ROM or the posters.
has also been heavily involved with arranging the visit of Fr Michael
Lapsley to Perth to run a Healing of Memories workshop in May (see
Michael Lapsley to conduct Healing of Memories Workshop in May...
Michael Lapsley SSM
MICHAEL LAPSLEY SSM of Cape Town, South Africa, was Chaplain of
the African National Congress (ANC) when he lost both hands and
an eye in a letter bomb attack. He has since become a sought-after
speaker around the world because of the work of the Institute for
Healing of Memories which was set up in South African in 1998. This
had grown out of the Healing of Memories Chaplaincy Project of the
Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture. Today the Institute
for Healing of Memories is a Trust which seeks to contribute to
the healing journey of individuals, communites and nations.
Lapsley will be presenting one of these Healing of Memories Workshops
in partnership with the Edmund Rice Centre at Mirrabooka. The workshop
will be conducted at the Swanleigh Camp Conference and Workshop
Venue, Yule Avenue, Middle Swan from Thursday 22 to Saturday 24
the workshop and Ecumenical Service will be held at St Georges Cathedral
in Perth at 2.00 pm on Sunday, 25th May which will be open to all.
find out more about Fr Lapsley and the Institute for the Healing
of Memories visit their website: www.healingofmemories.co.za
the rest of the Edmund Rice Community whats happening in your
sector. Send your stories to Pat
Kelly or Brian Coyne.
If you have photos, logos or graphics all the better.
Cause of Blessed Edmund Rice
Update on the the process of Canonisation
report by Br Dominic Sassi from the Congregation Leadership Team in Rome
provides the most up-to-date report on the process for the Canonisation
of Blessed Edmund Rice. Br Donal Blake, a member of St Helens Province
in Ireland has been appointed Postulator of the Cause to replace Br Regis
Hickey who retired after the Beatification in 1996.
7 JANUARY 2003 THE CONGREGATION LEADERSHIP FORMALLY MADE THE DECISION
TO START THE PROCEDURES FOR THE CANONISATION OF OUR FOUNDER BLESSED EDMUND
RICE. The first necessity was the appointment of a Postulator for
the Cause to replace Br Regis Hickey who retired after the beatification
in 1996. Philip has since written to Br Donal Blake to appoint him as
is a member of St Helens Province in Ireland and is presently writing
the life of Colm Keating. He was a member of the research team which assisted
Br Columba Normoyle in completing the Positio presented to the Congregation
for Causes in Rome. He is also the author of "A Man for Our Time"
a short life of Edmund Rice.
are greatly indebted to Donal for accepting the post, as well as to the
Leadership of St Helens for their generosity in making him available.
Donal has a number of commitments to complete before he starts the work
of Postulator and takes up residence in Rome.
am sure that Donal will be eager to communicate with the Brothers throughout
the Congregation once he starts his role of Postulator. In the meantime
allow me to reflect on what it might entail. The first thing to note is
that the only thing that is needed to make a blessed into a saint is a
miracle; all the other work has been done during the beatification process;
the holiness of the candidate - the heroicness of virtue - has already
been approved by the Church. So whereas the work of postulating the cause
of someone for beatification is long and arduous, the work of making a
blessed into a saint is relatively simple: all that is needed is the will
to introduce the cause and a miracle brought about through the intercession
of the beatus. The latter may take years, but the results of an increase
in devotion to and imitation of B1essed Edmund should be immediately beneficial.
process for canonisation can be outlined as follows:
ACTOR of the cause is the person(s) who presents the candidate for canonisation.
In our case the Actor will be the Congregation or CLT. The Actor appoints
a POSTULATOR who takes care of the technical work on our behalf.
Postulator gathers all the necessary documents and presents these first
to the local Ordinary of a diocese connected with the candidate. The Postulator
and/or Vice-Postulator work closely with various tribunals set up by the
diocese. In our case this will mean looking for proof of a second miracle,
based on all the possible medical documents and the opinion of expert
diocese sends all the documentation to Rome to be considered by the Congregation
the past, some Brothers have expressed scepticism on the need to canonise
the Founder. Others have expressed stronger doubts about the cost of the
process. "Why is this money not given to the poor?" I prefer
to think of the canonisation as an investment, the spiritual fruits of
which cannot be expressed in financial terms. And certainly the cost of
the process would pale in significance when compared with expenses on
administration, buildings and legal costs.
might be the benefits of canonising our Founder? Why bother? I would include
greater glory of God
give thanks to God for the gift of Edmund Rice
to the renewed interest following the beatification
is infectious; we (People of God) benefit from his holiness
- Edmund is one of us
saint is a master-piece of God given to the Church as a witness
is already canonised in our hearts
last point is very important: if Edmund is not canonised in our
hearts there would be no point in his being canonised by the Church.
In his letter of appointment to Donal, Philip writes: ". ..while
we wait for a second miracle that will be acceptable to the Vatican Congregation
for Saints, your task will be to keep alive the story of Blessed Edmund.
It will be your duty to communicate with personnel in the Provinces and
Regions and work out ways in which the ideals and life of the Founder
could become a living tradition. In
this way you will be making an invaluable contribution in helping us all
deepen the spirituality of being Brother which our recent Chapter called
is why in most Religious Orders, the Postulator also takes on the task
of promoting devotion to the beatus and, with the help of others in different
parts of the world, generally animates the members and the faithful in
their devotion. It would therefore be appropriate
for Provinces and Regions to consider who might be the best person to
appoint as local promoter of the cause.
have of course informed the Presentation Brothers of our decision and
have invited them to consider how they might be involved in the process.
In the meantime let us support Donal with our prayers as he takes up this
important role on our behalf.
of Edmund Rice
with his daughter, Mary,
is from an
exhibition on the
national Edmund Rice web site
by Tasmanian painter, Br Hugh
Sharpe of Hobart
on Canvas (27x66) cms. 1996.
EDMUND RICE REFLECTION...
of John Caulfield, 1912...
was a pupil of the Christian Brothers
in my Sion, Waterford, during the lifetime
of Rev. Bro.
Edmund Ignatius Rice, and
though young at the time, I have a distinct
remembrance of his fatherly kindness to
as he passed through the classrooms.
Edmund's love for his disabled daughter, Mary, was perhaps a significant
factor in determining the orientation of his life: he became even
more sensitive to the plight of the "little ones" who
were in some way disadvantaged. Edmund's fatherly qualities found
vivid expression in the way he drew out the best in the street
boys under his care.
reflection is taken from Chapter 6 on Father-figure in God
is in the Ordinary by Teresa Pirola.
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