I am writing this to you from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. I have to say that the lovely warm weather is most enjoyable, but I do promise to return to Cape Town on Tuesday night even if it remains cold down there! As you know, I am attending a meeting of the Redemptorists from all the countries where we have a presence in Africa. Fr. Sean and Br Richard are also here. It has been curious, if not slightly embarrassing, to discover that we are the three eldest members of those attending the meeting! But it is also a source of great hope to know that although our numbers are not great in the continent of Africa, we have many young and enthusiastic priests and brothers who are continuing the wonderful work of the Redemptorists throughout the world.
It has been interesting for me personally to gain some insight into how Redemptorists are trying to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel in the context of so many different cultural realities and to do this work with a constant sense that all we do as Redemptorists we do as a community which shares a real brotherhood and love for Our Most Holy Redeemer.
Our Father General is also attending the meeting and has been inspiring us to make great efforts in all our communities in Africa to become real signs of the mercy of God as we prepare to begin the great jubilee year of mercy which was recently proclaimed by Pope Francis,
All of our Redemptorist Communities and parishes should be places of mercy and reconciliation, and the reality of mercy should be a truthful experience of love in our family life and in all our relationships with those who belong to Holy Redeemer parish. It is my prayer for each of us that we might both give and receive the mercy of God in one another always. In the year ahead it is my intention to celebrate the Year of Mercy through special services and times of prayer and devotion.
Fr Gerard, CSsR