Fr Antony Connelly CP was born and raised in Glasgow having an interest in science, he went on to study biomedical sciences. It was while doing research in the pharmaceutical sciences at Strathclyde University that he felt a strong call from God to serve the poor with the Missionaries of Charity, which took him to Italy, Mexico, Kenya, and Albania. Upon returning to Glasgow, he began to discern a call to the Congregation of the Passion (Passionists), and to continue to serve Jesus Crucified, in many different ways, as a religious and priest and spent 5 years in St Mungo’s Parish, Glasgow, as a college and university chaplain, as well as a port chaplain with Stella Maris. Fr Antony is now very happy to be part of the Passionist community at Minsteracres.
Welcome to our new Passionist Curate, Fr Emmanuel
We are delighted to both welcome and introduce Fr Emmanuel Kabinga who joins us as our new Curate here in Minsteracres. “I was born in Mufulira on the Copperbelt province of Zambia and went to Secondary school to Mukasa Junior Seminary where my vocation was nourished, throughout this time. I hadn’t considered a vocation to the diocese, however, in Grade 11 some Passionists visited the Mukasa Junior Seminary, this was my first encounter with the Passionists and I became attracted to the life of St Paul of the Cross, through reading and study, realising that his desire to serve the crucified and poor, inspired me greatly and I wanted to know more.
I later joined the Passionists in Botswana and after three years of discernment I was ordained a Passionist Priest on 19th August 2006. Immediately after my ordination I was assigned together with Fr. Terrence McGuckin, CP to go and start our first Passionist Mission in Zambia. This was a very exciting beginning of my new journey as a Passionist. The new Mission in Zambia offered what I referred to as a “blessing in disguise” to live among the poor people of Chibombo who trained me to be a Passionist! After serving the Vicariate/Vice Province of Mary, Our Lady of Africa (MATAF) for two terms, I am here as a Curate at Minsteracres Passionist Community and Retreat Centre. I am very happy here, enjoying the warmth of all the community and staff.”
Retreat Programme 2023
We are also about to launch our new retreat programme, based on Passionist charisms of Prayer, Hospitality and Environment. This year we will be hosting retreats on a range of themes, from contemplative Monastic Music, to a retreat around Laudato Si – praying with creation and building a transferable Eco Strategy for communities, based on the Encyclical and it’s teachings. Among other retreats we invite you to enjoy creative poetry across the seasons, engagement with our Estate in our day retreat series ‘Seasons of Change’, and we welcome the well-known Sion Community, who will be leading a weekend retreat on Life in the Spirit in June. An opportunity to engage in a Marian retreat ‘Who was Mary the Mother of Jesus’ with Fr Louis Maggiore, and a reflective retreat on the Spiritual Imagination with author and photographer Celine Alexander-Brown. The calling of us all to be saints, will be explored in a June retreat exploring the example and teaching of contemporary saints and their influence on us with author Halina Holman. These and many more retreats will be available in 2023 and we invite you to look on our website regularly for updates on our exciting programme www.minsteracres.org.
Monastic Music Hours – Making sense of struggle and renewal through the medium of music – 27-29 January 2023
This retreat weekend, offers an opportunity to provide a relaxing meditative break away from the hustle and bustle of the world, whilst enjoying the beauty and serenity of music. We draw on the historical and liturgical ‘Music of the Hours’, a monastic tradition dating back to the 8thC and music includes sublime 16thC polyphony by the likes of Byrd and Victoria, which punctuates the day with times of music, insights, reflection, and prayer. Listening to the very popular Gregorian chants sung by professional singers, we reflect on the monastic journey that comforted and supported the many historic communities who lived through adversity, yet found this faithful rhythm of prayer, (intricately related to the Psalms and Scripture – in which are found expressions of joy praise anguish and remorse) a fundamental mainstay in developing a trusting and loving relationship with God.