The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, better known as the Redemptorists, were based at St. Peter’s and were well known throughout Atlantic Canada. It was the rare parish that did not experience one (or more) parish missions animated by these gifted Priests. One very well known member of the Mission Band was the late Fr. Art Connell. He was extremely kind and approachable. He was nicknamed by his confreres as “the Chaplain to all Parish Suppers in New Brunswick at Harvest Time”!
When he preached a parish mission he always included a sermon for married couples entitled “Ten Rules for Fighting”. Now, to be sure, Fr. Art would never encourage discord. But he was wise enough to know that, even in the most intimate and loving and important relationships, differences arise. And even if we are not always able to discuss these differences with charity and without accusations, we are always able to forgive. And it is forgiveness that strengthens relationships that are sometimes threatened by tensions and misunderstandings. The importance of forgiving is magnified throughout today’s Liturgy. And, as Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”!