Leadership

Pauline Edwards

To all who read this I'd like to say a warm 'hello' I am a Catholic Christian, a mother and a grandmother. Although I was born into a Catholic family and attended a convent boarding school, I eventually turned my back on the church, thinking that it was irrelevant. Nine years after the death of our middle son, I had a conversion experience whereby I can now say that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and I want to bring others to have a similar experience and receive salvation.

In the Catholic church we say that grace builds on nature, and the Lord has entrusted me, along with many others, with bringing the gift of healing to people. I was already able to bring practical comfort and healing through my career in nursing but when people are healed, often spontaneously, by the power of the Holy Spirit, they then begin to realise and acknowledge that Jesus is alive and walking among us as He did 2,000 years ago.

It has been at least fifteen years since, at the instigation of Fr. Malachy Loughran, an Augustinian Friar, that Fr. Laurence Brassill and I began to minister together. We 'pooled our resources' and the Lord has gifted us both in a special way to pray with people for the healing of memories.

Because of my association with St. Therese of Lisieux, my first name is Theresa, and recognising the simplicity of her spirituality, her Little Way, it seemed appropriate for us to wish to be known as Little Way Healing Ministries. Our way of praying is very little; very simple. I have called my book: 'A Little Way of Healing', hoping that in its simplicity it will encourage others to want to pray for healing, and so bring new life and new hope to those who are suffering.

Fr. Laurence Brassill O.S.A.

Dear readers. I welcome you to this website. My name is Fr. Laurence Brassill and I add three letters to my name, O.S.A. indicating "Order of St. Augustine". That means that I am a Christian who has joined a religious community which follows the Rule of St. Augustine. I am a Roman Catholic Priest, ordained in 1966. My identity as an Augustinian dates back to 1955, when I joined this Order of Friars, in Ireland, where I had lived until then.

At that time, I had a very romantic notion of the life I wanted to live, and I loved the idea of sharing everything in common and living a life of prayer together, and spreading the joy of my faith with the whole world. I felt that it should not be difficult, though I knew that people said it would be hard to do.

When I joined the other ten novices in Dublin in 1955 at the age of 18, I felt that I was in paradise. Nothing seemed difficult for me. That might not seem to be likely, but it is precisely how I felt. It is of course what Jesus had promised to those who leave all things and follow Him.

I felt so happy and I thought the other ten guys were the finest people I had ever met. I thought, "This is great!" At long last I am with people with whom I can be my true self. Although we were without all that most people might regard as necessary for happiness, we were being given by God what Jesus in the Gospels called the hundred fold. The love of God in our hearts and the fun we had together could not be bought for money. This was true life for which I had been searching and longing until then. I laughed more in the first month than I had in my whole life up to then.

"Growing pains: the Lord begins to prune me to make me bear even more fruit."

Before joining the Augustinians, I did not realise just how strong the current of selfishness runs in the daily life of us human beings. Within a few months, I began to recognise my own shortcomings and those of the others.

I was very competitive and wanted to shine. I was very much in need of the approval of others. I was deeply insecure. At the time I had no notion of this, but I was in pretty desperate need of the healing of my memories. Not only did I not know that was possible, but worse, I did not know that I needed it. I had always thought that I had had an idyllic childhood and I had excused any and every piece of behaviour on anybody's part that was hard for me.

At this point I jump to Clare Priory in Suffolk, in 1995, when Pauline Edwards, with whom I now share the ministry of healing, with particular emphasis on the healing of memories, was able to mirror to me a number of my weaknesses. These had been preventing me from communicating well with my Augustinian brothers. Four of us friars shared a community life with four lay people. When I asked her to describe to me the difficulties I experienced in my communication wtith my peers, Pauline pointed out firmly to me how I was creating obstacles to communicating effectively and suggested the steps I could take to be healed from a number of childhood sufferings. I had not recognised in myself, what Pauline pointed out. Not only have I personally had an astonishing integration of my own person but I have learned how to pray for the healing of others, most particularly by the gift of the healing of memories. At long last, I have been able to experience the fullness of my humanity by wholeheartedly embracing our Augustinian Spirituality, the core of which is to be one in mind and heart on the way to God.

Previously I had always felt that I could not thrive as a human being because of the perceived shortcomings of the brothers with whom I lived and those of everyone else. Thanks to Pauline's prayer and spiritual gifts, including the Word of Knowledge, I have been healed without needing the other people with whom I engage to have changed. I can now cope remarkably well with conflict and thrive through all that is even most negative in human relationships. In the ministry I share with Pauline, I have discovered the fullness of the augustinian charisms to renew the church and along with whatever community in which I find myself, to build up the city of God in the way that Augustine modelled for us and taught in his writings. My earlier experience of being baptised in the Holy Spirit in 1975 has led me to my heart, my deepest self, where the Holy Spirit is my permanent companion and empowers me to run in the way of God's commandments.

Augustine's brilliant insight: "Lord, give me what you command and command what you will", has become a source of joy which i wish to share with all.

I have learnt to live the confessions of St. Augustine, and lead others into this pathway by turning all our most bitter experiences into the praise of God. I had never before known how to make my whole life a life of praise, as Augustine does in his Confessions'. In this way I have made my own, the very first words of Augustine's Confessions which were told to me when I was a child: "You have made us for yourself, o Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." I shall be eternally grateful to Pauline Edwards for enabling me to access God's rich life, in the spirit of St. Augustine that I am now sharing through this website and in all my ministry. May the Lord bring deep healing to all who read these lines!

God bless you and yours! Your brother in the search for God, Father Laurence Brassill O.S.A.

Maureen Mui

I grew up in Ireland, lived for many years in South East Asia and I now live in Scotland. I am a mother and grandmother.

I have always been a member of the Catholic Church and my faith has been a big part of my life, but I didn't know then that I could have a relationship with Jesus. It was only after coming in contact with charismatic renewal in Borneo and being baptised in the Holy Spirit that Jesus became a reality in my life. The Bible came alive and my prayer life changed.

On my return to Scotland, I received prayer with Fr Laurence and Pauline, their little way of praying was new to me; the link between today's problems and childhood events is real. After years of praying for the grace to live with certain fears and hang-ups, I was amazed that once God healed the root cause of those fears, painful memories and hang-ups in my childhood I was set free. My healing progresses as God continues to show me more things that I need to deal with in my life.

I decided to attend a healing of memories training course and I found it both challenging and liberating. This led me to start praying this "little way of healing" prayer with others. It is a great privilege to see the Holy Spirit touch and heal areas of a person's life. My dedication to the ministry comes from a personal experience of being set free and I continue to be amazed at the healing the Lord does in my life and in the lives of others. I have seen the number of people who have joined us, grow over the years; like me, they too want to belong to this Holy Spirit led ministry to heal those who are still hurting from their painful childhood memories.

Now a long serving member of "Little Way Healing of Memories" team of volunteers, I am the regional co-ordinator for the West of Scotland. The ministry has become so important to me that I have given it my lifelong commitment. I have the role of being the first point of contact if anyone encounters any difficulties with our ministry, or has questions. Whilst I serve on the council, I am also a Trustee of New Spring Trust and give my support wherever it is needed. My greatest joy comes from praying with people and seeing the amazing work that the Lord can do through this ministry.

Tony Schmitz

Tony is a deacon in the Diocese of Aberdeen. Married to Gail, with whom he has three sons and three grandsons - so far. He serves as Director of Studies for the national programme of diaconate formation for the Bishops' Conference of Scotland and currently has forty students preparing for ordination in all the dioceses of Scotland. He is the founding editor of a new theological journal called The New Diaconal Review and managing editor of the diocesan magazine, The Light of the North.

He also serves as parish deacon at St Mary's Cathedral in Aberdeen. In Eastertide 2010 Tony attended the Little Way Healing Ministry course held at Iver Heath together with Fr Keith Herrera, his parish priest at the time. "I was immediately impressed by the authenticity of what I saw and heard. I received healing myself to which I have testified elsewhere. This pathway to inner and outer healing, spiritual, psychological, emotional and physical, seems to me a great charism gifted to the Church for our times. When people are healed they give their witness as a powerful means of direct evangelisation, new (or ancient) forms of which the Church needs today more than ever." Together with a small team Deacon Tony now offers this ministry of healing on a regular weekly basis at the cathedral in Aberdeen.

In November 2010 Tony was asked to join the team with Fr Laurence Brassill and Pauline Edwards that went to deliver a course on this ministry at a venue near Brno in the Czech Republic at the invitation of friends who had encountered this ministry at Walsingham in England. Again, there were amazing healings and the Lord worked powerfully overcoming all handicaps of having to work through translators, as competent as they were. After this course, in December, Tony was invited by Pauline and Fr Laurence to join the Council set up to oversee the development of this ministry. There are now annual courses both in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Born in The Hague and brought up in what was Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, he was educated at the Jesuit St George's College before studying philosophy at Heythrop College, Oxon, and theology at Maryvale Institute on whose academic board he currently sits. Before ordination he worked for thirty years in academic publishing and book selling, firstly in Africa and then for Oxford University Press and Blackwells of Oxford.