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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Young'uns (?) Gather in Hong Kong

STARTING TODAY THE MEDIAN AGE of Maryknollers living here at the Knoll will spike upwards dramatically as members who took final oath after 1993 join their fellow "young'uns" from around the Maryknoll world and migrate to Hong Kong for a special reunion, of sorts. Not so much age-related as it is aimed at uniting newer members, the group includes late-bloomers to the Society like Br. Ed Redmund (China), Fr. Tom Goekler (China/Honduras), Fr. Rick Bauer (Namibia) and Fr. Mike Bassano (Thailand/Tanzania). Among other things, the gathering affords guys who have few if any classmates an opportunity to meet and bond with other 'singular' guys such as themselves.

From the Knoll, Fr. Dennis Moorman (Vocations) slipped away Tuesday, joined by Fr. Ed Szendrey (Internal Auditor) and Fr. Romane St. Vil (MEP) today. Br. Wayne Fitzpatrick (Lifelong Formation) is attending as facilitator. Fr. Ed McGovern is also in that group and will head to Hong Kong after the quarterly meeting ends in Rome. Fr. Paul Masson will attend on behalf of the general council. Newly ordained Fr. Stephen Taluja will interrupt his studies in Chicago for a week to attend. The meeting begins this Monday and goes till Oct. 13.

Of the 23 men eligible to attend, 20 are making the trek to Hong Kong, although, due to H1N1 concerns and quarantine threats, the guys will not visit mainland China as had been originally planned. Absenting themselves are Fr. Jim Lynch, Fr. Lo Dam and Fr. Joe Everson.

This is the second such gathering of newer members. The first was held in Rome in 2007 and was lauded by all participants as a great success. While not privy to their agenda, I suspect Marykoll's future and their part in it will be a large part of their discussion. Let's just pray the vitriolic health-care debate doesn't put any ideas of euthanasia into their heads!

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