Fr. Ed Szendrey did a wonderful job leading the congregation in song, with Ms. Judy Abel on the organ. Fr. Joe La Mar emceed and Frs. Bill Coy, Jim Jackson, Dan Dolan and Joe McGahren concelebrated. I presided and preached. You can read my homily at www.baeisms.blogspot.com
We learned at the house meeting later that afternoon that Maryknollers have several options for sending funds to help Haiti. They can ask controllers to make a simple journal transfer from your M/A to the Haiti Relief Fund. Since this is technically Maryknoll's money to be used for mission works, an email or phone request will do. If you want to give from your P/A, a written, signed request is required. Note that only P/A contributions are tax deductible, since that is from your personal funds. Fr. Romane St. Vil will be Maryknoll's point man on the ground when he goes to Haiti in a week or so.
The kinks in Maryknoll's online relief effort for Haiti have finally been worked out. Go to www.maryknollsociety.org and follow the prompts to donate with a credit card. Since last week, $16,488.46 have been raised online for Maryknoll's Haiti relief. This does not include donations that are mailed in.
Catholic Relief has joined the Red Cross in allowing people to text a word via cellphone such as "Haiti" or "Relief" to a given number and a $10 donation is automatically made which appears as part of your cellphone bill. Alas, Maryknoll is so far behind the curve on this one carrier pigeons may be quicker. The irony (tragedy?) is that Maryknoll used to be on the cutting edge of mission fundraising back in the day when we organized the church date system. But that was then.
In other news: Earlier on Wednesday Ms. Linda Unger was feted as a despedida honoring her 16 years working on Revista and MARYKNOLL magazines. She is moving on to another journalistic position at the famous "God Box" north of Riverside Church. During her tenure with Maryknoll she worked wonders in upgrading the style and content of Revista and later as senior editor of both magazines, was instrumental in getting the two staffs to collaborate not only with each other but with the other branches of MEP, notably radio, video and the web. For ten years she organized a staff retreat that emphasized the spiritual nature of their work to get Maryknoll's word out. We thank her and wish her well and God's blessings.