Contrary to nothing, no, I haven't been silenced. Rather, I have been
A) Away on a ten-day cruise to the southern Caribbean and therefore incommunicado from the goings on here at the Knoll
B) Crazy busy with last minute details for today's official Centennial Opening Liturgy
D) All the above!
Now that we have successfully completed the liturgy and I have napped all afternoon, I can once again take up my blogging duties!
Let's start with today and work backwards. About 400 attended the opening Mass (with at least 65 concelebrant priests in the sanctuary, wearing the new stoles Fr. Joy Tajonera was kind enough to physically deliver from the Philippines!)
The service was preceded by the enhance of all 42 flags of the places Maryknollers have served over the last century. Fr. Bob Jalbert announced the country and year as each flag was carried up the main aisle, then set in special stands at the outside end of each pew. The timpani dramatically accentuated the tempo. More than one person expressed surprise at how emotional the scene was.
Then the liturgical procession entered from the back with Fr. Joe LaMar in the role of thurifer, Br. Kevin Dargan carrying the Maryknoll cross (containing the relics of Frs.Walsh & Price, Br. Tom McCann and Maryknoll Lay Missioner Joe Honerkamp.) Deacon Rodrigo Ulloa-Chavarry bore the Book of the Gospels to the altar.
The entrance hymn was the Glory to God from the Missa ad Gentes. The Choir (of about some 40 Sisters, Fathers, employees and neighbors) was superbly directed once again by Ms. Lucille Naughton. In addition to timpani, other orchestration included violin, electric cello, trumpets, coronets, flute and kanga, which are like bongos on steroids.
Fr. Ed Doughtery was main celebrant and gave a real barn-burner of a homily. Yes, it may have been 30+ minutes long, but it was well written, well delivered and well received. I shall post it in the near future.
BTW, the entire celebration was broadcast to the men in St.T's by our own Channel 15, thanks to the able camera work of Ms. Kathy Brophy and Ms. Maureen Touhey in the control room. Overflow crowd in the Spellman Room was able to watch on a huge screen. Since they got to see close-ups, they in fact got a better view of things. Former Maryknoll lay missioner Mr. Mike Lavery who works for the archdiocesan communications department has been hired to video all three Centennial Masses.
After the Mass, everyone was invited to a wonderful luncheon of chicken cordon blue and roast vegetable ravioli. The Maryknollers and outside guests went to the dining room and Founders Room; Maryknoll employees dined in the Asia/Africa Rooms. Our people from Sodexo really outdid themselves both with food preparation and presentation.
Among the guests was a delegation from St. Paul's Korean parish in Queens, including the mother of Fr. Alphonso Kim. They presented Maryknoll with a lovely Korean statue of Our Lady. The Ossining Fire Chief also presented Maryknoll with a beautiful plaque honoring our 100 years in mission. Fr. Dougherty has suggested getting a special display case for these and other tributes.
As my fatigue once again creeps up on me, I shall end today's post with acknowledging those Maryknollers who came from afar to be with us today: Fr. Jerry O'Connor, from Korea; Fr. Jim Najmowski, from China; Fr. John Sivalon, from University of Scranton; Fr. Joe McCabe, from Rockville Centre; and the aforementioned Fr. Joy Tajonera, from Taiwan and Rev. Mr. Rodeo Ulloa-Chavarry, from Chicago.