Father Kevin Hanlon gave a presentation on Fr. Thomas Price, Maryknoll co-founder at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon.
Thirteen Society members risked life and limb to make the hazardous trek from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors to the Asia room to hear about Father Price and his spirituality. Who knows how many more might have attended were the weather less freezing, or if this talk did not pose a conflict with some series nap time, or had the library staff, who is sponsoring this series of talks for our Centenary, had sprung for some coffee and doughnuts. To be fair, many men might watch this from the comfort of their rooms on the in-house Channell 15.
Be that as it may, Kevin divides Fr. Price's spirituality into Pre- and Post-Lourdes.
Prior to going to Lourdes, Fr. Price's prayer life was almost Ignatian. Something happened in Lourdes that both greatly disturbed him but then transformed him. Thereafter his spirituality can be described as Bernadettian.
Kevin quoted extensively from a previous work on this topic by our own Fr. James Najmowski, formerly of Korea now of China. (Hi, Naj!)
Meanwhile, back at Lourdes Price experienced a profound mystical experience, the full nature of which Naj et al. can only speculate about from reading his letters.
The missionary connection, Kevin contends Fr. Price sees the mission given to Bernadette was to be an instrument of both Jesus and Our Lady for nothing less than the destruction of sin in the world. Conversion so that the grace of God might enter and transform a person was his goal and he wanted the United States included in this grand missionary endeavor.
"Poor, humble and pure" became the characteristics for Price to model his mission life after the BVM, Bernadette and ultimately Jesus.
A quick look around the room showed that several men were still able to catch some quality nap time during the talk, but at least they get good karma for attending.
A graphic description of Fr. Price's final agony was read from a work by Bishop Patrick Byrne, quoting a letter from a certain Fr. John Tour who attended Price's death in 1919 in Hong Kong.
This blog is submitted with the fervent hope it does not violate the sensitivities of certain members who expressed their concerns that previous posts might have exposed Maryknoll to the critical eyes of non-members, leading them to conclude we are normal like everyone else. If it does, such was not my intention. Get over it and get a life.