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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Maryknoll Turns 100

With trumpets, violins, timpani, organ, piano and a thirty-five-member choir, Ms. Lucille Naughton led a congregation of 400+ in singing "Non nobis, Domine, sed nomine tuo da gloriam " (Not to us, Lord, but to your name give glory) as 63 Maryknoll concelebrants processed in ahead of Superior General Ed Dougherty.

The two statues of SS. Peter and Paul on either side of our main altar sported huge red stoles, as is the custom in the Vatican on this day, according to Father Mike Walsh.

Sr. Janice McLaughlin, president of the Maryknoll Sisters, read the first reading for the solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Mr. Sam Stanton, from the Maryknoll Lay Missioner leadership, read the second reading and newly ordained Fr. Rodrigo Ulloa-Chavarry proclaimed the gospel.

Fr. Dougherty then gave a homily befitting a whole century of service. Despite feeling like 100 years, it was actually only twenty-eight minutes long (but who's counting?). Interestingly enough, "Doc" tapped into his inner Baptist preacher and had the congregation repeatedly respond with "Yes, we would!" to several incantations beginning "We would like to thank..." To wit, all Maryknollers, living and dead, all Maryknoll entities, Maryknoll affiliates, Maryknoll associates, Maryknoll benefactors, Maryknoll employees, and Maryknoll men in formation were all feted.

Towards the end of the Mass, County Executive Rob Asterino (cousin of Maryknoll Father Bob Asterino, Hong Kong) spoke a few words of congratulations and shared how as a boy he actually worked one summer in our social communications department. He declared Wednesday, June 29, 2011 as Maryknoll Appreciation Day in Westchester and formally presented "Doc" with the framed proclamation.

The entire ceremony not only was streamed live via Channel 15 to the men at St. Theresa's, but it was also videoed by former lay missioner Mr. Mike Lavery from the archdiocesan communications department.

After Mass the throng migrated out to the tent in the quadrangle where our Sodexo staff once again outdid themselves in presenting foods from around the mission world. Among our many guests were Gloria and Carl Price, relatives of our co-founder, Father Thomas Price. They did the honors of blowing out the candles on Maryknoll's birthday cake.

In a corner of the dining room, a huge screen showed a DVD prepared by Br. Kevin Dargan and Ms.Maureen Toohey of Channel 15 with vintage photos and Fr. Emile Dumas' voice reading the words of founder Bishop James A. Walsh.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the presence of about 12 very polite and pleasant protesters who stood outside with signs in support of Fr. Roy Bourgeois and women's ordination. Several Maryknollers went over and chatted with them and found them to be very sincere and dedicated. They also passed out a statement which I shall include in tomorrow's blog.

Today belongs to Maryknoll.

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