[THANKS TO GREG DARR FOR THE DETAILS!]
Fr. Leo Shea returned to Mother Knoll long enough to give a glowing report of the bi-annual gathering of the National Catholic Youth Conference. This year's conference took place in Indianapolis and attracted some 20,000+ teens plus another 2,000 adults, staff, vendors from around the country.
Maryknoll managed two booths and all entities were represented. From the Society were Frs. Shea, Jim Madden and Brs. John Blazo (who could be an exhibit all by himself) and Joe Bruener. Brother Candidate Ryan Thibert came from our formation house in Chicago to help us speak in the language of the young'uns. Assisted by Ms. Giovanna Soria from our Revista staff, John manned the "prayer block" counter where people were invited to write prayer intention on small wooden blocks. These are then brought to Maryknoll, NY, and become part of the "Prayer Hut" in our Visitors Center. Likewise, they taught the teens how to fold origami peace cranes, which also adorn the Prayer Hut. Mr. Bill Gordon, from our media department, took some great pix and video of these activities.
Mr. Greg Darr, who heads our MEPD office in Chicago, kept crowds interested with the "Maryknoll Mission Map Challenge" and invited the kids to write notes to Maryknollers or family and friends and engage them in conversation about mission. They also gave out t-shirts, "The Radical Bible" (Orbis) and small mission crosses. These supplies ran out after two days of the three-day conference.
There were also five Maryknoll Sisters there as well, and as soon as somewhere gives me their names, I'll post them here, along with the Lay Missioner and Affiliates present.
Leo says the young people were very interested in Maryknoll and mission work.
Let's hope this translates into a big boost in both inquiries and acceptances into our formation programs.
The first of two Thanksgiving celebrations was held Monday. Regional Superior Fr. Mike Duggan was main celebrant and homilist. The lay mission candidates and staff attended the Mass and joined us for a Pre-Thanksgiving Happy Hour and dinner. Last year we had Fr. Stephen Taluja; this year Mr. Merwyn DeMelo representing the Indians at our feast.
A second Thansgiving Dinner, sans Pilgrims, Indians and just about everybody, will take place tomorrow on the proper day.
Correction to previous post: My grammatical construction and poor choice of verbs created the false impression that the one-woman show by Lisa Wagner was sponsored by the Amistad Catholic Worker house of New Haven. In fact, the presentation was totally sponsored by Maryknoll, with proceeds going to the Catholic Worker house in memory of the late Maryknoll Father Tom Goekler.
The next day I spent a delightful coffee break in the dining room schmoozing with Tom's twin sister, other sister and two brothers-in-law who came from East Haven specifically for the performance.
A HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MY FAITHFUL READERS!