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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Message from polite protesters

As promised, here is the content of the flyer passed out yesterday by the group of about 12 protesters who peacefully expressed their support outside during our Centennial Mass in favor of Fr. Roy Bourgeois and women's ordination. As a side note, U.S. Regional Superior Mike Duggan commented that somehow this protest was quintessentially Maryknoll, that has so often been the source of protests overseas.

*************************

June 29, 2011

Dear Supporter of the Peace and Justice Movement,

As the Maryknoll Order celebrates their 100 year anniversary we reflect on the contributions this organization has made to peace and justice throughout the world and applaud their continued commitment to serving the poor and oppressed. However, we cannot ignore Maryknoll's position in regards to women's ordination. We encourage the leadership to reflect on this issue and examine their consciences as one of their most cherished members, Father Roy Bourgeois, has done: "as priests we say we are called by God. Who are we to say that God would not calla woman."

We are dismayed at Maryknoll's dismissal of Father Roy for his support of women's ordination. How can an organization that promotes peace and justice worldwide turn its back on this Viet Nam vet turned Maryknoll priest, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, is the founder of the School of the America's Watch, and is the epitome of everything we thought Maryknoll stood for?

For mor information about Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Women's ordination: http://www.womensordination.org/content/view/108

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Father Roy Bourgeois' response to Maryknoll leadership:

In his response, Fr. Roy stated, "It is my conscience that compels me to say publicly that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is a grave injustice against women, against our Church and against our God who calls both men and women to the priesthood... In essence, you are telling me to lie and say I do not believe that God calls both men and women to the priesthood. This I cannot do, therefore I will not recant."


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[Blogger's note: Once again, for the record, Fr. Roy is NOT being threatened with dismissal because of his support of women's ordination. Were that the case, I would also have been dismissed for my editorial in the May 1993 MARYKNOLL magazine that raised the same issue. When Orbis published a compendium of my editorials ("Good News for Today") in 2007, then Superior General John Sivalon suggested that the controversial editorial not be included. I then asked newly elected and current superior Fr. Ed Dougherty about this and he also thought that editorial's inclusion would not be helpful, so I acquiesced. I had made my point and further action on my part would have hurt Maryknoll more than

For publicly and actively participating in the attempted ordination of a woman in 2008, Roy was excommunicated. Even then, Maryknoll leadership kept Roy on as a member and only asked that he refrain from future PUBLIC actions and comments on this topic. He repeatedly refused this order from our superior. EVEN NOW, Maryknoll leadership has agreed to continue giving Roy his monthly allowance and providing for his healthcare.

My previous posts on this do not even begin to capture the sadness and angst this whole episode is causing among our membership. Reading the thread following my article in a recent NCR clearly shows that most people neither appreciate nor understand the importance of the oath we Maryknollers take to "obey our legitimate superiors".

There is a conversation that needs to be had in Maryknoll and in the Church. The topic will not be easily suppressed nor go away.

Crystal cross

The Maryknoll Lay Missioners presented this crystal cross to the Maryknoll Society to commemorate our Centenary. The cross was on the altar during yesterday's Mass.

(Blogger's note: I successfully posted the above pic directly from my iPhone after futzing around for five days. Now that the glitch has been apparently solved, laisez les bon temps rouller encore!

Joncas "Our Father" now on YouTube

With the wonderful technical assistance of Ms. Emily Ruiz in the interactive media section of our Mission Education and Promotion Department, I have created a video reflection for the "Our Father" from the Missa ad Gentes, composed by J. Michael Joncas for our Centenary.

You can view it here or, hopefully, by clicking the appropriate icon on the right of this message.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoYzSvC0iQI

This is the fifth track from the Mass that has been uploaded to YouTube. Once the "Sanctus" is finished, we hope to make a DVD available on this and other websites.

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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Brothers' Food for Thought





About forty Maryknollers and employees gathered in the Asia room over lunch to hear Br. John Blazo and Br. Alex Walsh speak of the charism and history of the Auxiliary Brothers of St. Michael, i.e. the Maryknoll Brothers. This was the second Food for Thought program held in conjunction with our Centenary celebration, the first being last January 24 on the Fathers.




John ran down a quick history of how the Brothers slowly developed from being strictly auxiliaries whose sole job was to help the "real" missioners (the priests) do their mission work to being missioners in their own right.

Brothers cooked, cleaned, did carpentry, physical plant and electrical work at various Maryknoll facilities around the country. Br. Alex Walsh, who celebrated his 50th anniversary last Sunday, took hotel management courses which soon made him an invaluable asset both here and in Latin America where bookkeeping and dietician planning were in great demand.

The growing prospects for World War II saw a suspension of Brother applicants, since they were (and are) technically not religious but rather a group of celibate laymen. Vatican II saw another moratorium of Brother candidates for about three years as the Society wanted to re-examin the Brothers' role in light of the changes following the Council.

Alex proudly pointed to the Amanacer program for street boys in Bolivia which the Brothers built up from scratch and successfully helped many youth to get an education and turn their lives around. Br. Dave McKenna and Br. Al Patrick were both instrumental in making Amanacer a success.

In the Q & A that followed, Ms. Marge Gaughan, managing editor of MARYKNOLL magazine, shared her story of interviewing Br. Gene Caspar, who worked in the Philippines. He said he got involved in peace and justice work after he noticed there were far too many children dying there due to poverty.

Fr. Dan Dolan paid tribute to the many Brothers whose service over the years built and maintained countless buildings here and overseas, even in China, thus saving the Society millions and making our mission work possible.

Ms. Linda Guerra from Treasury expressed gratitude for the many Brothers, such as Br. Don Miriani and Br. Adrian Mazuchowski, who have helped with our finances over the years.

Br. Kevin Dargan, who now works in our library, is Maryknoll's answer to Google, at least when Society history is concerned. He has compiled two volumes of research on the Maryknoll Brothers. Most recently, he has decorated our dining room with archival photographs of Maryknollers around the world over the years to commemorate our Centenary.

Fr. Dennis Moorman, formerly our vocation director, reports an upswing in inquiries into the Brothers by young men hoping to be missioners.

(I hope to upload pix shortly---the hard way. The problem still hasn't been fixed.)

Catholic Press Awards 2011

Thanks to MARYKNOLL magazine editor Mr. Lynn Monahan for posting the following awards garnered by our various publications at last weekend's Catholic Media Convention in Pittsburgh.

On yet another sad note, our prayers and condolences to Mr. David Aquije, editor of Revista Maryknoll, on the loss of his beloved mother.

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Maryknoll publications won 25 awards in the annual Catholic Press Association awards competition, including 13 first-place awards. The awards were announced at the CPA annual convention in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Maryknoll magazine won first place for the coveted General Excellence award in its category of Mission Magazines, both overseas and domestic. The judges said: "Simply the best in art, writing, editing, and variety of stories. The platinum standard in use of photos in a small format magazine."

The Spanish-language Revista Maryknoll won first place for Best Cover in the small format in the all magazines category for its September 2010 cover, followed by Maryknoll magazine, which won second place for its April 2010 cover. The judges said of Revista Maryknoll's cover, which featured a girl in Africa lugging a mud brick, "The image is striking. The color and use of type simple yet compelling. ...The reader is left wanting to know what is the story about. Just what a cover needs to draw readers in."

Maryknoll Father Joseph R. Veneroso won both 1st and 2nd place awards for Best Original Poetry in the all membership classes. The judges called his 1st place poem, "Prayer For Protection From Daisies, "Powerful and profound thoughts on human diversity, and a lovely layout to enhance the message." His second-place winner was for "God Knows." Both poems appeared in Maryknoll magazine as Father Veneroso's regularly published photo meditations.

Orbis Books won 12 awards, including six first-place awards. Maryknoll's book publishing arm won first place awards in the categories for theology, scripture, education, history, social concerns and catalog. [Also, in reporting on the awards yesterday, I missed one of them—a first-place award for Orbis Books in the Pastoral Ministry category. I'm repeating what I wrote to reflect that change.] Of Orbis' Fall 2010 Catalog, the judges said, "The cover immediately arrests the attention enticing the reader into the catalog. ... A run-away winner."

Maryknoll Fathers Robert Jalbert and Gerald Kelly and Maryknoll Brother John Blazo shared the first-place award for Best Regular Column, Spiritual Life for the Partners in Mission column that runs regularly in Maryknoll magazine, and Maryknoll Father John C. Sivalon won the first-place award for Best Column, Spiritual in the Spanish Awards for his column on wisdom.

The CPA will post the full list of winners with judges commentaries on its web site, http://www.catholicpress.org, on Tuesday afternoon.

99 Years, 364 days and counting...

Hi again. I tried in vain to get recent pix of the Jubilee weekend uploaded from my most excellent iPhone, but still to no avail. I'll call the Blog IT people later. Until I can get the problem solved, I must do this the old-fashioned way: download the pix from my camera to my laptop and then upload them to this blog. This takes time so on-the-spot blogging must needs wait.

On a sad note: Fr. Ed Szendrey received word yesterday (Monday) that his father was dying. Ed immediately hopped a plane to Texas but, unfortunately, his Dad died before he arrived. This is particularly sad for Ed because his Mom passed away less than three months ago. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Today at noon we have another Centenary Food for Thought similar to the one that opened our festivities last January. That one focused on the Maryknoll Fathers and their early memories. Today, Br. John Blazo will be emcee for a look at the Brothers' history.

One on-going activity that doesn't get any publicity and perhaps that's all for the best: For the past several weeks, various Maryknollers have been taking four-hour shifts round-the clock to sit at the hospital bedside of one of our brethren who took ill suddenly with hemorrhaging on the brain. Although he survived that ordeal, it left him very confused and disoriented. When Maryknollers are present, he seems more relaxed, and so they (even our men in formation) take turns and continue to sit with him. This is as much a tribute to the Maryknoll spirit than anything else we've done during our first 100 years.

And now, here without further ado but with annoying and unnecessary complexity in this age of tenchnology, are the stubbornly missing pictures:



Saturday, June 25, 2011

Missing pix and links

Of late, several photos and links I have tried posting have not appeared on this blog. A quick view of Blogspot help-desk inquiries shows I am not alone in this vexation. While I search for a solution, here are the items I've tried in vain to post:

A link to a Huffington Post article in the religion section by Mr. Robert Ellsberg, executive director of Orbis books. Robert wrote a wonderful tribute for Father's Day to his own father, Mr. Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-ellsberg/peacemaker-hero-daniel-el_b_876606.html

A picture of our tower now sporting the 30' red banner announcing our Centenary.

A picture of new rented tents with re-enforced tops and no center poles. Each tent holds 400 people, who will be seated at 40 round tables. Of interest are the four fire extinguishers and four EXIT signs, even though the tents are completely open on all sides.

As I will once again be in Queens at the Korean church on Jubilee weekend, I will see if I can get someone else with an iPhone at the Center to post pix of the festivities tomorrow....provided I can figure out why previous photos have vanished.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A gathering of (gray and balding) eagles

Reports I've heard from some who attended the Mission Institute confirmed my contention that many of us Maryknollers are still stubbornly stuck in the 1970s and 1980s. This has a direct bearing on our vocation recruitment efforts, as it may blind us to where the Church in the States and its young people actually are, as opposed to where we think they ought to be. Yet again we seem to show more flexibility and acceptance of other religions than we do of variations in Roman Catholicism.

Things are happening fast and furious as Jubilee Weekend and our 100th anniversary approaches. Jubilarians have gathered the past few days, necessitating a move for the daily Mass from the Lady chapel to the Queen of Apostles chapel.

Our grounds crew and physical plant are doing great work to spruce up this place and set up flooring, round tables and chairs to accommodate 800+ expected Sunday and 350 on Wednesday.

New, reinforced-roof tents went up. These have weathered the torrential rains we've been having. The weather for Sunday promises to be sunny but if the ground hasn't drained off completely by then, Plan B is to give our guests a real mission experience of planting rice in the quadrangle.

The flags of all the countries where Maryknoll has ever worked will grace our upper quadrangle. The physical plant has creatively hit upon a way to display the flags without permanently affixing flag holders to the pillars: removable clamps.

Many thanks to Br. Kevin Dargan, Fr. Tom McDonnell, Fr. Joe LaMar and moi for selecting vintage photos from our archives for display in the dining room. Ms. Roberta Savage of our art department printed these and Kevin, assisted by Brother candidate Glen D'Angelo and Seminarian Jonathan Hill framed them nicely.

A huge, red Centenary banner to be draped from our tower throughout the coming year has to await the grommets (I never heard of them, either) to connect it by way of a cherry-picker to the supporting cables. Given the thunderstorms we've been having, such a delay is prudent.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Walsh Building Update

Mr. Dave Kane, MLM, was in town for leadership meetings of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners. While here he was given a tour of remodeling efforts of the Walsh building, the future headquarters of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, NSha'Allah. As alluded to by Father Ed Dougherty during his State of the Society address to the U.S. Regional Assembly, the renovations have hit some bumps along the road.

While it was for many years used as offices for Maryknoll and Revista magazines, Orbis Books, Media Relations, Voices of Our World Radio and the photo library, that was then and this is now. The third floor, which had been a meeting room, radio studio and chapel is now off limits due to having just one staircase. Similarly, the second floor over the boiler room that once housed Orbis books is unusable for also having just one egress. I don't. Know why they can't grandfather us in. Lord knows we have enough guys here to qualify.

Meanwhile, no news as to what the Society plans to do with Bethany, the old MLM headquarters and even older Maryknoll Sisters Nursing Home.

On a sad note, David Kane, who works at the Maryknoll Justice and Peace Office in Washington, DC, reports that Ms. Marie Dennis, who headed our office for many years with skill, patience, perseverance, long-suffering and diplomacy (not to mention an extra portion of Christianity) has decided to call it quits at the end of this year. While no reason was given (at least by David), I can appreciate the difficulties and stress that come with a job that requires you to speak out on certain issues and keep silent on others.

When I was editor of the magazines and my smiley face in Roman collar appeared on the editorial page every month, I found it depressing (literally) to have people assume I supported or defended or even agreed with some contemporary Church positions that I in good conscience (there's that word again!) did not. Let the reader take note.

Friday, June 17, 2011

News about women from around the mission world

As Maryknollers from fields afar start to gravitate towards Mother Knoll to celebrate Jubilee on June 26 (for 25, 40, 45, 50 and 60 years of service to mission) followed by the all-time-consuming 100th Foundation Day on June 29th, the buzz around the salad bar has once again taken on a decidedly international flavor.

As one might expect, given recent developments, women's issues provide fodder, but not those we are accustomed (?) to discussing.

Fr. Doug May, in from Nairobi and of former and hopefully future Cairo fame, is in for his 25th. At table we were discussing the proposed ban on infant circumcision coming up in a referendum in San Francisco. I shall spare you the pros and cons in that conversation. But what was remarkable was Doug's observation that female circumcision is common practice among Orthodox Coptic women in Egypt because (ready for this?) the Blessed Virgin was circumcised. No Scriptural text was cited.

Meanwhile Brazil, with its first female president who, according to Fr. Bill Coy, isn't doing too well, has nonetheless made strides toward women's rights, according to Fr. Dennis Moorman who worked there in the past and plans to return next year. "Honor killings" of the type in the Muslim world, were, till recently accepted as justifiable homicide. A man could murder his wife if he even suspected her of infidelity. Although the law has been repealed, men still try to claim this defense, Dennis says.

In Korea, Fr. Russ Feldmeier has worked many years as part of a collaborative team with Sisters and lay people, to demonstrate the advantages of working together as equals. This is very well received, especially among Korean Sisters as one might expect in this still very patriarchal and hierarchal society and Church. That being said, according to Russ, women's ordination is just not an issue for Catholic women here. It may have something to do with the Confucian system which has a fixed place for everyone in Society. Korean women have learned how to exercise leadership and authority despite apparent restrictions.

I once again direct your attention to the NCR article I wrote and the more than 100 comments following. Most were pro Roy, as you'd expect from NCR readship, although a few people really went out on a limb to defend Maryknoll. One questioned mine and other priests' manhood but I was persuaded by a colleague not to pull a Weiner to disprove this. So to speak. Another questioned what price Maryknoll has paid. Apparently the loss of many sponsors and a tarnished reputation is small potatoes compared to the great hardship and unspeakable persecution Roy has faced. Many do not grasp the oath of obedience that binds us to one another as a Society. Several invoked the Nazi defense shot down at Nuremburg: "I was only following orders."

And lastly a Blogger's correction: in an earlier post I had misspelled Fr. Bob Lilly's name. Apologies! Yet even a Maryknoll Directory might not prevent this, as in alternating years it spelled my name with an "a" at the end instead of an "o". But the joys of this electronic age is that I can go back and make the correction.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Maryknoll, Then and Now

OK, folks, I finally got the kinks worked out. (I hope). Below are two links, one for the article I wrote for National Catholic Reporter giving my impressions of the meeting we held with Father Roy Bourgeois during our Regional Assembly last month. The comments people are posting after the article are also informative.

The other article appears in the June 20 issue of AMERICA magazine on our founders and early years in time for our Centennial on June 29.

Here is the AMERICA article:

http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=12918


And here is the NRC article:

http://www.ncronline.org/news/women/time-ambiguity-shadows-maryknollers-assembly

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Echoes of last weekend

When people are still buzzing about your talk or homily a full week after you delivered it, you know it has been a success.

A quotable quote from the sending ceremony last Saturday afternoon, Bishop Antonio Sherpa of Katmandu, Nepal, said, "There are two kinds of missioners, those who come to listen and those who come to teach. Guess which ones last?"

And from all accounts, newly ordained Maryknoll Father Rodrigo Ulloa-Chavvary did a fantastic job on his first Mass and homily last Sunday in Mary Queen of Apostles chapel here at Maryknoll, NY. In his homily, Rodrigo described the first time he, as a new seminarian, welcomed a visitor to Maryknoll. It was his brother.

Rodrigo showed him our main corridor lined on one side with all the ordination and Brother classes going back to 1918. (Hey! This means in 2018 we can have another Centennial celebration. Yay.) Anyway....So as Rodrigo was pointing out our historical membership, his brother's eye was drawn to the opposite wall on which the pictures of nine Maryknoll martyrs are displayed.

Father Gerry Donovan was killed by bandits in Manchuria in 1937; Father Robert Cairnes was murdered by Japanese troops in 1941; Father William Cummings died as a POW in 1945; Father Otto Rauschenbach was killed by Chinese bandits in 1945; Bishop Patrick Byrne died during the Death March to North Korea in 1950; Bishop Francis X. Ford died in a Chinese prison in 1952; Father William Kruegler shot to death in Bolivia in 1962; Father Vincent Campodanno killed in Vietnam in 1967 while administering last rites to a soldier; and Father William Woods who died in Guatemala in 1967 after receiving death threats.

"Did you join Maryknoll to die like these men?" the brother asked Rodrigo. He didn't answer. Then, last Sunday, while giving his homily, Rodrigo asked his brother to come forward. He put an arm around his shoulder and said, "Now I am ready to answer your question."

"I did not join Maryknoll to die like them, but to live like them," he said and, then pointing to the crucifix he concluded, "And to live with him forever."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

ELB O'Room

After almost two full weeks of apparently Zen-like silence (or that's what it must have been, given the total lack of buzz around the salad bar), a few bloggable blurbs have emerged from the meeting of the Extended Leadership Board).

The first, reported by US Regional, Father Mike Duggan) is that the Maryknoll Society will hold a meeting of the entire membership in 2013. Given our present attrition rate, such a meeting will fit nicely in the Central America room, or maybe have both members gather around the salad bar. Seriously, this will really be an interesting experiment, and might be just the spark needed to re-ignite our fires for renewal. I
am making a conscious effort to avoid analogies using the words "powder keg."

The Maryknoll Sisters had such a "Meeting of the Whole" more than ten years ago, and they had way more members then
than we do now or will in 2012.

But back to ELB. I have heard both directly and indirectly from multiple men that some are frustrated with the lack of substance, direction or in-put. While many issues were discussed, nothing has yet been decided (let the reader take note). ELB was scheduled to go till
June 14 but finished yesterday, so whatever they did or didn't do, they stopped doing it. Now that's Zen.

In other news: Father Stephen Taluja has (finally) been assigned to the Latin America Region, effective November 1, 2011. We wish Stephen well as he prepares this next chapter of his mission journey.

Rumor has it that the closing liturgy for our Centennial may be June 29, 2012. This will chain-stitch nicely with the Maryknoll Sisters' Centennial which begins this coming January.

Sorry for this paucity of news. I gotta eat more salad.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Buzzings around the salad bar

During Saturday's ordination, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick referred to newly ordained Maryknoll Father Rodrigo Ulloa-Chavarry as Maryknoll's "Centennial priest" and predicted he does not so much cap the past 100 years as much as he inaugurates Maryknoll's next 100 years.

It has been wonderful these past three weeks to see so many Maryknollers and guests around Mother Knoll. Rodrigo 's parents were in from Virginia. His sister, who serves in the air force like Rodrigo did, flew in from Germany. Another sibling came up from Texas. Aunts, uncles, cousins and friends from as far away as Guatemala and El Salvador helped bring new life to our hallowed hill.

Similarly, the seminarians and Brother candidates from Chicago, here since the Regional Assembly, will begin scattering this week for the summer. Some will take vacation, others will go on OTP to Bolivia or visit missions overseas in Africa and Asia. Until then, the average age of residents here is markedly lower. Evening Monopoly will then give way to evening monotony once again. Thanks to Seminarian Peter LaTouf for uploading to this blog that great picture of Rodrigo prostrating before the altar.

The Extended Leadership Board (ELB) has also been meeting with the general council over serious matters facing the Society, but for some mysterious reason they aren't quite so chatty when I walk by. (They're learning!)

During the Assembly we learned that Maryknoll Sister Elizabeth Roach and a number of other Sisters across the street have formed a special prayer group to ask the intercession of Father Price for a return to health of our Vicar General, Father José Arámburu. For his part, José expressed appreciation for all the prayers, love and signs of support he has been receiving.

Lastly, a tale of divine providence: While at JFK airport to pick up guests, Father Doctor Pete LeJacq happened upon a group of police trying to detain an African woman who was acting erratically. Apparently they thought her actions indicated illegal drug use. Peter intervened and said they'd do better to call an ambulance as her behavior was consistent with someone suffering appendicitis. He was correct and this may have saved the woman's life. Sadly, Peter says this kind of incident (Can we call it profiling?) is more common than we know.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Come Holy Spirit!

In the sacristy

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, ordaining prelate, speaks with Bishop
Anthony Sharma of Nepal prior to the start of Mass.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Night before....

Pre-ordination social

Maryknollers, family and guests party.

Some music

Songs in Spanish and English entertain the guests.

Family photo

Rodrigo's Dad and Mom takes a picture of me taking a picture of them.

Rodrigo's future boss

Rodrigo introduces Bishop Sherma from Katmandu, Nepal where Rodrigo will serve.

Gift from Nepal

Rodrigo & Doc display from Bishop Sherma of Our Lady of the Assumption surrounded by mysteries of the rosary. The tapestry was handmade by a Nepalese monk.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Missiologists

This morning Maryknoll missiologists presented to the community here a draft of a document outlining their ideas for the future of Maryknoll in mission. Members were given copies of the draft to reflect on and submit commits or questions, after which a final document will be released on our Centenary birthday: June 29, 2011.

Alas, I could not attend this morning's session because I was having a pacemaker tune-up in the City. I hope to have more to report tomorrow when the missiologists will give a repeat performance at St. Theresa's.

To the best of my faulty memory, here are our missiologists: Fr. Kevin Hanlon, Fr. John Gorski, Fr. Bill LaRousse, Fr. Jim Kroeger and Fr. Lance Nadeau.

Meanwhile, things are gearing up for Saturday's ordination to the priesthood of Rev. Mr. Rodrigo Ulloa-Chaverry by His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick. This will be followed by a Sending Ceremony. As you know, Rodrigo has been assigned to Nepal.

Guests have been arriving from all over the world, despite violent thunderstorms and tornadoes yesterday. The only setback was plane with guests coming from Guatemala who had to wait five hours on the tarmac for conditions to improve.