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Monday, January 23, 2012

Lunar New Year

Thank goodness the 35 Korean Sunday School Teachers had a wonderful retreat here last weekend and were long gone before culturally sensitive Missioners celebrated Lunar (Chinese) New Year this evening.

It was a noble effort by our Sodexo staff on very short notice. Fr. Ed Szendrey reminded me only last Wednesday and I, as a member of the All-(Self)-Important Food Committee, brought it to the attention of Sodexo Manager Ms. Margaret Ellcott-Sheehan, pictured here in a traditional Korean "Han Bok".

The kitchen prepared sesame chicken, jaozhe (dumplings to gringos, mandu to Koreans), sautéed beef, rice, Bok Choy, soup and even Kimchi, which was surprisingly well received.

The tables and walls were festooned in red banners and various Chinese characters for "Gung Hey Fat Choy."

Chief chef Mike McLoughlin whipped together a wonderful confection of fried bananas & apples or mangoes with chocolate sauce.

A great time was had by most.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eyesore and hazard

Nature has a way of telling us when it's time to let go. The banner was taken down this week.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Retreat photo

Seminarians studying at Douglaston after their closing Mass in the St. Joseph Chapel.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Talk on Identity Theft

Yesterday at 3 p.m. in the Asia Room, Mr. Gary Brown, assistant Attorney General-in-Charge at the Westchester Regional Office of the NYS Attorney General (Phew!) spoke to about 43 residents on identity theft and financial exploitation of the elderly. Ms. Laurie Johnson from Health Services and Mr. Mark Willmer from I.T. were also present.

Brown stressed the need to password protect all online accounts. The password should include numbers and upper and lowercase letters and should not be a form of your user name or an easily guessed word like "Maryknoll". (I can't tell you the number of Maryknoll sites that use 1911 as a password. I can't tell you because I don't know. But I know at least three places use it!)

Email scams, sometimes called "phishing", are on the rise. They look like emails from legitimate banks or credit card companies and ask you to click on a link (Don't do it!) and give sensitive and personal information, like your Social Security Number or Bank Account. (Don't do that either!)

Case in point: two months ago I got an official-looking email purportedly from Capital One bank informing me of "an errors" that caused my account to be suspended but if I clicked the link all would be well. Yeah, right. It also misspelled "receive". So I phoned Capital One and they said it was a scam. I forwarded the bogus email to them to help them track down and arrest the perpetrators and sent the following reply to the senders:

"Dear Illiterate Idiot, Clearly you are either a high school dropout or not a native English speaker, or both. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your clearly bogus email to the authorities. On a positive note, perhaps you can use your time in jail to study spelling and proper English grammar."

So grammar and spelling errors are also two things to look for. And do not hesitate to call the company yourself (Don't use the number given in the suspect email) when in doubt.

Other cautions: do not give a caller your PIN or the security code on the back of your credit cards. (Of course, this only applies if someone contacts you. If you called the bank or the merchant, it should be safe to give that information.)

Check all your monthly statements and report any unfamiliar charges. Many credit card companies will call you if they suspect unauthorized activity.

Some years ago I was doing Christmas shopping in the area and when I got home realized I didn't have my credit card with me. I had only gone to one store so went back immediately but they said they didn't have it. I called the credit card company and said "I think my credit card has been lost or stolen." The agent said, "Yes, we know. We already put a stop on it." Apparently whoever got hold of my card tried to make a huge purchase of a flat-screen TV. When the merchant asked for further ID, the person couldn't produce it. By the time he tried that stunt at another store the card was already cancelled and labelled "stolen."

Sometimes it pays to have Big Brother watching!

If you receive any questions about suspicious email or financial activity, contact Maryknoll I.T. and your superior.

Seminarians @ Maryknoll

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A seminary once again

Well, at least for this week. Thirty six seminarians, mostly from the Brooklyn diocese, but also from New York, Syracuse and from even as far away as Nigeria, Mexico, Colombia and Vietnam, are on retreat here this week.

They are fourth-year and pre-theologate students at Dunwoodie Seminary in Yonkers. Huntington, Douglaston and Dunwoodie consolidated their students last semester.

Besides bringing down the average age here at the Knoll considerably, the seminarians certainly bring energy, enthusiasm and renewed devotions to our hallowed halls. In addition to their talks and daily Mass in the Africa Room and St. Joseph Chapel, respectively, every evening at 7:30 they gather in Our Lady Chapel for Eucharistic adoration and benediction. I was certainly impressed to learn they didn't need prayer cards because they knew the hymns and prayers by heart. Daily devotion is the norm at Dunwoodie.

At meals, the seminarians mingle with the missioners, intrigued with our stories of evangelizing overseas. Our men, for their part, seem to come alive to have these guys around.

In another sense, the seminarians really lucked out coming here this week, since yesterday was our annual community Christmas/Epiphany party with solemn Mass (presided over by Yours Truly) and yet another wonderful meal by Sodexo, featuring prime rib, red and white wine, and special desserts: cannoli and bread pudding.

The men I spoke with seemed genuinely interested in our formation program that included overseas training, as well as our having an associate program for priests and brothers to serve overseas for a few years.

If these men return to Dunwoodie with a better sense of mission, then we all have benefitted from this week.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan opens Maryknoll Sisters' Centennial

His voice hoarse and nearly gone from countless interviews, speeches and phone calls from well-wishers following the announcement he would be elevated to Cardinal next month in Rome, Archbishop Timothy Dolan nevertheless gamely presided and preached at yesterday's official opening of the Maryknoll Sisters' Centennial.

Congregation President Sister Janice McLaughlin carried in the first Theresian Book in which are inscribed all the names of the women who joined the Maryknoll Sisters. This was placed in front of the main altar in the chapel at the Sisters Center. Then, different Sisters carried in fabric from the different regions where they work, accompanied by music of that area.

Cardinal-designate Dolan acknowledged several VIPs among the people filling the packed chapel, including Ms. Caroline Woo, newly installed president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), as well as Fr. Andrew Small, OMI, national director for the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS).

In his seven-minute talk, Dolan expressed his love and admiration for the Maryknoll Sisters and the courage of those first six women who formed the earliest community.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Godspeed, Marie!

Fr. Ed Szendrey gives his best wishes to Ms. Marie Dennis at the despidida for her yesterday in the MOGC office at the Sisters' Center.

Sabotaging my diet

Sodexo Food Service bakers made a wonderful assortment of pastries to help us give our thanks and farewell to Ms. Marie Dennis for her many years of service to Maryknoll as head of our Office of Global Concerns headquartered in Washington, DC.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Contents of 1953 Time Capsule

Thanks to Fr. Carl Costa from Korea for alerting me to the fact I had neglected to mention the original contents of the Time Capsule opened last month.

I hope your computer screens allow you to enlarge this picture.

Maryknollers can read about this (I think!) on the Knollnews2.0 blog in the internal site.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back to the future 2.0

Fr. Dougherty prepares to replace a
new time capsule to be opened in 50 years.

Maryknoll Time Capsule 2.0

Following the 11:30 community Mass this morning, Superior General Fr. Ed Dougherty blessed and carried a new, hermetically sealed time capsule out the back door of the main chapel to the front of the building where, amid a brief talk and prayers, it was resealed by masons into our cornerstone. God willing it will be reopened at our 150th anniversary in 2061.

Here is a complete list of its contents:

From the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers:

+ Program for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Centennial Mass at Cathedral of St. Patrick on October 30, 2011.

+ MARYKNOLL magazine Special Centennial Issue

+ Revista Maryknoll Special Centennial Issue

+ Program for the Maryknoll Centennial Symposium at Catholic Theological Union, "Church in Mission: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow", Chicago, Illinois, October 6-8, 2011

+ Music for Missa ad Gentes --- Maryknoll's Centennial Mass by Michael Joncas.

+ Program for Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Foundation Day, June 29, 2011

+ Copy of America magazine, June 20-27, 2011 issue

+ Copy of NC Catholics, January/February 2011 issue

+ Program for the Maryknoll Society/Alumni Centennial Celebration, Welcome Home Event, September 15-17, 2011

+ Maryknoll Society Pictorial Directory, 7th Edition, Novemver 2005

+ MARYKNOLL magazine, January/February 2011 issue

+ MARYKNOLL magazine, March/April 2011 issue

+ One each of bookmarks in English: Our Lady of Maryknoll, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Africa, Our Lady of China

+ One each of bookmarks in Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Maryknoll, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Nuestra Señora de Africa, Nuestra Señora de China

+ Celebrating the Centennial of the Maryknoll Society: Prayers from Thomas Frederick Price

+ Celebrating the Centennial of the Maryknoll Society: The Vision of James Anthony Walsh

+ In Touch: Promise and Hope, July 2011

+ 2011 Society Address List

+ Card with artwork by Fr. Ernest Brunelle, -- Stones in the King's Highway
+ 2010 Society Annual Report

+ Photo of 2009-2015 General Council

+ "I Am Maryknoll" booklet

+ Society Centennial tote bag

+ DVD Celebrating Service to Mission -- 1911-2011 Worldwide; 1946-2011 Africa

+ Booklet: Stained Glass Windows at Maryknoll

+ DVD - Society's St. Patrick's Centennial Mass, 10/30/2011

+ DVD - The First Hundred Years by Maryknoll Mission Archives


From the Maryknoll Sisters:

+ Silver Chi Rho ring and metal cross

+ Passport to the Missions of the Maryknoll Sisters 2011

+ Maryknoll Sisters 2012 Pocket Planner

+ Brochure from Maryknoll Sisters "Making God's Love Visible"

+ Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominick Complementary Document, October 2008

+ Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic Constitutions, October 2008

+ Marknoll Sisters Institutional Framework submitted to the United Nations, November 1, 2011

+ Westchester Land Trust pamphlet, Fall 2011 issue

+ Maryknoll Sisters Land Ethic Statement, 2008

+ Directions - Maryknoll Sisters 16th General Assembly, October 4-17, 2008

+ Proceedings - Maryknoll Sisters 16th General Assembly, October 4-17, 2008

+ Maryknoll Sisters Address Directory - September 2011

+ Maryknoll Sisters Pictorial Directory - 2002


From the Maryknoll Lay Missioners

+ Maryknoll Lay Missioners tote bag

+ Maryknoll Lay Missioners Prayer Card

+ Maryknoll Lay Missioners 2010 Annual Report

+ Maryknoll Lay Missioners bookmark

+ Winter 2009 issue of Voicesof Compassion

+ Winter 2010 issue of Voices of Compassion

+ Maryknoll Lay Missioners Global Council 2011 -- Prayer Booklet, September 29 - October 7, 2011

+ Friends Across Borders informational flyer

+ Maryknoll Lay Missioners -- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, November 2011

+ Letter in support of Lay Missioners from Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, October 19, 2011


From the Maryknoll Affiliates:

+ Maryknoll Affiliates Organization - Originally adopted August 5, 1995; Revised August 10, 1997

+ Maryknoll Affiliates -- Creating Global Community, May 2010


Book of wishes, prayers and messages to the future, signed by many Maryknoll Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Employees and Friends