Follow by Email

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Town Hall Meeting @ Maryknoll

Maryknoll Superior General, Fr. Ed Dougherty, addressed about 275 employees and Missioners at a Town Hall meeting today from 10 a.m till noon. He starting by thanking all present, especially Fathers Bob Jalbert and Leo Shea for their good work in making our Centennial celebrations last year a success.

Doc also introduced a new ethics hotline, via phone or intranet, where people can report, anonymously if they desire, incidents of harassment, fraud, corruption or misconduct in the workplace. The service is available in English and Spanish.

Fr. Ed Szendrey, internal auditor, explained the rationale for the new system. We had a "whistle blower" policy in place for many years. Anyone could come forward to report fraud, but adequate follow-up was often lacking. EthicsPoint is one of the premiere companies for non-for-profit as well as public companies to deal with improprieties. It provides a mechanism for people who might not feel comfortable going to a supervisor, or who may wish to remain anonymous.

Physical Plant has put together a replica of our computer disaster recovery room. IT will fill this room with computer equipment to allow for a quick resumption of services and functions should a man-made or natural disaster occur.

The Crises Management team meets regularly to keep our living and working environment safe. Prevention is key. Expansion of the security card system throughout the campus is planned.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Prayer card

A portrait of Fr. Price is in the front of the new prayer cards.

Cause for canonization

Last March 9, Maryknoll Fathers' & Brothers' Superior General Father Ed Dougherty, accompanied by Fr. Mike Walsh, archivist, traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina for the official opening of the cause for canonization of Maryknoll Co-Founder Fr. Thomas F. Price. (The cause for Bishop James A. Walsh was opened last November 12. See details see posts on this blog for November 12 and December 7.)

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, bishop of Raleigh, welcomed the officers for the cause of canonization and sanctification. These included Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, Postulator; Very Rev. Dr. James Garneau, Episcopal Delegate; Rev. JaVan Saxon, Promoter of Justice; Mrs. Angela Goodwin Page, Notary.

Members of the Theological Commission included: Dr. Paul J. Griffiths, Rev. Dr. Msgr. John J. Williams, and Rev. Richard DeClue. Members of the Historical Commission include: Rev. Dr. Msgr. Robert Trisco, Rev. Thomas A. Lynch, and Rev. Michael Walsh, M.M.

Dr. Ambrosi outlined the various tasks entrusted to each group and formally installed the tribunal. Fr. Garneau will investigate all of Fr. Price's published and unpublished writings.

While Fr. Price's parish is no longer in existence, present diocesan headquarters is on land purchased by Fr. Price. Plus, the site of the new cathedral is also on land that Fr. Price bought.

In attendance for this formal opening of the cause was diocesan seminarian Philip Johnson who made a pilgrimage last year to the tomb of Fr. Price at Maryknoll, N.Y., to ask his intercession for healing of a life-threatening illness.

Fr. Walsh brought back newly printed prayer cards with Fr. Price's portrait on one side and the following prayers and information:

Heavenly Father, You so inspired Father Thomas Frederick Price with love for You and zeal for the Gospel that he dedicated his life to serve You and Your Church, first in North Carolina, his home state, and then in the foreign missions. Grant that by his example we may grow in holiness and into a deeper union with Our Lord Jesus Christ. Help us to be authentic witnesses of the Gospel and proclaim the Holy Name of Jesus throughout the Diocese of Raleigh to all the people and in all the places we are sent to love and serve.

If it be according to Your Will, glorify Your Servant, Father Thomas Frederick Price, by granting the favor we now request through his prayerful intercession. (mention your request here)

We make this prayer confidently through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

If a favor is granted, kindly notify:

Office of the Episcopal Delegate for the Cause of Father Price
P.O. Box 1145
Mount Olive, NC 28365

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Goodbye spring / Hello summer?

The crocuses, daffodils and jonquils have already come and gone. The forsythia and magnolias are in full bloom.

The winter that never quite was (here in New York) has surrendered to an early spring, which itself seems destined to yield to an ever earlier summer when the temperatures tomorrow are forecast to hit 80+ degrees.

Climate change? What climate change?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gaelic & Garlic Get-Together

Shaymus McNamelli & Giuseppe O'Diug co-host. (Thanks to Br. Kevin Dargan for the use of his costumes!)

We folks living here at the center have long pondered how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day (a quaint, tribal festival of limited importance) on March 17 with the far greater and vastly more popular Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19), patron of Italy and, in his spare time, also patron of the Universal Church.

Well, the good people heading our Wellness Initiative: Fr. John Moran,
Br. Wayne Fitzpatrick and Dr. Claudia Kobkenz-Sulcov in hierarchical order, (but inverted order of importance) hit upon a creative, albeit grotesque solution: combine the two and celebrate both on March 15 (only detrimental if your name is Julius Caesar.)

Thus it was last Thursday at noon we celebrated the combined holidays of SS Patrick and Joseph: Gaelic and Garlic!

Yours truly co-hosted as an Italian Leprechaun (I TOLD you it was grotesque!) Giuseppe O'Diug. (That's Guido backwards). My partner in parody was none other than Shaymus McNamelli (a.k.a. Fr. Don Doherty) as a member of the Irish Mafia, don't ya know. "Never heard of the Irish Mafia??? And just how long have you been in Maryknoll?"

As the members filed in for lunch, they were greeted at the doors by above-mentioned Wellness Initiative folks who gave them party favors and raffle tickets.

As they enjoyed a delightful fusion meal of fine Italian cuisine and Irish "food" (pasta pesto, escarole and white bean soup, lamb, Irish trifle and coffee for dessert and mercifully no hint of corned beef and cabbage) prepared by the talented Sodexo staff, the men were serenaded (another fine Gaelic word) by the Maryknoll band consisting of Frs. Paul Masson, Fern Gosslin and Joe Arsenault and laymen Mssrs. John Gallagher, Larry and Dominic (whose last names I shall supply anon.)

Then Shaymus and Giuseppe took the stage and regaled the troops with such lines as: "How exactly do you make Kelly Green? (Take away his Guinness.)

"Garlic lowers blood pressure; Gaelic not so much."

"For a leprechaun, you don't have much of a brogue." (You know what they say, 'If it's not brogue, don't fix it.')

We had our share of would-be hecklers. One old man (thus protecting anonymity) asked why Italians celebrate St. Joseph since he wasn't Italian. The shorter yet better-looking and wittier of the two MCs retorted: "Yeah? Well, St. Patrick wasn't Irish, so what's your point?"

This banter was mercifully broken up with raffling off gift cards at Starbucks or Barnes & Noble etc.

Then came the sing-a-long section with the band and MCs leading the amazingly still present assembly in: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, Santa Lucia, Wearing of the Green, O Sole Mio, Danny Boy and That's Amore.

Lastly, with each of the 13 tables forming a team, a 10 Question Trivia Quiz posed such head-scratchers as "Where was St. Patrick born?" "Who was the last king of Italy" and "Who is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotte popularly known as?" (Britain, Umberto II and Lady Gaga).

Prizes were awarded to the two teams who tied for first place with eight correct answers and two teams who tied with seven correct answers each.

It must be noted that the answer to one question (How many counties are in the Republic of Ireland?) led to an animated exchange when the much older and less popular of the two MCs  supplied the wrong answer as 32. Other Sons or Eire quickly pointed out there are 26 in the Republic but 6 in the North. Or as one man put it "What the hell do you think the war was all about?"

All I have to say is thank goodness the Italians never fight or disagree about anything.

The gala ended at 1:10 p.m. One measure of success was that several men lingered over coffee to chat well past 1:30.

Maryknoll's secret: from diversity, amusement!

Sent from my most excellent, albeit antiquated, iPhone 4

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Maryknoll votes on Bourgeois' dismissal from order

Maryknoll votes on Bourgeois' dismissal from order

Well, troops, the above article in the National Catholic Reporter (click the headline to read) certainly shattered the cyber and actual silence around Maryknoll these past few days.

U.S. Regional Superior Mike Duggan returned from an otherwise uplifting meeting with other religious superiors and Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany only to learn his (Mike's) name was quite prominently and erroneously linked to certain quotes in the NCR article.

Long story short, ignoring that the vote was supposedly a secret ballot and who exactly voted how and that Fr. José Arámburu and not Fr. Paul Masson is our vicar general and who said what to whom and when, the fact remains: Yes, a vote was taken last December 12 (The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, if you're into irony) on whether or not to dismiss Fr. Roy Bourgeois from Maryknoll and the result was two votes for dismissal and three abstentions.

How does canon law regard abstentions?  If they don't count at all, do two "yes" votes constitute an "absolute majority" of those present?

The upshot of this continued ambiguity is that the proverbial ball (or long knife, if you will) is now back in the Vatican's court, as only they have the final word.

But just for the record, as I have read all kinds of misinformation on the blogosphere:

1) Fr. Roy's excommunication has already occurred "in latae sententiae" (automatically, on performance of a forbidden act). In this case, it was his active participation in the attempted ordination of a woman to the Roman Catholic priesthood back in 2008. The two warning letters were sent to fulfill canonical mandates in order to drive home the seriousness of the action. There is no "formal declaration of excommunication."

2) Our constitutions notwithstanding, Maryknoll will not deny Fr. Roy his living allowance and health coverage. I heard this directly from our superior general himself. I blogged this and posted this on NCR's comments section after several notable people expressed shock and disappointment that Maryknoll would "cut Fr. Roy loose" after decades of dedicated service. The cynic in me would suggest that such an allegation only serves to garner sympathy and evoke outrage by casting the Society as the villain. Our constitutions state that a dismissed member has no claim on support for past services, they do not prevent the Society from acting in a compassionate way toward a former member.

3) If the dismissal is approved by Rome, and there is still some doubt given the inconclusive vote, the only thing that will actually change is the addition of the word "former" to Roy's title of Maryknoll Father.

4) The question of women's ordination will not go away or die.

(And I'll bet some of you wish I had maintained cyber silence even longer.)