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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vicarious gathering

From Monday of this week until this afternoon, 18 vicars for clergy personnel from dioceses around the northeast gathered here at Maryknoll for their biannual meeting. You can imagine the serious nature of their discussions and deliberations, given the current state of the clergy, parish consolidations and closings. Yet the men seemed most amicable and mingled with us at meals, happy hour and attending our daily liturgy.

Rev. Mr. Stephen De Martino from our vocations office was instrumental in getting the vicars to have their meeting here at the Knoll. It seems that he alone is taking seriously the direction of the last Chapter that called for closer cooperation between Maryknoll and the Church in the United States.

Of course that's on the official level. Unofficially there was a lot of cooperation last Sunday as about 900 Chinese Catholics held a procession through Flushing, Queens, complete with live band, acrobats, float and huge statue of Our Lady of She-San (China). The procession started at St. John Vianney Church, wound its way toward St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang Korean parish on Parsons Blvd, then to St. Michael's farther down parson before ending up back at St. John Vianney's for benediction. Haitian Bishop Guy Sansaricq was aboard the float and blessed those gathered in front of St. Pauls

The Maryknoll connection? I was still at St. Paul's Sunday afternoon, getting ready for the Confirmation Mass, when the Chinese came calling. Hearing the band, I and the confirming prelate, Vincentian Bishop Alfonso Cabeza from Colombia went outside to see what was up. There, among the gathering throng, was none other than Maryknoll Fr. Ray Nobiletti who came with a contingent all the way from Transfiguration parish in Chinatown.

So, from grassroots to diocesan vicars Maryknoll is forging bonds with the local Church.

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