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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Read the latest from Fr. Bob McCahill in National Catholic Reporter

Monday, December 24, 2012

Basses and tenors

Mike Lawrence (I.T.) and Frs. Joe Arsenault and Ed Szendrey provide balance. (With a little help from the photographer!)

Angelic voices

Maryknoll Sisters Ann Hayden and Bernie Lynch echo heavenly hymns.


The Maryknoll choir visited the residents of St. Teresa's last week to spread some seasonal music cheer.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Maryknollers and Employees Gather to Mourn

One week after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., a memorial prayer service was held in Queen of Apostles Chapel at Maryknoll, NY. The service opened with chanting  "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" followed by a reading from Jeremiah: "A voice is heard in Ramah, Rachel mourning her children, and she will not be comforted, because they are no more." 
As the names of each of those who died was read, a candle bearing the person's name was placed before the altar as a bell tolled. Last of all we commended to the mercy and justice of God the soul of the one responsible for these deaths, "not because of who he is, but because of who we are."

 A poem "The Field Trip" was read, followed by the song "There Is A Place" where children play who were taken from us too soon.

A reading from Lamentations joined our sorrow to that of the Israelites in exile.

Fr. Dougherty gave a stirring eulogy (see following post) that captured perfectly what so many felt in their hearts.

A Wall of Remembrance in the Spellman Room showed the names, faces and short bio of each of the 27 victims, including the gunman's mother.

Following the service, people were invited to share fellowship in the Spellman Room, view the Wall and sign a condolence book that would be presented to Monsignor Robert Weiss, pastor of St. Rose of Lima parish in Newtown.

(Maryknoll Father John Scott, class of 1978, who passed away several years ago, was from that parish.)

Mr. Harry Florentine (below) was among the many to express condolences.

Fr. Dougherty eulogizes Newtown

Thank you for taking the time to attend this Memorial this morning as part of our Maryknoll Family.

Exactly one week ago, each of us began to heart the news about the tragedy that quickly overwhelmed Newtown, Connecticut.. Through last week and into this week, our collective hearts have been broken and many tears have been shed here at Maryknoll and across the nation.

During any time of sorrow, especially when something unexpected occurs, many of us are at a  loss for words. We simply do not know what to say. Life really is so precious and fragile.

This very human reaction, though possibly awkward at times, can be refreshing. It allows us to fill that silence in our own way, and we can choose to do with our tears, with our broken hearts, with our hugs and thoughts, and with our prayers. Last Monday morning on my way to n appointment, I noticed at the  school bus stops there seemed to be more parents hugging their children--or maybe you just see it differently after a tragedy like Newtown.

Today as we have done everyday since last Friday and as we will continue to do for many more days to come, the Maryknoll family asks our Lord to hear our  prayers for the beautiful children of Newtown, to listen to our words for all their teachers and the emergency responders, and to comfort all the parents, extended families and friends. And we ask the Lord to provide the community with strength and courage as it continues to pull tightly together in love and support to heal the pain.

We also pray for the soul of Nancy Lanza and others in the Lanza family who grieve through this tragedy. And our faith tells us to seek God's mercy for Adam Lanza.

We may never learn the answers to all our questions about this tragedy about this tragedy. And, when answers are elusive, or the answers we do have are difficult to understand, we often turn to God to ask Him why He could allow this to occur to us.

For those of us who have a deep faith in God, bad things often do not make sense to us. But, rather than continue to ask God "why?", let us, instead, begin too ask ourselves "who."

To who shall we tun during this time of pain? The answer to that question is easy.It is a renewed faith in our Lord. We turn to God for peace. We turn to God for comfort and we saw the people of Newtown doing this: scenes of people going to churches and other places of worship.

It our faith that tells us that GOd, at the proper time, will make sense of this moment. Our faith allows us to trust God to lead us through this difficult time and the many others that certainly will occur during each of our lifetimes.

A few days ago, I again heard the words to a prayer attribute to a former bishop in Michegan. The prayer is: "The Work to build the Kingdom of God Continues." I will not read the entire prayer to you now, but I found the first four lines may be of comfort to all of us today.

"It helps now and then to step back and take the long view. The KIngdom of GOd is not only beyond our efforts; it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our life time only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us."

Since last Sunday, a large sign has hung on the overpass of Interstate 84 where it passes through Newtown. It says simply, "Pray for Newtown."

We have. We do today. And we will continue to pray for Newtown, ourselves and the Kingdom of God.

I also saw this prayer referring to the Holy Innocents--the group of babies who were killed around the time of Christ's birth.

     "Holy Innocents, you died before you were old enough to know what life means, pray for all children who die young that God may gather them into His loving arms.

     "Holy Innocents, your parents grieved for you with deep and lasting sorrow, pray for all parents who have lost young children that God may wrap a warm blanket of comfort around them.

     "Holy Innocents, you who are now in Heaven, pray for all of us that one day we may join you there to bask in God's love forever."

O loving God and Mary, our loving mother and Our Lady of Maryknoll, we pray to you for all the victims, heroes, families and friends in Newtown.

Thank you again, for your presence, prayers and love. May you have a Blessed, Peaceful and Merry Christmas!

Edward M. Dougherty, M.M.
Superior General

Thursday, December 20, 2012

With gather in sorrow

Maryknoll remembers

At 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 Maryknollers, employees and friends will gather in Queen of Apostles chapel for a memorial prayer service for those who lost their lives last week in Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

A Wall of Remembrance has been set up in the Spellman Room with each victim's name, age and short bio.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Welpedida party

Hurricane Sandy and other unplanned annoyances notwithstanding, the Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers finally got to welcome and bid farewell to the newest class of lay missioners. They joined us for a special Happy Hour and dinner.

The 12 newbies will depart on Saturday for Fields Afar.

(Welcome + Despedida = Welpedida. Get it?)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sad news from Hong Kong

Word was received late last night of the sudden passing of Mr. A-Kao Lam (right), close friend to many Maryknollers, but especially faithful and loyal friend to Father Ron Saucci (left). Ron had gone to Maryknoll Hospital in Hong Kong overnight for blood work, and A-Kao accompanied him. Sometime during the night, A-Kao apparently suffered a fatal heart attack.

This news took so many of us by surprise as Ron has been battling a fatal disease for years and A-Kao seemed the epitome of health and vigor, even at his advanced age. Ron had worried what A-Kao would do without him and used to joke that Ron's tombstone should read: "A-Kao, go home!"

Well, it looks like A-Kao has indeed gone home and now we wonder what Ron will do without him. Such friends are rare. Cherish yours!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Another NCR editorial !