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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Maryknoll Christmas Concert 2013

On Friday 13th, the Maryknoll choir composed of Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Lay Missioners, Employees and a few volunteers from off-campus, gave a rousing 1 hour and 15 minute musical tour de force to celebrate the Advent Christmas season.

Under the capable baton of Mr. Christopher Reilly, Maryknoll music director, and accompanied by Mr. Joe Nigro on the organ, the choir regaled the packed house of 325 attendees with works by Mozart and Händel and jazzed up versions of traditional carols like "O Come All Ye Faithful."

Sr. Ann Hayden's crystal clear soprano voice soloed on several melodies, including the Magnificat and Fr. Ed Szendrey's tenor/baritone voice was perfect for "Gesù Bambino" --in Italian!

The choir had been practicing weekly since October and in recent weeks added two or three rehearsals each week. Their efforts seem to have paid off as even  those who did not attend (or watch on the in-house Channel 15) had heard by word of mouth how moving the evening was.

Then yesterday, (Tuesday Dec. 17) the choir got to put their efforts to good use again for a mini-concert on the second floor over at the Maryknoll Sisters.

That plus the mini snow storm that blanketed us for the third time so far this season did indeed give a feeling of Christmas.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pie masters

Fr. John Moran, Br. Wayne Fitzpatrick, Dr. Claudia Koblenz-Sulkov and Fr. Ernie Lukaschek serve up crusty confections a la mode.

Maryknoll Pie & Tea (not piety!)

The Wellness Initiative hosted a Pie Party (sorry, no Tea Party allowed!)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Panorama of Despidida

Years of service

All ears

Cast of hundreds

End of an era

After 65 years (as long as I've been alive!) of faithful service to Maryknoll, 47 of which were with the Council Secretariat, Nina Planimenta has retired.

She attended the community Mass this morning with Society members on the Lady Chapel, and after lunch in our dining room with Fr. Dougherty and council members, she was given a Despidida of grand proportions in the Asia/Africa room.

Hundreds of employees and society members, in addition to Nina's immediate family, attended and enjoyed tasty treats, many of which were homemade by our loyal staff.

Speakers (in random order) included Fr. Ed Dougherty, superior general; Fr. John Sivalon, former SG; Fr. Art Dwyer, who served on the very first council with Nina back in the day; Maryknoll Sisters President Janice McLaughlin; Sr. Sue Moore; Ms. Denise Schneider, assistant to the US regional superior; Ms. Adrianne Glass, head of HR; Ms. Marge Gaughan, managing editor of MARYKNOLL magazine and moi, on behalf of the rank and file members for whom Nina has been a comforting presence all these years.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

R.I.P. Mrs. Joan Farrelly

It is with profound shock and sadness that Maryknoll announces the unexpected death of Mrs. Joan Farrelly who passed away earlier today.

Joan worked most recently as Supervisor Bank Deposit/Business Office in the Finance-Cashiers Department. Many Maryknollers came to know Joan in the Business Office in our main building.

About seventy-five Maryknollers and employees attended a prayer service this afternoon in Mary, Queen of Apostles chapel. Fr. Dave Smith presided, Fr. Mike Duggan lead the singing and Fr. Joe LaMar was lector.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hispanic Heritage Day

Maryknollers, employees and guests gathered in the Asia Room (?!) to celebrate Hispanic Heritage with speeches, videos, music --- and food! Homemade offerings included tortillas, chicken with rice, empanadas --- the whole enchilada. Literally!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

MEP visitor

Paris Foreign Missions seminarian Will Conquer (yes, that's his real name!) stopped by Maryknoll yesterday to take the pulse of the church in the northeast U.S.

Will is a second year philosophy student for the Missions Etrangères de Paris. When his superior, Fr. George Colomb, heard of Will's planned trip to the States, he encouraged him to visit Maryknoll and other places in the Northeast US in order to "take the pulse" of the Church here.

Will spoke with Maryknoll Father Frank McGourn and Brothers John Blazo and Kevin Dargan. My two cents was that the church in the US is on life supports (i.e. the influx of immigrants from Latin America, the Philippines, Haiti, Vietnam and Korea).

Luckily, one of our younger priests, Fr. Rodrigo Ulloa was in town, as Will was particularly interested in hearing from our men who work in Asia, as this is where the MEP concentrates all their mission efforts and men.

Will said for about 15 years, MEP had NO vocation candidates; now they have 25 (compared to our ten).  That being said, Will claims we have had far more vocations in our 100-year history than MEP has had in their 350+ years.

Today they number about 300 men.

Their recruitment and formation is very different than ours. Men interested in mission with MEP pay their own way overseas (to Asia) for at least one or two years where they live and work with Missioners at various apostolates. Will, for example, worked in Vietnam for a year. 

This pre-OTP (in Maryknoll jargon) gives the Missioner and the prospect an in-depth opportunity to evaluate one another. According to Will, most decide not to apply. UnIike Maryknoll and all seminaries in the US, they have no psychological testing or screening.

Will said the MEP seminarians take great pride in their reputation as "Hooligans" compared to the more sophisticated and refined French clergy. I suppose this is comparable to our reputation in the past as "Lone Rangers."

Once they begin formal studies, they may be in Paris, Rome or someplace around the world, depending on their area of concentration.

Will left today for the City, from where he hopes to visit various Franciscan communities as well as the Legionaires. It will be interesting after his trip  to learn just what his impressions are of the state of the church in the US. He warmly invites Maryknollers to stop by MEP headquarters should they find themselves in Paris.

Sent from my most excellent iPhone 5 (updated yesterday to iOS 7.0!)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thank You

The weather, the music, the prayers, the food, and many Missioners cooperated on a beautiful
Sunday to show our appreciation to our many generous supporters.

Responsorial Psalm

Fr. Ed Szendrey as Cantor leads
The assembly in song.

Packed house!

More than 700 fill our main chapel.

Thanks to Harry Florentine for these wonderful photos of Benefactors Day at Maryknoll!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pending storm

Today's stormy weather will clear the air for a wonderful weekend here at Maryknoll, especially on Sunday when we welcome 700+ sponsors and benefactors for Appreciation Day. (As you can see, it will be in tents!)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

50 years later

Maryknoll's tower bells ring out in solidarity with churches around the country at 3 p.m. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of MLK's "I have a dream" speech and the civil rights march on Washington, DC.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Doug May checking in

Sent from my most excellent iPhone 5

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Planamenta, Nina" <>
Date: August 21, 2013, 9:49:35 AM EDT
To: "Veneroso, Joe" <>
Subject: FW: Just checking in



Not sure you received this.




From: Douglas May []
Sent: Monday, August 19, 2013 12:41 PM
To: May, Douglas (Outside)
Subject: Just checking in


Dear all.  I have now been back in Egypt for one week now after several weeks in Germany.  It has been an interesting week.
With the curfew and so many expats out of the country, life has been a cross between boredom and excitement.
I am trying to fill some of my time by helping to translate, edit and write plus home masses and masses for the German Sisters.
I am not supposed to go out much as a foreigner, but I do call friends and visit them for several hours during the day.
I think most of you have gotten the list of Christian institutions burned.  It is really heartbreaking to see this all happening.
Below are several links to work I have been involved with over the last few days.  I am fine and plan to stay here.  Doug


The information contained in this message may be privileged and confidential and protected from disclosure. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to the message and deleting it from your computer. Although we attempt to sweep e-mail and attachments for viruses, we do not guarantee that either are virus-free and accept no liability for any damage sustained as a result of viruses.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thank-you patio picnic

Employees and Maryknollers chow down at a luncheon hosted by the library staff to thank them
For all their support this past year.

Patio party

Br. Kevin Dargan and Ms. Maureen Toohey wave to the camera. Ms. Kathy Brophy eats at far left.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Daughters of Mary

Yesterday a whole flock of Daughters of Mary, Mother of Our Savior, graced our premises and turned not a few heads as they toured our buildings and grounds. They then visited the Maryknoll Sisters where each group surprised the other.

Located about two hours northwest of us, they said they had heard so much about Maryknoll they wanted to visit and were truly impressed by our headquarters. They seemed a fairly young group. A quick visit to their website describes them as a "traditional Catholic" order. Someone thought their were affiliated with the schismatic Pius V Society, in which case they are on the fringes of the church. In other words, we have a lot in common.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Farewell, youngster!

Ms. Nina Planamenta gives Ms. Pat Moritis a goodbye hug to show she forgives her for abandoning us after a mere 31 years.

Mike on the mic

Mr. Michael Reddy heaps accolades on Ms. Pat Moritis at the bittersweet party bidding her happy retirement. Fr. Wayman Deasy can be seen behind her counting the number of boards on the floor. Jesus can be seen behind him counting the hairs on Wayman's head.

She takes the cake

Last Thursday, April 25, Maryknollers and health care providers gathered for a retirement party for Ms. Pat Moritis who is retiring from St. T's after 30+ years of service.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Westchester Broadway Theater

Kathy Brophy is surrounded by a melange of missioners taking in luncheon and a show (Guys & Dolls) at the Westchester Broadway Theater in Elmsford.

Meanwhile, back at the Knoll, the joint Maryknoll choir will start today practicing for Dae Kim's ordination Mass on June 1.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Musical benches!

Thanks to the family of Maryknoll Father-Doctor Peter LeJacq, a baby grand piano now graces our main chapel.

This wonderful addition did necessitate moving things around a bit. (See following pix.)


The piano from the main chapel has been moved into the Lady Chapel.

Makings of a piano bar? the piano from the Lady Chapel is now located at the entrance to our main draining room.

If Romero was "blocked", what are we?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hiatal hibernation over!

Surprise! After getting a nice email from Ms. Ann Langille, former Maryknoll employee who worked with our late and dear Fr. John Halbert in the Retirement Community, I decided it was time to come out of my hiatal hibernation. (Sounds painful, I know.)

Ann, like several other dear friends of Maryknoll, check in from time to time with Knollnews to keep up with all the intrigue and drama that somehow never make it into "Journey of Faith", much less the Maryknoll Magazine. As I told her in my reply, my silence was part busyness and part laziness, because there is certainly enough going on at Mother Knoll these days to merit mentioning.

A gathering of about 20 Maryknoll Affiliates and their governing board (reps from the Society, Congregation and Lay Missioners) just finished a four-day meeting at the Knoll. It was certainly wonderful having people with pulses join us for meals!

Speaking of which, another 75 vocation ministers swelled our ranks at lunch time on Saturday (yesterday) thanks to the organizing efforts of Deacon Steve DeMartino and Fr. Jim Madden of our vocations office. Ms. Margeret Sheehan, Sodexo manager, gave the men a heads-up on Friday lest there be more complaints of too much noise in the dining room or someone's cheese having been moved.

Early arrivals for our once-in-a century pan-Society Gathering have begun trickling in. Our youngest priest missioner, Fr. Rodrigo Ulloa-Chavarry, is back (at least physically) from Nepal. Due to jet-lag, his mind is expected to arrive by Tuesday. Fr. Ed Shellito is also in from (I want to say) Namibia (?). I want to avoid the annoying Maryknoll habit of citing all missions by country name but then clumping all Africa into one geographic lump. The nice thing about the blog and internet is I can correct a mistake as soon as it is pointed out. So if Shellito is not from Namibia but from Sudan, Mozambique, Congo, Hoboken or  Burkina Faso, please let me know and I will change.

Other news: at the house meeting last week it was decided to experiment with a long-proposed earlier wake service. This has been on the back burner since Fr. Ray Hill's council in 1989! So, the next Maryknoller to die (if there is one) will be waked at the Center at 4:15 instead of 7:30. This will also allow Maryknoll employees a chance to attend. An earlier wake will be held at St. T's at their discretion.

Speaking of experiment (and intrigue and drama), the year's experiment with the ambo and new configuration of the main chapel officially ended with the Triduum, as per the original arrangement. Now it's time for the evaluation. A non-biased and impartial survey will be sent to all Society members, asking simply whether to revert to the traditional, tired, and boring set-up or maintain the current, dynamic, awe-inspiring and liturgically excellent arrangement. The survey will be numbered to insure no one stuffs the ballot box, as it were. The Gathering will allow the greatest number of members to see and experience the ambo and chapel in its present configuration, in order for them to make an informed and enlightened choice (not that this has ever stopped us before).

Whatever the outcome, the chapel will remain in its present formation until after he Jubilee celebration.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Maryknoll hails election of Pope Francis

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers join with Catholics around the world, with people of other faiths, with the many we serve in mission and all peoples of good will in asking God's abundant blessing for Pope Francis as he begins his pontificate.

We are especially inspired by his example of humble service and concern for the poor, as well as for social justice. By choosing the name Francis, may the Holy Father combine the simplicity and humility of St. Francis of Assisi with the missionary zeal of St. Francis Xavier to share God's love and mercy with all of us.

Our mission as followers of Christ is to prepare each new day to ensure God's good work will continue. We place ourselves in the hands of Pope Francis as he guides us and leads our Church. May he be blessed with wisdom, courage and compassion as he tends to us, God's flock, here on earth.

Father Edward M. Dougherty, M.M.
Superior General
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers

Friday, March 15, 2013

Third Wave Mission Institute

There were 24 participants who came to Maryknoll from March 4-6 to continue the reflection on the "hird Wave of Mission". We had worked on a vision statement and this was discussed and approved.

     There were 24 participants who came to Maryknoll from March 4-6 to continue the reflection on the "hird Wave of Mission". We had worked on a vision statement and this was discussed and approved.
     We estimtate that there are 400,000 Catholic aduls who participate in an overseas mission experience each year. There are an additional 500,000 Catholic youth who participate in mission each year.
     The principle thrust is through parish twinning. There is a wide variety of approaches to the twinning process.
     A significant experienceis volunteer service. This is from two weeks to a year. Catholic Volunteer Network places 19,000 volunteers each year. Some 2,000 go overseas.
     There are a significant number of one week mission trips.
     We developed four formation modules:
     -Accompanying the People
     -Establishing Relationships
     -Best Practices for Projects
     -The re-entry process and sharing the experience.
     These were critiqued and a final form will be ready in one month.
     We worked on an operational plan for the rest of the year.
     This is a collaborative effort with all three Maryknoll entities, and the Maryknoll Affiliates, CRS, uSCMA, FROM, several Diocesan Mission Offices, College campuses and the Haiti Partnershiop.
                                 Gerry Kelly

Rev. Gerald E. Kelly, M.M.
Southern Region DIrector
Maryknoll MEP

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Huffington Post: Latest From Rome

I repost this only because Roy Bourgeois is mentioned in the last paragraph.

Latest From Rome
"There is still no date set for the conclave," stated father Federico Lombardi, director of the press room for the Holy See, even before journalists could start asking questions. Today's assembly -- the fourth since Monday -- was attended by 113 electoral cardinals out of 115. The archbishop of Warsaw Varsavia Kazimierz Nycz and Vietnamese cardinal Jean-Baptiste Phạm Minh Mẫn, both of whom are expected to reach Rome tomorrow, have yet to arrive. Tomorrow is expected to be a day of frenetic activity: The cardinals will assemble in congregation both in the morning and the afternoon in order to continue to discuss the profile of the new Pope and the future of the Church. Will the world have a new Pope by Palm Sunday (March 24)? "While we wait, many believe that's probable. But that's a hope, not a certainty," notes father Lombardi. There were a total 18 interventions during this morning's assembly. Overall, a total of 51 cardinals have made contributions since the conclave "primaries" began. Among the themes addressed today -- explained father Lombardi -- were the challenges facing the church in the contemporary world (in other words the new evangelization), as well as expectations for the kind of new pope the cardinals will elect. A Eucharistic adoration overseen by the cardinal archpriest of San Pietro, Angelo Comastri, is scheduled to be held this afternoon at 5 p.m. in the San Pietro Basilica, and any cardinals who wish to do so may attend. Furthermore, work has begun on the Sistine Chapel, closed to the public since 1 p.m. yesterday afternoon, in preparation for the conclave. The chapel will be renovated and the pavement will be raised to create a single, uniform level all the way to the altar. The briefing with U.S. cardinals has been cancelled. The U.S. cardinals will not hold their press conference today. Journalists had become accustomed to going up Gianicolo hill to attend a sort of secondary press conference held by the North American College of the Gianicolo. Today, cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Episcopalean conference, was scheduled to speak. Dolan is considered the head of the U.S. group here at the Vatican. Over recent days, it became clear that the U.S. cardinals tend to communicate more with the press than their fellow cardinals. The fact that today's conference was cancelled undoubtedly reflects discomfort among the other cardinals -- especially those within the curia -- over what is considered an excessive familiarity with the press. When asked about the issue, father Lombardi explained that "the tradition of the conclave and the path towards the conclave is in part a tradition of secrecy designed to protect the ability to reflect and meditate for each member of the conclave." The spokesperson for the Vatican went on to add that, "therefore it's possible that the American cardinals decided to rethink their approach to the media after having considered the sentiments and indications from members of the college of cardinals on the whole." Father Lombardi: "The cardinals are aware of the importance of this moment." This morning, during an interview with Italian radio station "Radio Anch'io," father Lombardi stated that "the cardinals are entirely aware of the importance of what they are going through." Lombardi noted that "everyone has been immediately struck by the atmosphere of strong desire that this task be carried out well and carefully." Over the course of the congregation there will be "a broad overview of the problems that the church is facing in today's world." For this reason, continued Lombardi, a general identikit for the next pope is coming "not only through collegial efforts," but also "through a series of meetings and encounters that individual members of the college of cardinals hold between one another." The Italian weekly magazine Famiglia Cristiana has published an agenda for the next pope: "Put an end to the Vatican Bank, support ethics in finance." The magazine has drawn up a list of the priorities the Church should focus on in order to be a "willing to deal with its growing loss of credibility." Among the various points on the agenda for the next pope, selected by authoritative exponents from the Catholic world, there is a particularly interesting position concerning the IWR, or Institute for Works of Religion. The article, written by Giorgio Campanini, invites the Vatican to "give up on the IWR," and open to "ethical banks" instead. Camparini, a historian and sociologist, writes:
"(An entreaty) that has a strong sway over public opinion, including ecclesiastical opinion, is the request that the Vatican free itself from all connections (and even more so from all compromises) concerning finance. Today there are, both in Italy and in numerous other countries, ethical banking institutions, within which credit is distributed according to extremely severe criteria aimed first and foremost at development projects, and which completely exclude speculative aims. Why not give them, or similar institutions, the responsibility of dealing with the church's finances (with the exception of a small control and oversight commission)? Complete transparency would reassure the faithful, who continue to make generous offerings, that the money they give to the church, once all the needs connected with the church's upkeep and maintenance have been fulfilled, will be destined first and foremost to helping the poor people of the world."
In the editorial presented in the dossier, Don Antonio Sciortino, director of Famiglia Cristiana, underlines the "prophetic courage" of Benedict XVI who, "after the scandals and 'filthiness,' reconciled the church with believers the world over." Ratzinger's decision to leave the papacy "has put the church back on the path to purification, to the request for forgiveness and renewal," writes Sciortino. According to the weekly magazine, the challenges that the next pope will have to face include: having the courage of the prophecy, promoting increased unity between faith and life; guaranteeing more transparency in order to close the door on the era of suspicion, finding new words for today's man, and proceeding with necessary reforms. The parish priest in Castelvittorio who burned a photograph of the pope is "ready to leave the parish." In Castelvittorio, in Italy's Imperia province, faithful parishioners remain upset over the gesture by Don Andrea Maggi, the parish priest who, last Sunday during the celebration of the eucharist, burned a photograph of the pope emeritus Benedict XVI, accusing him of not being a pastor, and of having abdicated and abandoned his "sheeps." In a short statement, the Ventimiglia-Sanremo diocese communicated that "Don Maggi has expressed his intention to leave his position as parish priest," adding that "the appropriate procedures called for in this kind of situation are all being taken into consideration." The pope emeritus "grateful" for letter from cardinals. Yesterday, Benedict XVI (of whom the Italian weekly Chi published the first images of him taking a walk in the gardens in Castel Gandolfo) received a telegram sent to him personally by the cardinals. "The pope emeritus, who has always been an extremely sensitive person and full of gratitude, deeply appreciated this simple, yet spontaneous and honest, sign of affection, support, respect and gratitude," explained father Federico Lombardi. In the telegram, the cardinals thanked Benedict XVI for his "luminous ministry and the example he has provided of generous pastoral solicitude for the good of the church and the world at large." Woman-priest out for a walk in piazza San Pietro in Rome. This morning, during the "appointment" with the general congregation, visitors to piazza San Pietro were treated to the following amusing scene: a woman dressed up as a priest went walking around the piazza, surprising the faithful. According to several witnesses, this was only the latest in a series of provocations of a group from the liberal front of the church, initiated in light of the conclave and the election of the new pope, and aimed at supporting the creation of female priests. The woman, a foreigner of approximately 60 years of age, refused to make any statements. She was wearing a priest's white collar, black pants and shirt. Several faithful and tourists present in the piazza stated that they were stunned to see "yet another form of protest against the prohibition of women priests, especially now in light of the elections for a new pope." In 2011 a group of 150 priests signed a petition to support the American priest Roy Burgeois, after he publicly stated that he was in favor of allowing women into the order.

Sent from my most excellent iPhone 5

Thursday, February 28, 2013

While we wait...

The bells of Maryknoll rang out at 2 p.m. EST today to mark the end of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. When will the conclave officially begin? How many days will the voting take? Who will be chosen as the next pope? And what name will he take? These are the questions circulating over the salad bar. It would be unseemly to organize an "office pool" on these  questions, even if it's 50/50, with half the proceeds going to charity. (I didn't say we aren't doing it; I just think it's unseemly!)

Meanwhile, news from Seoul via Chicago is that His Eminence Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo Jung has agreed to be the ordaining prelate at the priestly ordination of Deacon Dae Wook Kim here at Maryknoll, N.Y., on Saturday, June 1.

This will be a truly glorious occasion for both Maryknoll and the Korean Catholic community, as Archbishop Yeom, in ordaining Dae, brings our mission to Korea full circle.

This ordination will occur one week after our 2013 Gathering ends, so we should see a large number of Maryknollers as well as Koreans present.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Fr. Art Dwyer was among many extending best wishes to Maureen at her retirement party this afternoon.

Farewell, Maureen!

After 26 years of dedicated service to Maryknoll, Ms. Maureen Foster followed the example of the Holy Father and retired.

Maryknollers and employees gathered in the Founders Room to wish her well and partake of many delicacies. (Thank goodness most of us are "of an age" where fasting and abstinance are voluntary.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Here's my latest in National Catholic Reporter

Taizé prayer

About 50 Maryknoll Sisters, Fathers and Brothers gathered in the Eucharistic chapel with members of the New York chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians for an evening of Taizé prayer.

The liturgy consisted of chant, silence and readings and lasted about one hour.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's official

Maryknoll Lay Missions have officially moved their offices and headquarters to the refurbished Walsh Building. Lay
Missioners-in-training will live at the Sisters or at our Center.

Bethany has reverted back to the Society and our leadership is open to suggestions as to the future of this property.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More on the Apocalypse

Rev. Michael Patella, OSB, biblical scholar and rector of the Benedictine Abby in Collegeville, gives a one day recollection day on the Book of Revelation.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

And the logical choice is....

Having communicated with a most reliable source, it it intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers that the logical choice for next pope is: Cardinal Luis Antonio "Chito" Tagle of Manila.

If you put the following factors into a computer, here's what I conclude:

Assuming the Italians fail in their last ditch attempt to retake the papacy, the College of Cardinals will look to a non European successor of Peter.

As a Filipino, he bridges the gap between European and non, by coming from a country geographically in Asia but  with a culture closer to Latin America.

With 75.5 million fervent, still-practicing Catholics, they must be doing something right.

He is media savvy, with a weekly TV show called "Break Open the Word" in which he comfortably, pastorally and, most important, understandably links the readings of each Sunday's Mass and presents them in such a way so ordinary people can follow.

His parents are both alive: his mother is Chinese Filipino. He comes from a modest background.

He is a close friend to many Maryknollers. (But I do not think we ought to flatter ourselves by thinking we are that well-known among the other Cardinals to make this a negative!)

He is known to help out at soup kitchens and open his house to the homeless.

He is the youngest of the papabilli, at 55. But who knows? Maybe Benedict's example might encourage his successors to put in ten good years and then pass the tiara to the next one.

But here's the clincher for me: he's been on FaceBook for YEARS!

That being said, the most glaring mistake in these considerations is to think the election of a pope has anything to do with logic.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Papal buzz at Mother Knoll

The sudden and unexpected retirement announcement by Pope Benedict XVI offered a refreshing break to talk at meals here at Maryknoll about something other than sports or medical procedures.

That being said, I will only report what seems different than on any other blog or media outlet.

1) Whoever hopes to wear the shoes of the fisherman has to either win over or at least neutralize the formidable Italian bloc (20 of the 115 Electors). The Americans are next with 11, including Cardinal Roger Mahoney. (Did someone just hear Archbishop José Gomez of L.A. gulp?)

2) Although Cardinal Timothy Dolan is a favorite of American media, common wisdom holds no American will be elected pope as long as the United States is an mean superpower.

3) Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec, while a humble and prayerful man, is simply from a country that is considered America-Lite.

4) Cardinal John Tong of Hong Kong is a friend of Maryknoll, so that ought to sink his chances right there. Plus, some fear that he is far too nice and trusting and therefore no match for the Curia.

5) Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana has made the unfortunate mistake of giving interviews these past few days in which he called for the election of a new pope from the developing countries. Explicitly campaigning for the office usually means the kiss of death politically.

6) So the question arises, to which continent do the Cardinals want to send a message? Elect another european (most likely an Italian) to emphasize the New Evangelization (which bears an uncomfortable similarity to the Old Evangelization); an African to counter the rise of Islam in that continent; elect a Latin American to stem the defections to the Pentecostal and Evangelical churches, as well as "shore up your base" as it were; elect an Asian pope to tip the hat to this fast-growing and traditional church of Koreans, Vietnamese and, yes, Filipinos.

7) Although the Church in the USA sends the most money to the Vatican, we have far too many hot button issues (women priest, married priests, gay priests, sex scandals) for the Cardinals to want to stir up this hornets' nest any further.

And so we wait to see what will happen. With no one on the horizon anywhere near the stature as Cardinal Josef Ratzinger was, the conclave promises to be a free-for-all.

So speculation now turns to what name the new pope will take. There are several modern-sounding ones among the list of previous popes, including Fabian and Adrian. I think Alexander has cachet. Or the new pontiff might really want to strike a modern tone with something like Jason, Bruce, Chad, or my favorite: Trevor.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New head chef at Maryknoll

After a long three month hiatus since Mike McLoughlin left as chef, Sodexo found Mr. Joseph Turner to direct the culinary creations of our kitchen.

Joe lives in nearby Beacon, NY, with his wife and two children.

Best of luck, Joe, and remember to refrain from using two much sage on the baked chicken!

First Day on the Job

New Maryknoll chef Joseph Turner (left) made his debut with the meal for Mardi Gras that included creole shrimp, fried okra and corn balls. Next to Joe is kitchen manager Margaret Sheehan, Br. Gordon Burns, Fr. Larry Murphy and Br. Kevin Dargan

Mardi Gras @ Maryknoll

Br. John Frangenburg explores the dessert table that included bread pudding, fresh salted pretzels and king cake (sans enfant).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Update on security

As has been announced on the Construction Bulletin Board near the dining room entrance for the past several months, Phase 2 of our security measures is nearing completion. In the near future (we will first be alerted by email and letters in our mailboxes), you will need a white security card not just to get into the building but also to ride elevators higher than the 1st Floor. The M-wing elevator does not yet require any use of a security card to go to any floors, but due to a programming error, the F-wing and R-wing elevators are already requiring you to use your card before pushing a button for floor 2, 3, 4, or 5."

Regarding stairwells – the new security card readers in the M, C, and R wing stairwells have not yet been activated. You may simply open the doors on any floor without first swiping your security card even though the card reader will then beep.

People "staying at the Knoll" are all issued with security cards. It is only visitors, who are not staying at the Knoll, who will either need to enter via the Rotunda door or phone security from the phone inside the sliding glass doors

Sent from my most excellent iPhone 5

Friday, January 11, 2013

Extra security

Phase 2 of our security measures went into effect today without fanfare. You now need a white security card not just to get into the building but also to ride elevators higher than the 1st Floor.

Stairwells, too, require a security card to open onto the desired floor.

People without cards who are staying at the Knoll will have to enter through the main door to gain access to the first floor (chapel, museum, meeting rooms and gift shop) and ground floor (dining room).

Feel safer?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Body of Christ

Mr. Harry Florentine, who volunteers several times a week in our library, took this most excellent picture of Deacon Dae Kim during the ordination Mass.

Noodles for you and for many

The parish hosted a light lunch of noodles following Sunday Mass to fete Dae on his diaconate.

Thanks to many!

THANKS to all the people who worked behind and in front of the scenes to help make the Rev. Mr. Dae Wook Kim’s permanent oath and diaconate so memorable:

1)   Bishop Bill Mc Naughton, M.M., who overcame initial reservations about the possibility of a snowstorm, and agreed to make the trek down from Boston and to Br. Brendan Corkery, M.M., who volunteered to drive the bishop here, making my job WAY easier.
2)   Mr. Christopher Reilly, our director of music, who arranged THREE programs in short order (The Newtown Memorial, the Solemn Vespers for Oath and the Diaconate).
3)   Ms. Lorena Lopez, director of printing services, and her crew who got the last two programs printed with less than three days notice.
4)   Fr. Joe LaMar, M.M., MC to the bishop, who continually updated and edited the ceremonies as they developed.
5)   Ms. Theresa Rodrigues, sacristan, for helping set up the altar, ordered flowers, prepared concelebration stoles, and found the bishop’s stool!
6)   Rev. Mr. Paul Kim, Brooklyn diocesan seminarian, who proclaimed the Gospel in Korean and English and who helped iron out the liturgical kinks during the ceremony.
7)   Deacon Paul Chin, for assisting during the ordination and Eucharist.
8)   Fr. Gabriel Lee, pastor of St. Paul Chon Ha-Sang in Flushing, who made the parish available and made countless adjustments for our celebrations.
9)   Sr. Marie Cordis and Sr. Paulina, Olivetine Benedictines, who tirelessly and cheerfully accommodated our constantly changing requests.
10) All the candidates who conscientiously fulfilled their liturgical duties.
11)  Ms. Clara So-Yeon Kim, director of the most excellent Logos Student Choir
12)  Ms. Elizabeth Nam Hyo-Jeong, accompanist.
13)  The Hanullim Choir (from the 8 a.m. Mass, in which Dae’s father sings) for offering the “special song” (The Promised Land) in Korean.
14)  Fr. Ed Szendrey, M.M., for cantoring at the vespers, and for taking pix .
15)  Mr. Harry Florentine, for also taking most excellent pix.
16)  The Vocations Committee of St. Paul’s, headed by Ms. Esther Mun and Mr. Laurentio Choi, for hosting the luncheon for Maryknollers at San Su Gap San Korean Restaurant following the ceremony.
17)  Ms. Angela Noh, proprietor of the restaurant, for her more than generous gift to Maryknoll.
18)  Mr. Paul Cho, choir member, for donating the wine for the luncheon.
19)  Fr. John Eybel, M.M. and Br. Joe Bruener, M.M., formators, for sponsoring the reception after the Mass and for going along with all this!
20) The parishioners of St. Paul’s for hosting the lunch after the Sunday Mass and for fostering vocations.

(Rev.) Joe Veneroso, M.M.
Director of Society Liturgies