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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).