Maryknoll Fathers And Brothers Celebrate Centennial 

Keeping The Flame of Mission Burning For The U.S. Catholic Church

by Mike Virgintino Thursday, January 20, 2011
Maryknoll, New York – January 20, 2011 -- The Gift of Mission – The Maryknoll Journey is the celebratory theme that will commemorate the centennial year of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers during 2011. Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is the overseas mission outreach of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States that follows Jesus in serving the poor and others in need in 27 countries.

Maryknoll was co-founded by Father James Anthony Walsh of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Father Thomas Frederick Price of Wilmington, North Carolina, as the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America. Maryknoll began when it received the blessing of Pope Pius X on June 29, 1911 (the feast of Saints Peter and Paul). During its first 100 years, The Maryknoll Society has witnessed to the Gospel in word and deed in Asia, Africa and Latin America, along with mission education outreach within the U.S.

Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers has organized many commemorative programs worldwide during its centennial year to celebrate the call of all Catholics to mission through baptism. Maryknoll’s mission education outreach in parishes and schools throughout the country will engage U.S. Catholics, through prayer, donations, as volunteers and through vocations, to share God’s love combating poverty, providing healthcare, building communities and promoting human rights.

“During our centennial year and going forward, we will continue to burn the flame of mission,” said Father Edward M. Dougherty, superior general, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. “We are fanning the flame in the hearts of all Society members who are keeping the flame alive throughout the world. We also ask all U.S. Catholics to support our work to help others.”

Masses and Parish Events

The Society’s centennial officially begins Tuesday, January 25, with a celebratory Mass at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Chapel at Maryknoll’s Ossining, New York, center. On Wednesday, January 26, Maryknoll will co-host with the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation the first of two reflection days during 2011-2012 to celebrate “The Gift of Our Co-Founders.”

On Sunday, October 30, a centennial Mass will be celebrated at New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for Society Members, U.S. bishops and others who have supported the Society over the years and who will continue to travel with Maryknoll as it enters its second century of mission. The Mass for the centennial year was composed specifically for Maryknoll by Father Jan Michael Joncas, liturgical theologian and composer of contemporary Catholic music that includes On Eagle’s Wings.

Celebratory events and programs throughout the year will involve parishes across the country through Maryknoll’s four Mission Centers in the U.S. Maryknoll missioners and those whom they serve in overseas locations also will participate in commemorative programs. The listing of scheduled activities, “Maryknoll Society Centennial – Updated Calendar,” is available on Maryknoll’s website.

New Opportunities in Mission

An integral portion of the Maryknoll journey into its second century, according to the Society’s General Council, is the role in mission for both the Society and the U.S. Church. The Society’s continued growth in mission will focus on several core themes as it continues to spread the Gospel and serve the people of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the U.S.

“A pastoral approach to mission will embrace new opportunities and expand mission relationships by forming partnerships with religious organizations working in and across the same areas as the Society and on similar projects,” added Father Dougherty. “Operational agreements with U.S. parish-based organizations and movements that share charism with us will be explored as will agreements with Hispanic Catholic community organizations and opportunities to build closer ties with Catholic youth groups.”

The Society will invigorate its relationships with the Congregation of Maryknoll Sisters and Maryknoll Lay Missioners to ensure that the response to the call to mission continues to grow among U.S. Catholics. The Society also will encourage a stronger relationship with the Maryknoll Affiliates, composed of people who identify with the Maryknoll vision, spirit and charism in their work at home and in their communities.

Additional Society plans include short-term programs and pilgrimages that will involve U.S. Church members in overseas mission experiences. The Society also will establish leadership mentor programs for people who live in the countries served by Maryknoll. Local leadership of some Maryknoll programs will allow Society members to dedicate a portion of their work to the exploration and establishment of new projects. Maryknoll will continue to seek additional opportunities to offer pastoral and spiritual care throughout the world.

“Catholics in the U.S. always have been tremendous to Maryknoll, providing us with the prayers and support that have helped us care for hundreds of thousands of people around the world,” said Father Dougherty. “As Maryknoll and the U.S. Church continue its journey of mission, we ask that all American Catholics partner with Maryknoll. Their pledge will allow them to fulfill the call to mission accepted at baptism and it will guide our mission work as we continue to spread God’s message of love and compassion for all people.”

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Contact: Mike Virgintino
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
PO Box 302
Maryknoll NY 10545
914-941-7636 x2219
mvirgintino@maryknoll.org

0    submitted by Mike Virgintino
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