2015 Maryknoll Society Jubilarians

2015 Maryknoll Society Jubilarians

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Thirty-eight Maryknollers are commemorating ordinations to the priesthood or Final Oath as Maryknoll Brothers in ceremonies held at the Maryknoll Mission Center in Ossining, New York, on Sunday, June 28, 2015.

Among them are the following:


samoa_norrisfrank1Brother Frank J. Norris, M.M.

Brother Frank J. Norris, M.M., of Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrates his 65th anniversary of his First Oath as a Maryknoll Brother. Before entering religious life, Brother Frank served two years in the United States Army Air Corps.

Brother Frank’s mission work includes:

1961-1975: Assigned to Tanzania, East Africa, to serve in the Shinyanga Diocese to oversee construction and maintenance work in the various missions of the diocese.
1978-1997: Assigned to Western Samoa as chancery administrator and technical director under Cardinal Pio Taofinu’u.

Brother Frank was born on February 14, 1926 in Cincinnati. He attended St. Clare and St. Martin Parochial Schools and graduated from Elder High School.


korea_beninatifrancis1Father Francis Henry Beninati, M.M.

Father Francis Henry Beninati, M.M., of Farmington, Connecticut, celebrates his 60th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father Beninati’s mission work includes:

1957-1980, 1986-1992: Assigned to Korea to work in Masan, Pusan and other large urban areas. He initiated a number of projects to care for refugees and the poor. These projects included housing, water supply systems, electrification, animal husbandry, night school for working children, schools for the poor, credit unions and a variety of small church communities. While pastor of inner-city parishes in the diocese of Pusan, Father Beninati also served as director of Hansen’s Disease Villages and Service from 1960 to 1992. He also was the director of the Vietnamese resettlement and refugee camp in Pusan from 1988 to 1992.
1992: Oversaw Maryknoll’s entrance into Vietnam, where he taught in Ho Chi Minh City.
1993-2000: Accepted an invitation to serve in the Korean Autonomous Province of China, an area formerly known as Manchuria, where he taught English, writing and conversation in Yanji City. He taught at Yanbian University, Yanbian Nursing College and Yanbian Vocational Training School.

Father Henry Beninati was born on January 11, 1928, in Farmington, Connecticut, where he attended Noah Wallace Elementary School. He graduated from St. Thomas High School in Bloomfield, Connecticut, and he attended St. Thomas Seminary, also in Bloomfield, before entering Maryknoll. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in religious education from the Maryknoll School of Theology in Maryknoll, New York.


japan_colliganjames1Father James P. Colligan, M.M.

Father James P. Colligan, M.M., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, celebrates his 60th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father Colligan’s mission work includes:

1955-1966: Assigned to Japan with parish assignments in Sapporo and Kyoto Dioceses. Served four years as pastor and kindergarten principal in the coal mining town of Mikasa in Hokkaido. He also was an instructor in English literature at the Iwamizawa Division of Hokkaido University.

During 1968, Father Colligan accepted a short-term assignment with the public information office of the Japan Bishops’ Conference and then obtained Japanese Government accreditation as a correspondent of the U.S. Bishops’ News Service in Washington, D.C. He served a year as Tokyo Bureau Chief for the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) and then resumed his affiliation with the U.S. Bishops’ agency, now known as Catholic News Service (CNS). He was thrice elected chairman of Foreign Press in Japan (FPIJ), the organization representing foreign media interests.

Father Colligan was born on October 2, 1928 in Pittsburgh. He attended St. Mary’s Grade School and graduated from Central Catholic High School. After two years at Duquesne University, Father Colligan entered Maryknoll. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Maryknoll College. From the Maryknoll Seminary he earned an S.T.B. degree in sacred theology and a master’s degree in religious education. He also holds a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.


tanzania_ohmanndaniel4Father Daniel F. Ohmann, M.M.

Father Daniel F. Ohmann, M.M., of Greenwald, Minnesota, celebrates his 60th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father Ohmann’s mission work includes:

1964-1996: Assigned to Tanzania, where he served as pastor of the Ndoleleji Catholic Church, a parish of 27 villages. Father Ohmann trained church leaders for these villages and was active in developing hospitals, clinics and agricultural projects. A highlight of Father Ohmann’s years at the village of Ndoleleji was the construction of windmills for the village drinking-water supply.

Although Father Ohmann retired during 1996, he remains in Africa working with the Watatulu tribe in the Diocese of Shinyanga.

Father Ohmann was born on July 6, 1927, in Greenwald, where he attended District 51 Grammar School. He graduated from Melrose Public High School in Melrose, Minnesota. In 1945, he entered the United States Army. Following his honorable discharge, he studied math and music at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, before entering Maryknoll. Father Ohmann holds bachelor degrees in philosophy and sacred theology from the Maryknoll Seminary.


samoa_weitzelquinn1Bishop John Quinn Weitzel, M.M.

Bishop John Quinn Weitzel, M.M., of Chicago, Illinois, celebrates his 60th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Bishop Weitzel’s mission work includes:

1979-2013: Assigned to Western Samoa, he served as pastor of Falealupo, one of the most remote parishes in that country. He was consecrated as the first bishop of Samoa-Pago Pago during 1986.

Bishop Weitzel was born on May 10, 1928, in Chicago. He attended St. Francis Xavier grade school in LaGrange, Illinois, and St. Luke’s grade school in River Forest, Illinois. After graduating from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois, he entered Maryknoll. Bishop Weitzel earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in religious education from the Maryknoll School of Theology. He holds a PMD in business administration from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


china_barrypeter1Father Peter James Barry, M.M.

Father Peter James Barry, M.M., of Troy, New York, celebrates his 50th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father Barry’s mission work includes:

1965-1969: Assigned to the Maryknoll Mission Region in Taiwan and appointed pastor of the Chingan Mission. He also served as pastor of Namchong Mission in the Hsin Chu Diocese.
1972-1979: Worked with students in St. Vincent Student Center in Shihlin, Taipei City. He was appointed third assistant to the Maryknoll regional superior in Taiwan.
1979-2013: Assigned to Hong Kong to work in Maryknoll’s China Liaison Program. This work entailed research on China and occasional trips into Mainland China. He also taught English at the Hunan College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Changsha, China, and church history and English at seminaries in China. Currently, he works with the China Liaison Program and serves at the Holy Spirit Study Centre in Hong Kong. His missionary ministry includes working to build the local church by teaching in seminaries. He also serves as a manager for the Maryknoll Secondary School in Ngautaukok, Kowloon.

Father Barry was born on February 13, 1939, in Troy, where he attended St. Mary’s Parochial School and graduated from LaSalle Institute. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Maryknoll Junior Seminary. At the Maryknoll Seminary, he received a Bachelor of Divinity and a master’s degree in religious education. Father Barry also holds a master’s degree in modern Chinese history from National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


georgia_blazojohn1Brother John Blazo, M.M.

Brother John J. Blazo, M.M., of Hempstead, New York, celebrates the 50th anniversary of his First Oath as a Maryknoll Brother.

Brother Blazo’s mission work includes:

1975-1982: Assigned to Nicaragua and Guatemala, traveling from village to village to train lay leaders and work in health and literacy projects. He also worked with adult leaders and local people in catechetical programs for sacramental preparation. With the help of the parish youth catechists and the local Boy Scouts troop, Brother Blazo instituted a small recreation center and library for the youth of the town of Poptun in the Petén area of Guatemala. A direct result of this work was the reopening of the town library.

Speaking about his mission career, Brother Blazo recently said: “Working in Nicaragua and Guatemala gave me deep insights into my Catholic faith and applying it as I learned about people and their histories in these countries in the midst of personal and structural violence.”

Brother Blazo was born in Rockville Centre, New York, on October 18, 1945. He attended Our Lady of Loretto Parochial School in Hempstead. After graduating from Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, New York, he entered the Maryknoll Brothers Novitiate. He earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Westchester Community College, Valhalla, New York, a bachelor’s degree in adult education from Rogers College at Maryknoll and a certificate in educación pastoral y renovación personal from the Instituto De Religión en Cultura del Mexican American Cultural Center, San Antonio, Texas.


bolivia_chabotpeter1Father Peter Lawrence Chabot, M.M.

Father Peter Laurence Chabot, M.M., of Ontonagon, Michigan, celebrates his 50th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father Chabot’s mission work includes:

1965-1988: He has served his entire overseas mission career in Bolivia. He served as assistant pastor in the Altiplano parish of Achacachi, 13,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains. He also served in the Pando Vicariate, traveling up and down the Beni River to visit the people who lived in the jungle river communities. Father Chabot served two consecutive terms as Regional Superior of Maryknoll’s Bolivia Region.

In 1978, speaking about his mission career, Father Chabot said: “It’s been a privilege to do this kind of work, and I’ve found the work in the Beni and Altiplano areas very challenging and satisfying. The associations with people who live a different kind of existence are especially meaningful to me.”

Father Chabot was born on August 9, 1932, in Ontonagon. He attended Ontonagon Grammar School and graduated from Ontonagon High School. Father Chabot attended the Michigan College of Mining before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps during 1951. He served as a sergeant until his 1954 honorable discharge. A year later, Father Chabot entered the Maryknoll Junior Seminary. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Maryknoll College and a Bachelor of Divinity and a master’s degree in religious education from the Maryknoll Seminary.


guatemala_donnellywilliam2Father William J. Donnelly, M.M.

Father William J. Donnelly, M.M., of Bloomington, Illinois, celebrates his 50th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Before entering religious life, Father Donnelly served in the United States Army. After completing a course in clinical psychology, he was assigned to work with clinical psychologists at a military prison in Neosho, Missouri. After his honorable discharge from the army, Father Donnelly worked as a commercial artist before entering Maryknoll during 1958.

Father Donnelly’s mission work includes:

1965-1990: Assigned to Guatemala and to a parish in Chiantla, Huehuetenango. During 1969, he was assigned to the Villa de Guadalupe in Guatemala City. He was named director of the Center for Integral Development for the Diocese of Huehuetenango and later served as pastor of the Cathedral Parish of the city of Huehuetenango. He then moved to Jacaltenango to serve as pastor of Santa Cruz Barillas in Huehuetenango. Hundreds of Father Donnelly’s parishioners from this area were killed during Guatemala’s civil war.
1998-2001: Appointed regional superior for Maryknoll’s Central America Region.
2001-2004: Served as assistant to Maryknoll’s regional superior of Latin America. He also served as coordinator in the Northern District, primarily responsible for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
2013-Present: Assigned again to Guatemala and currently divides his time between the United States and Guatemala. During the summer, he performs mission education and promotion work in the U.S. Midwest and eight months of the year he serves in Petén, Guatemala.

Father Donnelly was born on August 28, 1933, in Bloomington. After moving with his family to Peoria, Illinois, he attended St. Cecilia Elementary School and graduated from Peoria Central High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Bradley University in Peoria. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in religious education from the Maryknoll School of Theology.


peru_henehanthomas1Father Thomas Henehan, M.M.

Father Thomas Henehan, M.M., of Chicago, Illinois, celebrates his 50th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father Henehan’s mission work includes:

1971-1975: Assigned to Guatemala, where he worked with youth and served as head track coach of the national team. He also started a youth center under the Archdiocese of Guatemala City.
1975-1996: Assigned to Chile, where he was appointed second consultor to Maryknoll’s regional superior. He initiated The Center for Pastoral Reflection in Santiago. Thousands of lay leaders have been formed and accompanied by professionals and experienced teachers who have staffed the programs at the center. During1988, he was appointed assistant regional superior for Maryknoll’s Chile Region. A year later, he was appointed regional superior for a three-year term, a post to which he was re-appointed during 1992. In 1994, Father Henehan’s position was changed to that of regional superior of Maryknoll’s new Andean Region, encompassing Chile and Peru.
2003-Present: A member of the Maryknoll Mission in Latin America (CMMAL) located in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He collaborates with the Maryknoll Hispanic Outreach in the U.S. (Discipulos Misioneros Maryknoll) in its effort to partner with various mission-oriented organizations working with the Hispanic community. One of the projects is a four-year mission formation program (2012-2016) in partnership with the Hispanic Pastoral Institute known as Fe y Vida.

Father Henehan was born September 6, 1938, in Chicago. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Parochial School in Chicago and graduated from Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Holy Cross College, Worcester, Massachusetts.

He holds a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the Maryknoll Seminary and a master’s degree in Asian studies from Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey.


mexico_hilgemanjames1Father James L. Hilgeman, M.M.

Father James L. Hilgeman, M.M., of St. Louis, Missouri, celebrates his 50th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father Hilgeman’s mission work includes:

1965-1976: Assigned to Mexico, where he served as pastor among the Mayan people at Santa Cruz Parish, Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, and then at San Sebastián Parish in Mérida and then in Col. Arenal in Mexico City.
1977-1988, 1993-2000: Volunteered for Maryknoll’s newly formed Mission Unit in Brazil. He served as unit coordinator for three years. During 2001, he was appointed assistant to the regional superior of Latin America and district coordinator of the Northern District.

Father Hilgeman was born on June 5, 1938 in St. Louis, where he attended St. Mary Magdalen Parochial School. He then entered the Maryknoll Junior Seminary in St. Louis. Father Hilgeman holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Maryknoll College and a Master of Divinity degree from the Maryknoll Seminary.


philippines_martithomas1Father Thomas J. Marti, M.M.

Father Thomas J. Marti, M.M., of Seattle, Washington, celebrates the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father Marti’s mission work includes:

1965-1975, 1983-1990: Assigned to the Philippines and served as assistant parish priest in St. Francis Xavier Parish in Sigaboy, Southeastern Mindanao, and at Christ the King Parish in Tagum, Davao del Norte. He was appointed the first Social Action Director of the Prelature, promoting literacy, family life education and the organization of farmers and teachers. He was instrumental in organizing the Mindanao-Sulu Secretariat of Social Action (MISSA), and he became its first executive secretary. Later, Father Hilgeman served as associate pastor in Malangas, Zamboanga del Sur, in Southwestern Mindanao. During 1985, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) requested that Father Marti create an international network of solidarity. He served as director of the International Solidarity Network Desk (ISND) of the AMRSP Justice and Peace Commission for five years.

Father Marti was born on May 12, 1937 in Seattle, where he attended St. Edward’s Parochial School. After graduating from O’Dea High School, he entered the Maryknoll Junior Seminary in Los Altos, California. Father Marti earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Maryknoll College, and a bachelor of Divinity and a master’s degree in religious education from the Maryknoll Seminary.


philippines_mcquadedonald1Father Donald P. McQuade, M.M.

Father Donald P. McQuade, M.M., of Astoria, New York, celebrates his 50th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father McQuade’s mission work includes:

1965-1968, 1971-2005 : Assigned to the Prelature of Tagum, Mindanao, the Philippines.

Except for a brief assignment in Kalimantan, (Borneo) Indonesia, during 1977, his entire mission career has focused on the Philippines. His ministries have included clinical pastoral education, counseling alcoholics and drug addicts, retreat work, parish apostolate and writing.

Father McQuade was born on February 6, 1931 in Astoria, where he attended St. Joseph’s Parish School. He graduated from Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Brooklyn, New York. After earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University, Bronx, New York, Father McQuade joined the United States Army. He served as a first lieutenant in Japan and was honorably discharged on April 18, 1955. Father McQuade worked for a shipping company in New York and in Europe before entering Maryknoll during 1960. He holds a bachelor’s degree in theology and a master’s degree in religious education from the Maryknoll Seminary.


tanzania_bassanomichael2Father Michael D. Bassano, M.M.

Father Michael D. Bassano, M.M., of Binghamton, New York, celebrates the 40th anniversary of his ordination as a priest.

Following ordination in the Diocese of Syracuse, New York, on May 16, 1975, Father Bassano served as associate pastor at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Utica, New York, St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Binghamton, New York, and St. John’s Church in Utica. Father Bassano then applied to the Maryknoll Associate Priest/Brother Program. He signed his first contract during 1987.

Father Bassano’s mission work includes:

1987-1997: Assigned to Santiago, Chile, where he worked in the marginal areas of the city. Father Bassano’s interpretation of the Gospels occurred through song and theater in the plazas of the city. He also worked with the prisoners in Santiago. During 1992, Father Bassano extended his contract for an additional five years and continued his work and ministry in Chile.
1997-2008: Father Bassano applied for incardination into the Maryknoll Society and was accepted on October 27, 1997. After taking his first oath on January 27, 1998, Father Bassano was assigned to the Overseas Training Program in Bangkok, Thailand. He worked with HIV/AIDS patients and with orphaned and abused children in the slum of Khlong Tory in Bangkok.
2008-2013: Assigned to Tanzania. He ministered to people afflicted with HIV/AIDS and welcomed the mentally and physically challenged, the homeless and the abused to the House of Compassion in Musoma, Tanzania.
2013-Present: Assigned to Kenya and South Sudan.

Father Bassano was born on December 22, 1948, in Binghamton, where he graduated from Seton Catholic Central High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Wadhams Hall Seminary College, Ogdensburg, New York, and a Master of Divinity degree from St. Bernard’s Seminary, Rochester, New York.


philippines_kroegerjames2Father James H. Kroeger, M.M.

Father James H. Kroeger, M.M., of Appleton, Wisconsin, celebrates his 40th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father Kroeger’s mission work includes:

1975-1982, 1985-Present: Assigned to the Philippines, where he was appointed director of the Maryknoll Institute of Language and Culture in Davao City, a post he filled on two occasions for a total of 10 years. He also served as assistant parish priest in St. James Parish, Cateel, Davao Oriental, and he was resident professor, library director and academic dean at the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary in Davao City. Father Kroeger taught in various capacities at the Davao Major Seminary, the Philippine Lay Mission Program, the Mother of Life Catechetical Institute and the Jesuit Loyola School of Theology in Manila. He was consultor on the Maryknoll Philippine Regional Council from 1986 to 1990. He was appointed full professor in the Pontifical Faculty of Theology at the Loyola School of Theology in Manila. He currently serves with the Office of Evangelization of the FABC (Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences), is executive secretary of AMSAL (Asian Missionary Societies of Apostolic Life) and serves as president of PACM (Philippine Association of Catholic Missiologists).

Father Kroeger was born in Appleton on December 4, 1945. He attended St. Mary’s Elementary School in Greenville. Father Kroeger’s high school and junior college studies were at the Sacred Heart Seminary in Oneida, Wisconsin. He graduated from St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology, and he entered Maryknoll the same year. He holds master’s degrees in divinity and theology from the Maryknoll Seminary and licentiate and doctorate degrees in missiology from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.


kilkellytimothy1Father Timothy O. Kilkelly, M.M.

Father Timothy O. Kilkelly, M.M., of Minneapolis, Minnesota, celebrates his 25th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll priest.

Father Kilkelly’s mission work includes:

1990-1998, 2000-2002: Assigned to Hong Kong and served in pastoral ministry for five years at Saints Peter and Paul Church. He also served in prison ministry and as the chaplain for Catholic youth at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
2009-2012: Assigned to Maryknoll’s China mission. Since 2013, he has served as project coordinator of the Maryknoll Chinese Seminary Teachers & Formators Project. The project recruits, arranges programs for academic study and accompanies students during their study period in the United States.

Father Kilkelly was born on August 23, 1959, in Minneapolis. He attended Holy Family Grammar School in Minneapolis and graduated from Benilde St. Margaret’s High School in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Father Kilkelly earned a bachelor’s degree in German and business from the College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. He received a Masters of Divinity degree from the Maryknoll School of Theology and a licentiate degree in spirituality from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

From Washington to Bolivia: Trumbull native shares journey of helping others

From Washington to Bolivia: Trumbull native shares journey of helping others

By Steve Coulter, Trumbull Times

Politics can be a lot more than banter, dissent, and gridlock; at its best, government can serve as a soundboard for people who want their voices to be heard — an outlet for individual frustration and a platform for reassurance.

That’s what Trumbull resident Kyle Cannone learned interning at the Office of Economic and Community Development (ECD) in Town Hall this summer.

Cannone, who graduated from St. Joseph High School in 2011, graduated from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. While he was at school, he completed separate internships for Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

He said that his experience coming back home opened his eyes to the good that can come from working in public service.

“In Washington, politics can be so divisive — everybody always on edge having to defend their party,” he told The Times. “There’s a lack of civility and decency that lends itself to people being disgruntled.

“Being back home in Trumbull this summer, I felt like I was more of a bridge between listening to people’s problems and getting them the help they needed,” he added.

One of the big projects Cannone worked on this summer with the ECD was helping the Trumbull Health Department become its own entity, which resulted in the closing of the Trumbull-Monroe Health District.

“I was involved in a lot of different things, but that was the biggest and the one where I got to see the most change effected over a short period of time — we went from having a joint system to an independent one over the span of my internship,” he said. “I really just wanted to make myself as helpful as possible.”

Public service

Cannone believes working in government means one should be an instrument of assistance — relieving the strain from everyday people who face everyday concerns.

He first got interested in politics around 2008 with the election of President Barack Obama.

“There was a lot of energy and excitement around that election, and I really started getting interested,” he said. “I went to Washington, D.C., three years later to be closer to the nation’s affairs.”

Through his experience in the nation’s capital, he learned his real passion wasn’t purely politics; rather, it was serving the public.

Being back home in Trumbull helped cement that feeling.

“It was a lot more person to person, lots of direct contact, and I could see I was making a real difference,” he said. “In D.C., it was a lot more talking on the phones and doing research on certain pieces of legislation.”

He said the collegiate experience did open his eyes a lot.

“There are a lot of people who are frustrated out there who just want to be heard,” he said. “The times we live in has left a lot of people concerned.”

Resolution of those concerns was the biggest difference between home and the nation’s capital, Cannone said.

“In Trumbull, people were a lot more interested in solving problems,” he said. “It’s really a model town that other neighboring communities and area should try to learn from and try to duplicate.”

2015_trumbull_cannone2Heading down south

From politics to public service, Cannone knows he wants to make a positive difference in other people’s lives.

That’s why he’s planning on taking the next year off before he enters law school.

“Hopefully things work out,” he said. “I really want to try and stick to my plan — delve deeper into my faith and enter this spiritual journey that will help me live a positive life for years to come.”

This week he embarks on a four-month Catholic mission trip to Bolivia.

He believes the landlocked country in central South America is the perfect springboard for his passion.

“It’s a full immersion program where I’ll be living with a Spanish-speaking family while I’m there and I’ll be doing some Christian missionary work that includes teaching English to students and bonding with them through after-school programs…

“I’ll teach them English as I learn to speak Spanish,” he added. “I really just want to be a sponge and absorb as much as I can, and be a really good presence to their people.”

The program is through Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, a New York-based mission that sends people to South America and other impoverished parts of the world.

This trip will head to the village of Cochabamba.

Besides learning Spanish, Cannone says he plans to learn Bolivian history and get a better feel for the country’s traditions.

“The more I can know about the country, the better the feel I will have for its people,” he said.

He said his motivation for the trip came in part from growing up in Fairfield County, where he’s communicated with South American natives his whole life.

“I’ve had nothing but great interactions with them — they’re stand-up people,” he said. “I look forward to learning more of their customs and traditions…

“It’s something I wanted to do for a long time,” he added. “I can’t want to be full immersed living like a Bolivian, and learn from them and just be there living my life.”

On a mission from God

On a mission from God

(article from Faith Magazine Jan/Feb 2011)

by Patricia Marshall

The young faces gazing out from the old black and white photos were calm but expectant. It was hard for me to imagine what they must have been feeling as they embarked on a difficult and potentially dangerous trip. They would probably never see their family and friends again.

These were not the faces of soldiers, but rather of early Maryknoll missionaries, waiting to board a ship that would take them to their new life of service in a foreign land. Their pictures hang in a display on the history of Maryknoll missions in the group’s headquarters in Ossining, N.Y.

This year the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, officially named The Catholic Foreign Mission Society of the United States, are celebrating their 100th anniversary. Among those celebrating are Diocese of Erie natives Father Paul Masson from Rouseville, Father Ed Shellito from Erie and Father Tom Egan from Oil City.

Much has changed about mission life over the past century. Travel to places such as Asia or South America took weeks in the early 20th century. Letters written home could take months to arrive, if they made it at all. Today’s flights enable travelers to reach the most distant destinations quickly, and to make visits home. The Internet can provide daily communication with friends and loved ones.

Early missioners were mostly priests and religious. Today there is a growing trend of lay involvement. Individuals or even families serve in missions through lay organizations such as the Maryknoll Mission Association of the Faithful. Retirees are joining the ranks of missionaries. Volunteers can choose short-term or long-term service.

Of course the basics of mission remain the same. Even though today’s missioners have options that would have seemed like unimaginable luxuries to early missionaries, mission life still requires much dedication, hard work and courage. Mission assignments in areas of political unrest or high criminal activity can be extremely dangerous. The rewards of being the bearer of the “Good News” cannot be measured in monetary terms, but still bring a joy that continues to call the faithful to a life of service.

Maryknoll has served people not only abroad, but also here in the United States by educating us about the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world. My own earliest memories of learning about missionaries include the Maryknoll magazines our catechism teachers gave us. These publications still teach students and adults about mission today.

Congratulations to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers on 100 years of amazing service. Along with that go my own personal thanks for introducing me to the work that has become so central in my life.

Patricia Marshall directs the Office of Diocesan and International Missions for the Diocese of Erie

Article from page 23 of Faith Magazine – Jan/Feb 2011 www.FAITHerie.com

Bishop Francis X. Ford’s Story Told In New Catholic Almanac

Bishop Francis X. Ford’s Story Told In New Catholic Almanac

The recently published book, The American Catholic Almanac, is a daily reader about Catholic Americans who helped shape the history of the United States. Within its pages are brief stories about Buffalo Bill Cody, John F. Kennedy, Vince Lombardi and many others. Maryknoll, too, is included, represented by Bishop Francis X. Ford.


The Whole Church is in Mission

The Whole Church is in Mission

For Father Raymond J. Finch, the new superior general of Maryknoll, “nothing is more rewarding than to go out and help people deepen their faith.”

“If you don’t share the faith, it stops growing. The more you give of it, the more there is. The less you give, it shrinks,” he added.

Maryknoll, the 103-year-old Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, works in 26 countries around the world. Father Finch began a six-year leadership term in November. He spoke to Catholic News Service Dec. 8 at Maryknoll headquarters.

For Catholics, mission today is more of an everyday experience and less of an exotic concept than it was in the past, Father Finch said. “The world is much smaller and people come and go. You won’t find many young people who haven’t left the country.”

There are also more people from the United States working in mission than ever before, Father Finch said. “Mission is so much bigger than Maryknoll. We have a role and a contribution, but the whole church is in mission.”

Pope Francis talks about people becoming missionary disciples and that’s what Maryknoll is trying to promote, Father Finch said. “He said we have to go beyond our needs to share with one another, deepen our own faith and be transformed by God’s grace.”

“He speaks of the joy of mission and becoming who we are called to be,” Father Finch said.

In Maryknoll’s early years, the United States was considered a mission-sending country and the overseas locations were mission-receivers. But Father Finch said the Second Vatican Council helped Catholics appreciate “a growing awareness of the mutuality of mission.”

Missioner priests, brothers and sisters have been joined by significant numbers of laypeople and parish groups, he said. Laity serve Maryknoll through both a long-established lay mission program, Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and a newer initiative that welcomes volunteers for stretches of six weeks to 12 months.

A group of five people joined the ranks of Maryknoll Lay Missioners Dec. 1 after a 10-week orientation period. They will leave in January 2015 to serve in El Salvador, Kenya, Tanzania and Cambodia for at least three and a half years.

Maryknoll Lay Missioners came out of the umbrella and tradition of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, but it functions independently.

“We help people motivated by the Gospel find situations, adapt to them and use their talents in culturally appropriate ways,” Father Finch said. Lay involvement in Maryknoll has always been strong, but has grown as more laypeople take responsibility for parishes and their faith lives, he said.

Individual lay volunteers in short-term assignments work alongside Maryknoll mentors in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Groups from parishes and universities experience Maryknoll through immersion trips. Father Finch said the experience is more valuable to the participants than the Maryknoll hosts, but is a blessing for the church in the United States. “There’s something privileged about being able to live the faith and share it with another culture on a deep level,” he said.

“Mission isn’t just for professional missioners. It’s for everybody. You were called by God in Baptism to be a messenger of God’s presence in the world,” Father Michael J. Snyder told CNS. He is the coordinator of Maryknoll’s program for short-term volunteers, which was formalized in 2004.

Volunteers do not accomplish physical tasks, such as digging latrines, but develop a camaraderie with the people they encounter overseas and come to appreciate the richness of the world, he said. “It helps us realize we’re all brothers and sisters in God’s family.”

Father Finch, 66, entered Maryknoll in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1976. He served in Bolivia and Peru for 38 years and was superior general from 1996 to 2002. Although he was elected by a majority of his Maryknoll confreres, the Brooklyn native attributes his return to the leadership post to God’s sense of humor.

He was very happy in Latin America but said, “One of the things very important in mission is to listen to what I am being called to do and try not to say no.”

Father Finch said he will try to do better in his second term. One of the biggest challenges is “we are fewer and we are older. At the same time, I see people still giving and doing what they can to bring the Gospel and God’s love,” he said. There are 350 Maryknoll priests and brothers, a decline from 400 in 2011.

“We do what we can,” he said, quoting Maryknoll co-founder Father James A. Walsh. “Our job still is to go where we are needed but not wanted and stay until we are wanted but not needed.”

“Numbers are not the point. Maryknoll is about giving things over to the local church, forming the local clergy and the local people. Today, we call all people to mission,” Father Finch said.

There are 12 men in formation now to become Maryknoll priests. Three are former Maryknoll volunteers. “We are constantly inviting and reaching out,” Father Finch said. “I would love to see Maryknoll be a reflection of the Catholic Church in the US, with more Spanish-speaking missioners.”

He said in the past three years, Maryknoll has enhanced its program for mission education in U.S. parishes and schools and reached out to deacons. “We don’t think we can do it alone. Mission is from everywhere to everywhere.”

Maryknoll does not recruit from the countries where it serves, but welcomes local clergy called to work in mission in other countries, Father Finch said. There are Korean priests serving with Maryknoll in Cambodia and at least one from Hong Kong working in Africa. “The bottom line is mission,” he said.

“We’re trying to be more faithful each year to what we’re being called to do, here and around the world. There’s always room for improvement,” he said with a smile.


We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.


L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Lance P. Nadeau, Fr. James M. Lynch, Fr. Timothy O. Kilkelly, Fr. Juan Montes Zúñiga)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Rev. Lance P. Nadeau, M.M.

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L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)





(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime
The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.