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]

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.

Remembering Staten Island’s Father Capodanno

Remembering Staten Island’s Father Capodanno

(article originally appeared in the Staten Island Advance – www.silive.com) 

STATEN ISLAND. N.Y. – There are some people who possess an extraordinary singleness of purpose uninhibited by adversity or misfortune of any kind. They have a faith that is so dominating as to provide the will to resist them being deterred from what they see as their mission in life.

Such a person was Vincent Robert Capodanno.

On Sept. 4, 1967, nearly 45 years ago, Father Capodanno was killed on a battlefield in Vietnam living out his purpose in this life — protecting, comforting and indeed, living as one of them, the United States Marines, in battle and under fire.

He risked his life a hundred times over in fulfilling his mission for God on this Earth and did so with courage and dignity and passion.

Vincent Capodanno was born on Feb. 13, 1929, in Mariners Harbor, to an Italian-American family, both his parents having emigrated from the town of Gaeta in Italy. It was here on Staten Island that the remarkable story of one exceptional human being began.

An early calling was his blessing and though he never expressed it to his family, it became evident to them particularly as they watched Vince’s development as a priest and a missionary.

Vince graduated from PS 44 in January 1943. Always fastidious, his classmates voted him best looking and best dresser. He attended Curtis High School, where he served as a class officer and worked after school at a local drug store. A devout Catholic, he attended daily mass while working as a clerk at the Pearl Insurance Company on Maiden Lane in Manhattan, following graduation in 1947.


He also attended night classes at Fordham University. It was during a retreat young Capodanno attended that he confided to his friend William Richter his great desire to become a priest.

He was further drawn to foreign mission work and applied to the seminary of the Maryknoll Missions in Ossining, N.Y. He would spend the next nine years in study and preparation for his calling.

Father Capodanno was ordained on June 14, 1958, with his whole family in attendance. He received ordination from Cardinal Francis Spellman, who would also be his superior in the Chaplain Corps and would later say the funeral Mass for the chaplain.

The first assignment for the new priest was in Taiwan, where he served for six years. Sadly, his mother, Rachel, was in failing health at the time of his departure for the East, making the separation all the more painful for both of them. On Feb. 27, 1961, she passed away and Father Vincent was not able to return home for her funeral.

He was further troubled by the knowledge that his mother had worried about his serving so far away and in a foreign country.

Reassigned to Hong Kong in 1965, it was at this time that Father Vincent made an application to join the Chaplain Corps. His restlessness and the desire to do more prompted his decision. Furthermore, he chose the Marines. It was his desire to “go where he was needed.”

After serving 11 months in Vietnam, he insisted upon extending his tour by six more months. His work of living with and sharing the burdens of the combat Marines was not yet completed. His request was ultimately granted in the summer of 1967.

The decisions — to become a priest, to enter the missions, to serve as a combat chaplain — were great ones, yet seemed to flow from Father Vincent as the natural course of his life and purpose took shape within him. He, indeed, became a Marine. He lived with them, worked with them, comforted them under dire stress and in the end, died with them.


On Sunday, Sept. 3, 1967, Father Vincent celebrated his last Mass in the village of An Hoa, south of Da Nang. A corporal who was an altar server that morning remembered the sky as a beautiful blue, and the sun bright.

The next morning, Operation Swift began. A standard “search-and-destroy” mission turned into a sky lit up with enemy mortar fire. Father Vincent arrived on the scene with companies K and M.

As the fighting intensified through the morning hours, Father Vincent was seen running from one fallen Marine to another, comforting and attending the wounded, administering the last rites of the church to the dying.

He felt the pain and suffering of “his Marines,” the men he called his parishioners. With no regard for his own welfare, he continued to perform what he considered his duty.

Out-numbered as they were, the 5th Marines suffered many casualties. Father Vincent was hit during one of his forays — shrapnel wounds to his arms, hand and leg — but refused medical attention. He instructed the corpsman to attend to the other wounded first.

As the battle persisted into the early evening, a enemy soldier with a machine gun had two Marines pinned down and Father Vincent went to their aid.

One of them, Cpl. Tancke, said: “He actually jumped in front of the machine gun.” Two bursts of fire hit the chaplain. He received 27 bullet wounds as he and corpsman Leal were killed together. One of the Marines who retrieved the chaplain’s body reported that he lay with his right hand over his left breast pocket and “had a smile on his face.”

Father Capodanno’s life is revealed in honor and intensity by Father Daniel L. Mode in his biography, “The Grunt Padre.”


Memorials to The Grunt Padre abound. At least seven chapels have been dedicated to his memory. On Dec. 29, 1971, the Navy named the Escort Ship DE-1093 the USS Capodanno; among the art work inspired by Father Capodanno is the oil painting by Staten Island artist Gregory Perillo as part of his 40 works dedicated to the warriors of Vietnam.

Of course, Seaside Boulevard was renamed Father Capodanno Boulevard. The list is far to long for this space.

Although he did not pursue such honors, Father Capodanno was awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star and the Navy Bronze Cross for meritorious service during six combat operations.

He received the Purple Heart posthumously and on Jan. 7, 1969, at the Washington Navy Yard Sail Loft, James Capodanno, on behalf of the Capodanno family, accepted the Congressional Medal of Honor for his brother.

Most significant are the steps being taken by the Vatican in Rome to bestow sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church upon this man.

There are three stages to the process and Father Capodanno has achieved stage one — named a “Servant of God.” Earlier this year, a Vatican representative visited the Island to interview those who knew him as part of the investigation for stage two.

Whether or not the canonization is accomplished, Father Capodanno is surely no less than a saint to all who knew him. It was said by those who served with him in battle that he was a man “imbued with the spirit of Christ …”

Said Navy Chaplain Joseph F. Cloonan, serving in Vietnam, in a statement published under the title “A Bell For Capodanno”:

“But every once in a while, like a flash of heat lightning, the self-giving of someone like Father Capodanno illuminates the mystery of nobility in an ignoble world.”

Another colleague, Father Thomas J. Woolten, wrote of the Marines and Father Vincent after his death: “Those Grunts saw Christ when they saw Vince.”

He could not have been far off the mark.

U.S. missionary visits North Korea as silent ‘apostle of peace’

U.S. missionary visits North Korea as silent ‘apostle of peace’

Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, no Catholic priest has resided in the North of this divided peninsula, where autonomous religious activity is effectively forbidden. And no enemy of the communist regime there is more detested or fiercely denounced than the United States.


2014 Maryknoll Society Jubilarians

2014 Maryknoll Society Jubilarians

On Sunday, June 29, the Maryknoll Society will commemorate anniversaries of ordination to the priesthood or Final Oath as a Maryknoll Brother for 31 jubilarians. Ceremonies will be held at the Maryknoll Mission Center in Ossining, New York.

A number of the Maryknoll jubilarians have shared information about their work in mission in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the U.S. During the second half of June and continuing through the summer, all of the 2014 Maryknoll jubilarians will be celebrated in the Maryknoll Museum of Living Mission located in the Maryknoll Mission Center.


Bishop opens Cause for declaring Wilmington native a saint

Bishop opens Cause for declaring Wilmington native a saint

Lumina News – Wednesday, March 14, 2012

(Supplied photo courtesy of Rich Cox / Catholic Diocese of Raleigh)

Maryknoll's Fr. Thomas F. Price Bishop Michael Burbidge, from left; Father James F. Garneau, Episcopal Delegate for the Cause; Msgr. Jerry M. Sherba, Chancellor of the Diocese who administered the oaths; Father Ja Van Saxon, Promoter of Justice; Angela Godwin Page, Actual Notary and Maureen Foster, Adjunct Notary, gather on Friday, March 9, in Raleigh for a prayer service and to take an oath, beginning the diocesan phase of the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of Father Thomas Frederick Price.

The Catholic Diocese of Raleigh has officially opened the diocesan phase of the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of North Carolina’s first native Catholic priest.

Tribunal members met Friday, March 9, in Raleigh for a prayer service and to take an oath as they begin a formal study of Father Thomas Frederick Price, who was born in Wilmington in 1860.

The tribunal’s historical and theological commissions will study Father Price’s writings and records about his life and listen objectively to witnesses who may have knowledge of his work or reputation, Father James F. Garneau, pastor of St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Mount Olive, said Monday, March 12.

Garneau, Episcopal delegate for the cause, added they have a list of about 30 witnesses from throughout the country so far.

“We don’t have living witnesses from his time, eyewitnesses,” Garneau said. “But we have people in the next generation, people who knew people who knew Father Price.”

Bishop Michael Burbidge opened the cause at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Among those attending was Edward Price of Clayton, one of Father Price’s descendants.

“He was a fascinating man,” Edward Price said Monday, March 12, by telephone.

“Imagine having a conversation with someone and saying, ‘By the way, my fourth cousin is a saint.’ I find that remarkable,” he added when asked about his ancestor possibly being declared a saint someday. “How many people on this earth can say that?”

Price established the Nazareth Community orphanage in Raleigh, co-founded the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers mission society in New York with Father James A. Walsh and served on Maryknoll’s first foreign mission in 1918. He suffered an infected appendix while in China and died in 1919.

A family connection was made when Edward Price saw an issue of NC Catholics magazine last year with Father Price on the cover. He recalled his father telling him about a famous priest from North Carolina they might be related to.

“I mailed the copy to my father and that pretty much got the ball rolling,” Edward Price said.

Family genealogical research helped confirm that connection, and the family contacted the bishop and visited Maryknoll, said Edward Price’s father, Carl Price of Red Bank, N.J.

Carl Price, who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., said his father had mentioned having had a cousin from North Carolina who co-founded the Maryknoll Society.

“We kind of knew this as a fact of family history but…we never took any action upon it,” Carl Price, 82, said during a telephone interview Thursday, March 8.

The Price family came to the United States from Wales and settled in Wilmington, where some family members were buried at Oakdale Cemetery, he said.

Father Price’s father — Alfred Lanier Price, editor of the Wilmington Daily Journal — had a brother, William, who was Carl Price’s great-grandfather. Father Price was editor for a magazine about the Catholic faith called Truth.

“It’s just such a wonderful, wonderful thing,” Carl Price said. “The more I’ve learned through the genealogy that there is a blood connection here, it’s something I never expected. And I’m sure my father, if he were alive, he would be astounded about this too.”

“It’s such an honor,” he added. “I’m overwhelmed and I feel very blessed by this connection.”

The tribunal will examine if Father Price’s life demonstrated heroic virtue and will study reports of any miracles people believe are from his intercession or prayers.

“We’re not looking to jump to conclusions,” Garneau said. “The church is deliberate on this so if a declaration is made there’s a certain assuredness we can point to, even among nonbelievers.”

Father Price, called the “Tar Heel Apostle,” is credited with spreading Catholicism throughout North Carolina. He belonged to St. Thomas Church in downtown Wilmington, which is now St. Thomas Preservation Hall.

“I hope this beautiful area of our diocese in Wilmington takes great pride, because Father Price, this was where he was born and certainly grew in his own faith,” Burbidge said during a visit to Wilmington on Wednesday, March 7.

Father Price’s legacy includes 39 acres of land near Raleigh remaining from about 400 acres he bought in 1897, which is where the diocese planned to build a new cathedral. The current cathedral seats approximately 320 people and is the nation’s second smallest Catholic cathedral after the one in Juneau, Alaska, the bishop said.

In death Father Price is near two important figures of his life — his body is buried near Walsh’s remains at Maryknoll, while his heart is buried near St. Bernadette’s tomb in France.

When asked why the church recognizes saints, Burbidge said it is a way to provide concrete examples and is similar to honoring respected members of professions.

“We can talk about saintly virtues,” Burbidge said. “But it’s a lot better when you can say, ‘And here is an example, and here are some of the things that this woman or this man did in his or her earthly life. These are obstacles that they faced, and this is how through their holiness that they conquered it.’”


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.


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

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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.

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