“Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

We think of the apostles as great men—and they were.  But like us they had their fears, which is one of the reasons they were behind locked doors on that first Pentecost Sunday. 

As it happened, the Holy Spirit had other plans for these men of faith, and ultimately for us as well.  Today, on Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the courage the apostles showed by accepting their call to mission, and in the process, enriching our lives.  We are the inheritors of their courage—their passionate desire—to proclaim salvation in Christ.  All of which begs the question:  How fearless are we in witnessing our own gift of faith?

With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can be the missioners who build God’s kingdom on earth with as steady a hand as the apostles did.  Our Church is born anew each day that we release our fears and give ourselves over to living the Gospel.  Our mission is not to focus on our own happiness or personal concerns, but in spreading the Word of God beginning with the here and now.

On that first Pentecost, you could say the apostles were baptized with the fire of the Holy Spirit, a gift they shared with the disciples we have come to know as Paul, Timothy, Titus and all those who followed.  Imbued with the Holy Spirit, these early missioners overcame their fears.  They moved beyond their culture and comfort zone to proclaim the Good News of our faith. 

Friend, you may not think of yourself as a Peter or Thomas, much less a Paul or Timothy.  But you are.  You have all the gifts you need to witness Christ’s compassion and God’s love.  Your calling comes directly from the Holy Spirit and Pentecost itself, the birthday of our Church.  So, on Pentecost Sunday, be brave and proclaim the Good News with the greatest joy… in ways that only you can.   

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Pentecost Sunday

Come, Holy Spirit, and unlock the door

of my heart which fear and hurt

have sealed shut and held tightly closed.

Open my soul to the peace of Christ

and empower me to forgive and ask forgiveness.

Transform my physical and emotional wounds

into a wellspring of health and healing.

Cast from my heart all hurtful thoughts

that my mind and soul may become

a fitting tabernacle of Your presence.

Fill me with the spiritual gifts of

wisdom, understanding, counsel,

fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

Above all grant me the light of Christ

to lead me through the heat of day

and the silence of night with the

blessed assurance You are ever

by my side.


Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso


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

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.

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