BROTHER VENARD F. RUANE, M.M. - 75th Anniversary Class of 1948
Thomas Francis Ruane was born on April 4, 1927 in Waterloo, Iowa, one of eight children of Thomas and Frances McGuire Ruane. His early schooling took place in Sacred Heart Parish schools in Waterloo. After graduating from Sacred Heart High School in 1944, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Guam and Tientsin, China, where he first met missionaries. Six months after his discharge, he entered Maryknoll in March 1947, pronounced his First Oath at the Brothers’ Novitiate in Akron, Ohio, on August 30, 1948 and chose the religious name of Brother Venard. Brother Venard worked in the Bedford, Massachusetts promotion house for a year doing clerical work and then spent two years at the Maryknoll-run Japanese mission school in Los Angeles. He worked for a while in the Junior Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, and while there, pronounced his Final Oath on August 30, 1951.
On May 6, 1952 Brother Venard was assigned to the Hawaii Region and served at Sacred Heart Church and Maryknoll schools in Honolulu for eighteen years. Aside from the various parish duties, he served as Athletic Director, Boy Scout Master and bus driver. In October 1970 he was assigned to the Hawaii Region Center House on Dole Street to serve as bookkeeper, purchasing agent and driver. In December 1975 Brother Venard was assigned to the U.S. Region and appointed manager of the 39th Street House in New York City, where he remained for two years.
Brother Venard attended the Spiritual Renewal Program in the fall of 1983 and, upon its completion, returned to resume his duties running the Hawaii Center House, where his hospitality had been greatly appreciated by the many visitors to this residence. Although assigned to the Retirement Community (now Senior Missioner Community) in October 2001, Brother continued as Director of the Honolulu Society House and Financial Assistant for the Hawaii Unit. In 2002 he retired and was invited to move back to the rectory of Sacred Heart Parish. He also continued his service as a Eucharistic Minister at Shriners’ Hospital for Children in Honolulu. He remained in Hawaii until March 2007, when he took up residence in Los Altos, California. At the time of his leaving Sacred Heart, a parishioner was quoted as saying: “He’s the campus memory – he remembers every student’s name and smallest details of their schoolhouse days. Brother will be sorely missed by all”.
In 2007 Brother Venard was inducted into the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem knighted by Roger Cardinal Mahoney of Los Angeles at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at the University of San Diego. Sir Brother Venard Ruane continued to enjoy an active retirement at the Maryknoll Residence in Los Altos, California. In 2019, Brother Venard left Los Altos and relocated to the Society Center House at Maryknoll, New York, where he currently resides.
REVEREND RICHARD A. AYLWARD, M.M. - 70th Anniversary Class of 1953
Richard Ambrose Aylward was born on December 21, 1926 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, the fifth child of twelve, and second son of James Joseph and Mary Ellen O’Neill Aylward. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Parochial School, graduating in 1940 and from Boston English High School in 1944.
On July 5, 1944 he entered Maryknoll Apostolic College (Venard), Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. At Maryknoll Major Seminary in Ossining, New York, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy in 1948 and a Master of Religious Education degree in June 1953. He was ordained a priest at Maryknoll Seminary in New York on June 13, 1953.
Shortly before ordination in 1953, he was assigned to Maryknoll’s Mission in Japan, where he arrived in September of that year and immediately began a study of the Japanese language in Tokyo. In 1954 Father Aylward was assigned as Assistant Pastor of the Parish of Tsu, in the Diocese of Kyoto, followed by an assignment for three years as Assistant Pastor in Hikone, also in the Diocese of Kyoto. His first assignment as Pastor was in 1960 in the town of Sonobe, Kyoto Prefecture and in 1967 was assigned as Pastor of Nagaoka, also in the Diocese of Kyoto. Returning home on the occasion of the death of his father in 1968, he was assigned to the Maryknoll Mission in Los Angeles as Assistant pastor, where he also studied for a degree in English Literature at Loyola University.
From autumn of 1970 to 1971, he taught English at Winchester High School, Winchester, Massachusetts and, on returning to Japan, he taught at Shiga National University in Hikone until 1975. From 1975 to 1976 he worked as an Assistant Pastor in the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, which was followed by a pastorate of four churches in rural Virginia from 1976 to 1978.
After a theological updating course with the Divine Word Fathers in the town of Nemi, outside Rome, he returned to Japan in 1978 and was assigned as Pastor of the Parish of Kuwana, in the Diocese of Kyoto, where he worked for some twenty years. In the first year of his tenure as pastor, he also taught at Nanzan University in Nagoya, established by the Divine Word Fathers. Subsequently he taught English and American Literature and a course in Western Civilization at Nagoya Women’s University until 2000 when, retiring both from pastoral and educational work, he took a sabbatical and was assigned to the Retirement Community (now Senior Missioner Community) November 2001.
In retirement he was an Assistant Chaplain at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts from 2004 to 2008. Father Aylward lived in Norwood, Massachusetts until he took up his current residence at the Society Center, Maryknoll, New York in September 2013.
REVEREND RAFAEL R. DÁVILA, M.M. - 65th Anniversary Class of 1958
Rafael Roman Dávila was born on August 13, 1931 in New York City, son of Venezuelan immigrant parents, Rafael Roman and Bertha Margarita Useche de Dávila. He had two brothers and two sisters. His brother Michael is still living. He graduated from Our Lady of Mercy Grammar School in Mobile, Alabama, and also attended one year of high school at the Brothers of the Sacred Heart McGill Institute, where he first heard a Maryknoll missioner speak and signed up as a vocation prospect. He graduated later from St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas and entered Maryknoll College, Glen Ellyn, Illinois in the fall of 1949. He was ordained a priest at Maryknoll Seminary, Maryknoll, New York on June 14, 1958.
After ordination, Father Dávila pursued Special Studies in Modern Languages at Georgetown University and was then assigned to Glen Ellyn as a faculty member. During these years, he actively participated with the Chicago Archdiocesan Bishops Committee for Spanish-Speaking Peoples, the Ecumenical Institute, the Civil Rights and the peace movements. He also ministered to migrant workers and helped establish the Movimiento Familiar Cristiano – USA. In 1969, Father Dávila was assigned to the Venezuela Unit which later became a region in which he served on two Councils as Consultor and Assistant Regional Superior. His mission work was in an urban parish, but he continued contact with the Ecumenical Institute and helped introduce the International Training Institute for Global Church Leaders in Latin America and establish six human development projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Father Dávila attended the 1978 Seventh General Chapter as First Delegate from the Venezuela Region. He was appointed by the Latin American Regional Superiors as Area Coordinator for six years and attended the Eighth General Chapter as one of the secretaries. He was elected Fourth Assistant General and later named Secretary General.
After completing his six year term on the General Council, Father Dávila was assigned to the Development Department where he served as Director of the Houston Development House in Texas from which he entered Maryknoll some fifty years ago. It was here that Father Dávila was especially involved with Hispanic ministry, young adults, the Movimiento Familiar Cristiano, and Mission Promotion throughout Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi.
In July 1999, Father Dávila became Spiritual Director at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas where he served as a personal spiritual director of seminarians. He also helped establish Parroquia Virtual Venezolana Nuestra Señora de Coromoto and has served as national and archdiocesan chaplain adviser for the Movimiento Familiar Cristiano Católico – USA.
In 2006, Father Dávila was assigned to the Retirement Community (now Senior Missioner Community). In 2017, he was assigned to the U.S. Region with Senior Missioner Status. Father Dávila is still very active in ministry, especially as seminary Spiritual Director, and with various parishes and movements: Conquistando las Naciones para Cristo; Casa Juan Diego, a Catholic Workers’ Hospitality House for immigrants; Movimiento Familiar Cristiano Católico; Parroquia Virtual Venezolana and Acción Social Venezuela. He continues to reside in Houston.
Father Dávila’s philosophy of life, theology and spirituality is summed up as follows:
- Life is a faith-filled mystery unfolding and weaving from beginning to end and beyond;
- Life is a love-filled communion uniting us to God in all creation, humanity and history;
- Life is a hope-filled mission reaching out with Christ to all people, especially the poor.
REVEREND JAMES R. JACKSON, M.M. - 65th Anniversary Class of 1958
James Robert Jackson was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on April 6, 1929, son of William and Adele Mogni Jackson. He has two sisters. His only brother, Donald, is deceased. He attended Holy Trinity High School in Westfield, New Jersey and then Maryknoll Junior College, Lakewood, in 1949. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Maryknoll College, Glen Ellyn, Illinois in 1953, and his Bachelors in Sacred Theology and Masters in Religious Education from Maryknoll Seminary, Maryknoll, New York in 1958. He was ordained a priest on June 14, 1958 in Ossining, New York and was assigned to the Maryknoll Mission Region in Japan.
Except for short periods of time in the United States for training purposes, Father Jackson spent his entire missionary life in Japan, in the Diocese of Kyoto. After ordination, he studied the language in Tokyo, and spent the next year studying in Kyoto while working in the Parish of Nagahama, Shiga-ken, on weekends. From 1960, Father Jackson served as assistant pastor of the Parish of Nagahama and then Ise Parish in Mie-ken successively until 1967, when he was assigned as pastor of the lga Ueno Parish. From 1969 until 1974, he was at the parish of Suzuka, Mie-ken.
Father Jackson served as assistant pastor and then pastor in the Tsu area until 1996. During his time working in the Tsu area, he was involved in marriage encounter and encounters for students and young people. He arranged to have lecturers from the United States come to give workshops, while providing the people with instantaneous translations. In addition to catechism classes, there were classes in scripture taught by lay people. The people found spiritual energy in the various programs for self-discovery, including retreats for individuals.
Father Jackson also taught religion at St. Joseph Sisters’ High School in Tsu for 20 years.
In 1996, Father Jackson was assigned to do pastoral work at Kusatsu Catholic Church in Shiga-ken which is located on the east shore of Lake Biwa. He served as the Second Regional Assistant of Japan from 1992 to 1995 and as Assistant Regional Superior for the Japan Region from 1995 to 1998.
Father Jackson feels that the greatest challenge to mission in Japan is the culture. According to his opinion, this will be accomplished when the Catholic people can situate themselves in the local society, feeling their identity as Japanese, and yet living basically Christian lives. On the other hand, he feels that adapting to this culture has been one of his greatest blessings, since it provides the missioner with a treasure of immeasurable value.
Father Jackson was assigned to the Senior Missioner Community in December 2019 and returned to the United States to live at the Los Altos Residence. In 2023, he took up residence at the Society Center in Maryknoll, New York.
REVEREND RALPH S. KROES, M.M. - 65th Anniversary Class of 1958
Ralph Stephen Kroes, son of Stephen and Ann Dolata Kroes, was born on June 11, 1931 in St. Francis, Wisconsin. He is the oldest of four children, with two brothers and one sister, who is deceased. He attended St. John Nepomuc Elementary School in Racine and St. Francis Minor Seminary in Milwaukee. He entered Maryknoll September 6, 1951 at Glen Ellyn, Illinois and was ordained on June 14, 1958.
After ordination, Father Kroes was assigned to teach at the Maryknoll High School Seminary in Mountain View, California. Two years later, he attended Stanford University where he earned his B.S. in Physics and then the University of Illinois where he received his M.S. in Physics. After six years of teaching at Maryknoll’s College Seminary at Glen Ellyn, Illinois, he was assigned to the Philippine Region where in 1969, he was elected as First Consultor.
Father Kroes served in rural parishes of the Prelature of Tagum in Davao Oriental and Davao Del Norte. During the martial law regime of Marcos, as Vicar General of the prelature, he was involved in work with the victims of military abuse and torture and the families of the murdered. People would just come for help. Even the military admitted that lives were saved.
In 1981, Father Kroes was expelled from the Philippines by the Marcos regime. However, due to the efforts of the Regional Superior, several Filipino bishops, favorable newspaper reports, and a strong demonstration by laity, religious, and even Muslims in Tagum, he was allowed to return to the Philippines after a few months. While back in the United States, Father Kroes, together with Nino Aquino, who was later murdered by Marcos military, testified before a congressional committee on the situation in the Philippines.
In the early 1980s, Father Kroes was invited by the Bishop of Ipil, a strong defender of human rights, to work in the prelature of Ipil, where he served in the parish of Malangas for 20 years. While there, a shelter home for abused girls was set up with capacity to house 30 girls plus one orphan boy. This shelter ran completely on its own, not subsidized from abroad, and it is still in existence today providing services. Father Kroes would hear from them often. He also helped victims of abuse, particularly women and children who were often poor and powerless, to bring charges against their abusers.
At the parish, the people would gather groups of Lumads, non-Christian natives, and Father Kroes would teach them. That way, many non-Christians were brought into the church. During his last five years at the parish, Father Kroes had 100 or more native converts a year. The last year he was there, there were more than 170 converts. The people also cared for some sixty disabled, blind, crippled, and mentally disabled people. Father Kroes assisted with getting medical treatment for numerous indigent and terminally ill patients.
In 1997, there was an explosion in the Malangas coal mine killing 94 miners, the worst such disaster in the Philippines. Father Kroes spearheaded the efforts to help the widows and a women’s organization was formed, which later expanded and became a very successful, unified organization for women in the province. Father Kroes also helped to initiate the formation of a tri-people organization of Lumads, Muslims and Christians in an effort to instill tolerance, understanding and unity, and achieve lasting peace between warring groups in the community.
When Father Kroes left the parish in mid-2003, he received a Resolution of Gratitude from the Municipality of Malangas, including both Muslims and Christians. It was a great tribute, thanking him for his nineteen years of dedicated and unwavering service to the people of Malangas, particularly the less privileged, disadvantaged and abused. It was noted that Father Kroes “forged and maintained good relationship with all sectors of the community regardless of social status, political creed, or religious belief that earned him the respect and love of his fellowmen.”
In 2003, Father Kroes became chaplain at Our Lady of Victory Training Center for children and youth with disabilities. This Center was founded by two Maryknoll Sisters. Father Kroes returned to the United States in 2011, took up residence at the Maryknoll Society Center, and in August 2011, was assigned to the Retirement Community (now Senior Missioner Community). He continues to reside at Maryknoll, New York.
REVEREND JOHN J. LANGE, M.M. - 65th Anniversary Class of 1958
John Joseph Lange, one of seven children, two brothers and four sisters, was born to John and Cecelia Roediger Lange, in Dubuque, Iowa, on January 18, 1931. He attended Nativity Parish grammar school and Loras Academy High School, both in Dubuque and entered Maryknoll on November 15, 1949.
Father John Lange was ordained on June 14, 1958 and assigned to the Maryknoll Development House in Minneapolis, Minnesota until July 1962 at which time he traveled by boat to Tanzania, East Africa Region. He worked for six years in the mission parish of Gula in the Diocese of Shinyanga.
Father Lange was reassigned to development work in July 1968 and was appointed Regional Director and Superior of the Minneapolis House in 1969. He continued in this position until he was reassigned to Africa in August 1973. After spending several years in Maryknoll’s Dar es Salaam Society House in Tanzania, he served as pastor in Kibaha Mission in the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam for ten years, from 1982 to1992. In 1992, he moved to Nairobi, Kenya to be director of the Maryknoll Society House there.
In 2000, Father Lange became chaplain to The Little Sisters of St. Francis, who are African Sisters, at their Regional House in Nairobi and was able to continue his ministry. In Nairobi, he offered considerable service at St. Mary’s Parish in the Mukuru slums of Nairobi, celebrating Sunday Masses, visiting the sick and destitute and referring them for medical care. With the help of his benefactors, he supported and helped educate over three hundred students, mostly orphans, from elementary students to college students as well as a “YOUTH ALIVE” program run by one of The Little Sisters for the youth of the slums and surrounding areas. He attended to multiple water projects, serving various rural communities in the Mount Kenya region and elsewhere. In 2008, Father Lange became the chaplain to the Assumption sisters of Nairobi. While chaplain for the Assumption Sisters, Father Lange helped them construct a boarding high school and dormitory for girls. Father Lange resided in Nairobi with the Assumption Sisters until 2013.
In 2013, he returned to Tanzania to Shinyanga Diocese after leaving there 50 years before and became assistant pastor at Mwanhuzi Catholic Church. Father Lange lived for 4 years with African priests in Mwanhuzi. While there he invited the Little Sisters of St. Francis to come to Mwanhuzi. Father Lange financed the construction of a high school and dormitory which the Sisters are now managing.
In 2011, Father Lange became the first recipient of the Father John Kaiser Award at St. John’s in Collegeville, Minnesota. John Anthony Kaiser (November 29, 1932 – August 23, 2000) was a Catholic priest who was murdered in Morendat, Kenya by unknown assailants.
Father Lange was appointed to Senior Missioner Status in 2017 and remained a member of the Africa Region. In 2017, Father Lange moved to Ndoleleji Parish to join Father Hung Dinh. He served as assistant pastor in Ndoleleji until his return to Maryknoll Center in April of 2022. He was assigned to the Senior Missioner Community and continues to reside at the Society Center.
Father Lange says the greatest challenges facing the people that he worked with were poverty, squalor, totally inadequate health care, inadequate schooling and very little chance of improving their lives. He says the challenges for the Church are to join the poor in their real life struggle and to provide more religious education to adults. Father Lange explained the lessons that the poor Africans give to the global church are their liturgies that are so very joyful, lively celebrations. Quoting Father: “The poor give thanks to God for the little that they have; the people persevere under incredible privations and sufferings and are a constant inspiration. The African people have taught me and inspired me so much. And after persevering through the difficult times, I give thanks for a very meaningful life. I, through God’s grace and the help of faithful benefactors, have provided water for many thousands of people. Jesus has said, ‘If you give a cup of water to a servant of the Lord, you will receive your reward.’ I have already received that reward abundantly.”
REVEREND WILLIAM E. MCCARTHY, M.M. - 65th Anniversary Class of 1958
William Edward McCarthy was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 17, 1931 to William and Catherine Connell McCarthy. He has a sister, Sr. Catherine McCarthy, M.S.B.T. (Missionary Servants of Most Blessed Trinity), who lives in Philadelphia. He attended St. Francis of Assisi elementary school and Bishop Loughlin High School, both in Brooklyn, and entered Maryknoll on September 7, 1948 at the Maryknoll Seminary, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. His interest was stimulated by a Maryknoll vocation pamphlet and by his participation as a youth in the “Catholic Center Club,” whose moderator, Father Andrew Ansbro, C.P. was a great inspiration.
Father McCarthy was ordained on June 14, 1958 at Maryknoll, New York and was assigned to Musoma, Tanzania, East Africa. After language studies, he worked for several years in Isenye parish as a teacher in the parish school. He was transferred to Dar es Salaam in 1974 and remained there until returning to the United States in June 1977.
Upon his return, Father McCarthy worked as Assistant Pastor at St. Barnabas the Apostle in Bellmore, New York, in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He was formally assigned to the United States in June 1979 and continued his pastoral work at St. Barnabas.
In 1993, Father McCarthy moved to St. Mark’s Church in Shoreham, New York, where he was commended for his pastoral leadership. Although assigned to the Retirement Community (now Senior Missioner Community) in June 2000, Father continued as Pastor of St. Mark’s until his retirement. Father McCarthy moved to the Society Center at Maryknoll, New York in August 2002 where he continues to reside.
REVEREND THOMAS A. PEYTON, M.M. - 65th Anniversary Class of 1958
Thomas Anthony Peyton was born in San Mateo, California on September 19, 1931, to John and Emma Ribak Peyton. He was one of three sons. He attended Holy Spirit grammar school and Loyola High School, both in Los Angeles. His first knowledge of Maryknoll was when he was 12 years old, reading A Field Afar. After graduation, he entered Maryknoll in Glen Ellyn, Illinois on November 15, 1949. He received his Masters in Religious Education from Maryknoll Seminary in Maryknoll, New York in 1958 and was ordained a priest on June 14, 1958.
After ordination, Father Peyton was assigned to higher studies which led him to obtain a doctorate in English at the University of Ottawa, Canada in 1963. In 1959, Father Peyton was assigned to the faculty at the Venard, and, in 1963, was transferred to the faculty at Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He took a position in 1971 at Williams College as a professor of humanities and also worked with a religious education community which sought to explore new expressions in Christian living and service. In August 1975, Father Peyton became Director of Ministry for Justice & Peace for the National Federation of Priests’ Councils (NFPC) in Chicago. The President of the NFPC wrote of Father Peyton, “His work has grown out of the vision of the Maryknoll Order in bringing home the experience that has been theirs in the mission fields. He has so beautifully fulfilled his task, and he will be sorely missed.” Father Peyton continued with the NFPC until his assignment to Hong Kong.
In January 1982, Father Peyton was assigned to the Hong Kong Region where he was welcomed to work at the Center for the Progress of Peoples. His first year and a half was spent in Cantonese language study while residing in two Chinese parishes. In 1983, he was assigned to open a new parish, St. Matthew, in Tuen Mun, Butterfly Estate, New Territories.
In July 1988, Father Peyton, as spokesman for the Maryknoll missioners from the Stanley House in Hong Kong, conducted a press conference to address the issue of the Hong Kong government’s attitudes towards the Vietnamese boat people refugees. Each year, Father Peyton’s team (China Apostolate to Lepers) visited leper villages in Western and Southwestern China. He worked with a broader Catholic Coalition to better the living conditions in these villages. At that time, Father Peyton said, “I am struck by their great patience and their perseverance in the face of so many obstacles to health. They are models for us to emulate in dealing with our own weaknesses and in being strong despite physical and emotional handicaps.”
In 1994, Father Peyton was elected Regional Superior of Hong Kong and, as a confirmation by his peers of his great missionary spirit and service, was re-elected in 1997. He became Pastor of Christ the Worker Parish in Kowloon in 2000 and also was a prison chaplain and supervisor of two Maryknoll High Schools. He remained as Pastor until 2011, continued working at the parish as an Associate Pastor, and continued his involvement in the China Apostolate and as chaplain at the Maryknoll Secondary School.
In 2012, in recognition of more than 30 years serving the needy in prisons, hospitals, streets, countryside and the isolated and deprived communities in both Hong Kong and China, Father Peyton was one of the recipients of the Hong Kong Humanity Award.
Father Peyton returned to the United States in late 2016 and was assigned to the Senior Missioner Community in January 2017. He presently resides at the Society Center in Maryknoll, New York.
REVEREND JOHN A. RICH, M.M. - 65th Anniversary Class of 1958
John Aloysius Rich, son of John and Esther Ristau Rich, was born on November 30, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. John was one of three children. His sister, Marlene, and brother, Tom, are both deceased. In the sixth grade at Resurrection Grammar School, John decided he wanted to be a missionary priest. After graduating from Fenwick High School and working a year, he entered Maryknoll Seminary at Glen Ellyn, Illinois in November 1949.
Father Rich was ordained on June 14, 1958 and assigned to the Philippines. After six years of parish work, he realized something was lacking in his understanding of the Cebuano language and the Filipino culture. He asked and was given permission to study Anthropology at the University of Chicago. After a year, he returned to the Philippines to open a Cebuano language school. Father Rich used the language learning opportunity to educate missioners in the Filipino culture. During this time, he finished his degree at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City. Father Rich had a special interest in the cultural minorities in the Davao area and was one of the founders of PAFID which promoted cultural appreciation and the rights of minorities. It was a Maryknoll custom for each Region to write and share a diary of what was happening in each Region; Father Rich wrote the Philippine Diary. He also wrote articles and picture stories for the Maryknoll Magazine and articles for Anthropology Journals.
During his furlough in 1969, Father Rich studied Clinical Pastoral Education in Chicago. Returning to the Philippines, he developed a course for training lay leaders of small Christian communities that was promoted by Vatican II. Twelve-hundred men were trained and given all the faculties of deacons by the bishop where Father Rich served. They held Sunday services in their villages, offering Holy Communion once a month. From children of these Lay Leaders came priesthood vocations. There are now four bishops in Davao and over 150 priests as a result of these original training sessions. In acknowledgement, the Asian Bishops Conference in Hong Kong invited Father Rich to speak on Small Christian Communities.
In August of 1977, Maryknoll assigned Father Rich to the U.S. Region to be Director of a Mission Renewal Program (MRP). As Director, he designed a one-semester residential program at Maryknoll to update missionary priests, Sisters and Brothers from around the world in Vatican II theology, spirituality and missiology. Each session included 25 people. During the six years, the Mission Renewal Program updated 300 people in their missionary vocation. The comraderies rejuvenated all of those residing at the Maryknoll Center and studying at the Maryknoll School of Theology at the time. To this day, Father Rich maintains contact with many alumni. To educate and sustain himself during these years, he sought therapy. This began a life-long interest in dream interpretation and study of Astrology. Father Rich studied and was certified as a Spiritual Director. He used the Myers-Briggs topology to facilitate spiritual growth and leadership and wrote articles for the Jesuit Magazine “Human Development.”
Following his assignment with the Mission Renewal Program in 1984, the Maryknoll Superior General asked Father Rich to give workshops on leadership to Regional Superiors and their Councils throughout the Maryknoll world. Upon completion of this training, he was assigned to the Seminary Initial Formation Program at Maryknoll, New York. He also helped with Lay Missioner formation and gave courses in Spiritual Direction.
Father Rich joined the Senior Missioner Community in April 1997. In 2002 he served as a Chaplain in the Veterans Affairs Facility in Northport, New York. In 2005 he moved to Perryville, Maryland and served as a Chaplain in the local VA Hospital until 2018 when he retired. Father Rich returned to the Maryknoll Society Center in 2020.
BROTHER LEO V. SHEDY, M.M. - 65th Anniversary Class of 1958
Leo Vincent Shedy was born in Waco, Texas on October 28, 1930, and adopted by Antonia and William Shedy at the age of two and a half. He had two stepsisters, Mary Tayler and Mary C. Williamson, both are deceased. Leo was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1956 after serving eight years, and, again, in 1973 after another tour of four years. During his military career, he received numerous medals including the National Defense, Korean Service, U.N. Service, Good Conduct, Vietnam Service, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. He entered the Brothers Novitiate at Brookline, MA in September 1956, and pronounced his first Oath on June 29, 1958, taking the religious name of Barnabas.
In 1958, Brother Leo’s first assignment was at Maryknoll, New York to the Brothers Institute where he learned carpentry, welding, electricity, construction, plumbing and auto mechanics. In 1960, Brother Leo was assigned to the Japanese Mission in Los Angeles, California where he drove a school bus, worked in maintenance and was assistant scout master.
Brother Leo took his Perpetual Oath on June 19, 1964 and was assigned to Huancané, Peru after language school in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Later he worked in the Puno Society House as a mechanic and maintenance person. His superiors wrote of Brother, “He is an easy companion, willing, obedient, self-sacrificing, and faithful to religious life.” In 1973, Brother was assigned to the Maryknoll Novitiate at Hingham, Massachusetts doing maintenance work until he was assigned, in 1977, to Riberalta, Bolivia. He remained there for two years, maintaining the river boats, after which he returned to the seminary residence at Cambridge, Massachusetts to do renovations. In 1980, he was again assigned to Puno, Peru as director of the Society House and, in 1983, moved to Juli joining Msgr. Al Koenigsknecht, M.M. for maintenance work in the prelature.
In 1993, Brother Leo was assigned to the new mission in Jacobacci, Argentina and, in 1995, returned to Lima, Peru for renovations and maintenance of the Society House. In June 1998, he returned to the United States and, in November 1998, moved to Houston, Texas to assist with running the house. In January 1999, he was assigned to the Mission Promotion Department. The following year, Brother Leo went to the Rome House temporarily to assist with the renovations that were being done. He returned to Houston in 2001 at which time he was given retired status.
Brother Leo continued his work in Houston until June 2006, when he was assigned to the Retirement Community (now Senior Missioner Community) and moved to the Maryknoll Residence in Los Altos, California, where he continues to reside. On the occasion of his 50th Jubilee, Brother Leo stated: “I thank God, for becoming a Maryknoll Brother, and a missioner and being able to be of service to the people of Peru, and other missions in Latin America and in the U.S.A. I am thankful for all that Maryknoll has done to support me. I am thankful to the partners of Maryknoll, in supporting the Maryknoll missioners – they are in my prayers. God bless their families.”
BROTHER BRENDAN J. CORKERY, M.M. - 60th Anniversary Class of 1963
Jeremiah Joseph Corkery was born in Brighton, Massachusetts on April 16, 1941, son of Joseph and Bridget Kelly Corkery. He had three older sisters. All are deceased. He attended St. Columbkille Grammar School and graduated from Boston Trade High School in 1960. He entered the Maryknoll Brothers’ Novitiate in Brookline, Massachusetts on September 28, 1961 and took his First Oath on June 1, 1963, taking the religious name of Brendan. Brother Brendan pronounced his Perpetual Oath on May 18, 1969.
Brother Brendan was assigned to maintaining the grounds at the Maryknoll Center until September 29, 1975 when he was assigned to the newly established Western Samoa Unit. After ten years of missionary work in Western Samoa, Brother Brendan returned to the United States to accept an assignment to the Formation Education Department in 1985. Four years later on December 1, 1989, Brother Brendan was appointed Director of the Brothers’ Formation program for a one-year term.
After a sabbatical in 1991, Brother Brendan was assigned to the New York City House as Co-Assistant Director on January 1, 1992. During this assignment, he was elected as a member of the Brothers’ Service Team for three years. He ended his assignment with the New York City House on June 1, 1999 when he was appointed Director of the Brothers’ Initial Formation Program. In December 2002 Brother Brendan was appointed Director of the Office of Initial Formation for a three-year term. After completion of his term and a sabbatical, he was assigned to the Mission Education and Promotion Department in January 2006, serving in the Boston, Massachusetts area. On November 5, 2009 Brother Brendan was appointed to the Admissions Board.
During the years, Brother Brendan has been very dedicated in promoting an understanding of the vocation and charism of missionary Brotherhood in the Society. His long and faithful service to the Brothers’ Vocation serves him well in instilling this commitment to new candidates.
In 2014, Brother Brendan was appointed Society Director for the Los Altos Residence for a three-year term. At the end of this term, he returned to Maryknoll, New York and was appointed to the Pastoral Care Team at Mission St. Teresa’s in January 2017. He was also appointed to Senior Missioner Status in 2017.
Brother Brendan was appointed First Assistant to the Superior of the Senior Missioner Community effective March 1, 2018 for a three-year term. In 2019, he was appointed to Acting Superior of the Senior Missioner Community and then re-appointed through the end of 2019.
In March 2021, Brother Brendan was re-appointed First Assistant to the Superior of the Senior Missioner Community for a three year term. He was appointed Superior of the Senior Missioner Community in March 2022, for an interim term through October 1, 2022. His term was extended through December 31, 2022.
Brother Brendan was appointed First Assistant to the Superior of the Senior Missioner Community effective January 1, 2023 for a three-year term.
REVEREND LESLIE F. BLOWERS, M.M. - 60th Anniversary Class of 1963
Leslie Francis Blowers was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on November 23, 1931, son of Walter and Clarissa Garlough Blowers. Both his brother, Walter, and his sister, Pat, are deceased. He attended St. Mark’s Grammar School and graduated from Cretin High School in 1949. He attended the College of St. Thomas for a year before being drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantryman from 1952-1954. He entered Maryknoll on September 8, 1954 at Maryknoll Junior Seminary (Venard), Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy (1958) from Maryknoll College Glen Ellen, Illinois and a Master of Religious Education degree in Theology (1963) from Maryknoll School of Theology, Maryknoll, New York.
Father Blowers was ordained a Maryknoll priest on June 8, 1963 and was assigned to the Mission Region of Korea. He spent the next twenty-five years serving the Inchon Diocese. During that time, he received assignments to island, country and city parishes, and he founded two new parishes, one beginning in a rented house and the other in a tent. Both became thriving parishes blessed with many vocations.
Among the pioneering apostolates he began was a monthly neighborhood scripture discussion group. This was the beginning of what, some years later, would become common in almost all the dioceses. Another apostolate was the mid-week charismatic prayer meeting, which introduced parishioners to spontaneous prayer, gave them a new love for scripture and a greater desire to share Christ with others.
Leaving the fulfilling and thriving mission work he established was not easy for Father Blowers, but on June 1, 1988 he accepted an assignment to the Mission Promotion Department. After one year on promotion in Chicago, he was appointed Director of the Cincinnati Mission Promotion House. In addition to his promotion work, Father Blowers also served the local Korean Catholic Church in the Archdiocese for more than 14 years.
Father Blowers was assigned to the Retirement Community in July 2005 while continuing promotion work, and in 2012 when the Cincinnati House was closed, he moved to Maryknoll, New York. In July 2015, Father Blowers was appointed to the Pastoral Visitors Team at Maryknoll, New York. He continues to reside at the Society Center.
REVEREND. JOHN F. GORSKI, M.M. - 60th Anniversary Class of 1963
John Francis Gorski was born on June16, 1936 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, son of Joseph and Antoinette Soltys Gorski. He attended St. Hedwig’s Parochial School and graduated from St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, New Jersey in 1954. He entered Maryknoll on June 19, 1954 and was ordained a priest on June 8, 1963. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Maryknoll College, Glen Ellyn, Illinois in 1958 and Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Maryknoll School of Theology, Maryknoll, New York, in 1963.
Father Gorski was assigned to the Bolivia Region immediately after his ordination. After Spanish language studies in Cochabamba, he was assigned to be a Parochial Vicar at San Pedro parish in La Paz in 1964. Early on he became actively involved in diocesan renewal programs in liturgy and catechetics following the Second Vatican Council. In 1966 he was appointed consultor to the Liturgy Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Bolivia (CEB). When that Conference decided to initiate a program to update the formation of indigenous religion teachers, he was named National Director of Rural Catechetics. To serve more effectively in this post he did a year of specialized study at the Institute of Pastoral Catechetics in Strasbourg, France and obtained their Diploma. He also studied Aymara, the language of many indigenous Bolivians. In the following years he organized a series of International Encounters of Aymara Evangelizers of Bolivia and Peru.
Father Gorski was elected a Delegate of the Bolivia Region to three General Chapters, 1972, 1978 and 1990. He was also elected and appointed to the Bolivia Regional Council during three terms: from 1978 to 1980, 1980 to 1982 and 1998 to 2001.
In 1975 the Latin American Council of Catholic Bishops (CELAM) asked Father Gorski to accept the post of Executive Secretary of their Mission Department. He held that post for the next four years. He was responsible with the Bishop members of that Department to prepare the missionary input to the Third General Conference of Latin American Bishops, held in Puebla (Mexico) in early 1979. He was the only North American to serve as a theological advisor to Puebla’s commissions on the Universal Dimension of Evangelization and the Evangelization of Culture. He was involved in motivating the continent’s bishops to promote a specific evangelization of the continent’s indigenous and African-American populations in and from their own cultural identity, and to commit themselves for the first time ever to world mission. In the years following Puebla, a series of Latin American Mission Congresses held in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala and Ecuador served to infuse and intensify a missionary spirit in hundreds of bishops, thousands of priests and consecrated religious and perhaps a million or more laypeople. From 1986 to 2008 Father Gorski was asked by the organizers of these Congresses to contribute to their theological orientation.
In 1979 he volunteered to serve in the Altiplano again to prolong Maryknoll’s mission presence among the Aymara people. He was Parochial Vicar of the parish of San Pedro in Achacachi from 1979 to 1981, dedicating himself to the formation of Aymara evangelizers. Maryknoll’s commitment to that mission was terminated in 1981 because of a military coup.
In 1981 Father Gorski left for Rome where he earned a Doctorate in Missiology, Summa Cum Laude, from the Pontifical Gregorian University. When he returned to Bolivia the Holy See named him National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies there, a post he held until 1989. Up to this point, his major area of missiological concern was inculturation, the relation between the Gospel and the diverse peoples of the world, with their religions and cultures. This new post challenged him to rethink the urgency of world mission in the light of the theology of Vatican II.
Father Gorski was sent by the Regional Council to Cochabamba in 1989 to teach theology from a missionary perspective to Bolivia’s future priests at the Superior Institute of Theological Studies (later the Faculty of Theology of the Bolivian Catholic University). He was assigned courses in the theology of inculturation and ecumenism. In 1993 he helped design the graduate program for an ecclesiastical Licentiate in the specialization of Missiology, the only such Catholic degree program in the Americas. His over 100 scholarly articles in Spanish and English have been translated into French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Korean and have been published throughout the Americas and Europe, as well as in Hong Kong, India, Korea and Nigeria. He was invited to give courses, workshops and conferences in the field of missiology in 25 countries on all continents. He was appointed by the General Council to the Advisory Committee for Orbis books from 1987 to1992. Father Gorski was a co-founder of the International Association of Catholic Missiologists, a professional academic society with hundreds of members worldwide, and in 2000 was elected its first President.
From 1996 to 2013 Father Gorski was called upon by the Presidency of CELAM to advise the bishops on a new movement called “Teologia India”. This was a project initiated by indigenous theologians and other scholars to rediscover and appropriate elements of the ancestral religions of the first peoples of the Americas and bring these into dialogue with the Christian faith. Father Gorski, in a series of papers presented at the CELAM Symposia on this topic, offered the bishops a theological framework in which to understand and accompany this movement, helping it achieve theological maturity.
In the area of Ecumenism Father Gorski was a member of the Cochabamba Circle of Prayer for Christian Unity from 1996 to 2015. He was one of the 20 official Roman Catholic observers at the 1989 World Council of Churches’ World Conference on Mission and Evangelism and one of the 22 Catholics worldwide invited to be a delegate at the 2010 World Mission Congress in Edinburgh.
From 2005 to 2008 he served as half-time Staff Missiologist/Theologian at the New York national office of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, residing as a guest at the Benedictine Abbey in Newark, New Jersey
Although assigned to the Retirement Community in October, 2011, Father Gorski continued to live and do research and writing in missiology in Cochabamba, Bolivia, until a medical issue in 2014 brought him to Mission St. Teresa and then residence at the Maryknoll Society Center. Since May, 2016, he has coordinated a weekly reflection group on the biblical and theological foundations of a missionary spirituality at Mission St. Teresa and the Society Center. He was elected as Third Official Chapter delegate representing the Senior Missioner Community at the Fourteenth General Chapter in 2021.
BROTHER LAWRENCE E. KENNING, M.M. - 60th Anniversary Class of 1963
Lawrence Edward Kenning was born on July 8, 1933 in St. Augusta, Minnesota, son of Norbert George and Rosalia Fisher Kenning. He was the eldest of five children, two brothers and two sisters. He attended St. Augusta Parochial School for seven years and Luxenburg Public School for two years and then worked on his family’s farm. At the age of 18 he started his own bulldozer business, which he successfully ran for the next five years. He was drafted in the U.S. Army in January 1957 and was honorably discharged two years later.
After reading of Maryknoll Brother Gonzaga, Lawrence felt called to the Brothers’ charism, Maryknoll and mission. He entered Maryknoll on September 28, 1961 at the Brothers’ Novitiate in Brookline, Massachusetts. He pronounced his First Oath of Obedience to Maryknoll on June 1, 1963 and took the religious name of Ambrose.
His first Society assignment was to Maryknoll, New York where he worked taking care of the grounds, working in the garage and at the reception desk, as well as various pastoral work in the nearby community. While studying Sociology at Westchester Community College, Valhalla, New York in 1968, he taught Religion classes at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, New York and worked in a rehabilitation program for drug-addicted youth.
On May 21, 1970 Brother Lawrence pronounced his Permanent Oath of Obedience to the Society and was assigned to the Bolivia Region on June 1, 1970. He studied Spanish and the Bolivian culture for the next nine months at Maryknoll Language Institute in Cochabamba and then joined the mission in Riberalta, the center of Maryknoll’s work in the jungle communities along the Beni River. Again recognized for his expertise in repairing and maintaining all manner of machinery, he was in great demand, working not only in the Vicariate but also for the municipality and local businesses as well. During this time, lay missioners, serving in the same area, received the gift of a floating clinic for their medical work on the rivers. Brother Kenning and the lay missioners worked for months getting the riverboat, called La Merced (Mercy), up the Amazon and into the Pando Vicariate, ready to make its first journey of mercy.
Brother Lawrence remained in the Region for the next seven years, and, after taking part in the Mission Renewal Program in 1977 at Maryknoll New York, he was assigned on August 15, 1977 to the Maryknoll Novitiate at Hingham, Massachusetts for maintenance of the property. On September 1, 1979 he was assigned to the Maryknoll Brothers’ Formation Program, where he worked with the Bronx Center for Urban Ministries in the South Bronx, New York.
After six years of service in the United States, Brother Lawrence returned to the Bolivia Region and the Pando Vicariate on March 1, 1983. After a sabbatical in 1993, Brother Lawrence was re-assigned to work in Cochabamba, Bolivia, this time to work in Cobija in the Pando region, an area accessible only by riverboat or plane. He and an indigenous lay minister served a 20-village parish that had been without a pastor for many years. They visited local farmers, who were the religious leaders of their communities, by boat and small truck preparing them to lead liturgical celebrations and help prepare the local villagers to receive the sacraments.
Brother Lawrence, worked with two Alcoholics Anonymous groups in Cochabamba, Bolivia and volunteered at Fe and Alegria High School at Buen Retiro, a rural section of Cochabamba. There he shared the knowledge of agricultural methods and farm machinery maintenance that he had learned growing up on his father’s farm in St. Cloud. Although granted retired status in March 2004, Brother Lawrence remained living in Cochabamba and continued his ministry on a part-time basis.
In October 2015, Brother Kenning was assigned to the United States Region and took up residence at the Maryknoll Society Center. He was assigned to the Senior Missioner Community in 2023.
REVEREND MICHAEL C. KIRWEN, M.M. - 60th Anniversary Class of 1963
Michael Carl Kirwen was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on December 15, 1935, son of Maurice Sylvester and Loretta Catherine Miller Kirwen. He had two brothers, one is deceased, and one sister. He attended Queens Parish Grammar School and graduated from St. Mary’s High School, Jackson, Michigan in 1953. He entered Maryknoll Junior Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania on June 20, 1953. He graduated from Maryknoll College, Glen Ellyn, Illinois in 1958 and Maryknoll School of Theology with an MA in Theology in 1963 and was ordained a priest at Maryknoll, New York on June 8, 1963.
Father Kirwen’s first assignment was to the (then) Tanganyika Region in Africa, Musoma Diocese, in a Luo-speaking mission. He became proficient in the language and culture of the people. He wrote a thirty-five-lesson language course in the Luo language which was based on its tonal structure which he had decrypted into six phonemics tones – something that had never before been done. He then wrote a fifteen-lesson intermediate course to increase fluency. He served as Pastor of the Masonga and Ingri Catholic Churches in North Mara. In the summer of 1974, he received a Ph.D. in special interdisciplinary studies in Theology and Anthropology from the Institute of Christian Thought, University of St. Michael’s University, Toronto, Canada. He returned to Musoma, Africa and continued his mission work. During this period, Father Kirwen together with Maryknollers from two other Luo speaking parishes, redesigned their pastoral work and began developing and enabling small Christian communities in their parish villages, many of which continue to this day. In 1983 he was appointed the Academic Director of Maryknoll’s experimental program called TEFO (Theological Education and Formation Overseas). This program was significant in that it solved the ongoing problem of how to integrate academic work with the pastoral/cultural experiences of the Maryknoll seminarians on their overseas training programs. The syllabus of this program has been published privately. In May 2002 he received an honorary doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He has authored two books published by Orbis Books and a third book published by the Edwin Mellen Press. Also, he has edited and published privately five unique text books based on African Religion and cultures and the four domains directing their day-to-day activities, whether personal, familial, communal or spiritual.
In 1989 Father Kirwen founded the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies (MIAS) in Nairobi, Kenya, a graduate program offering Certificates, Diplomas and two Master’s degrees, namely Master of Arts (MA) in African Studies with fifty one being granted, and a Master of African Studies (MAS) with two being granted. MIAS, which was affiliated with St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota and Tangaza University College, Nairobi, Kenya, was established to transform all its students into Africanists, that is, persons who understand, can articulate and appreciate African culture on its own terms independent of foreign critique. Father Kirwen was a Professor, Director and Dean of studies of the Institute. He taught courses in Contextual Theology, Cross-Civilizational Ministry, African Religion and Cultures, and Field Research Methodology. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, granted US registered MA degrees.
Father Kirwen was a resident of East Africa for fifty-eight years. The first twenty-eight years were spent in pastoral, educational and developmental work in Musoma, Tanzania among Luo people, and the subsequent years were spent developing the unique educational approach of the African Studies Institute in Nairobi, Kenya through seminars, writings, field research, and teaching. The unique educational method of MIAS required an hour of professional quality research for every hour of class. The field research was facilitated by a personal assistant, an African university graduate. A number of Maryknoll priests took courses in the MIAS program. Father Kirwen also taught courses on cross-cultural theology at Maryknoll School of Theology, New York, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, and University of Saint Michael’s College, Toronto. He conducted workshops for Maryknoller on Anthropology and Evangelization in Hong Kong, Korea and Japan.
In 2007 Father Kirwen was elected First Official Delegate from the Africa Region to the 12th General Chapter. He was also elected the Second Assistant to the Regional Superior of the Africa Region in 2010, and re-appointed to this position in 2013 for another three-year term.
Father Kirwen told his students, “All creation praises God; the very rustling of the leaves of a tree are its prayer to its creator. Let every step you take in your life be a prayer, then you will walk through your life in a sacred manner.” (Adage of a Shawnees Indian)
In January 2022, Father Kirwen was assigned to the Senior Missioner Community, transitioning from the Africa Region to mission in the United States. He currently resides at the Maryknoll Society Center.
BROTHER JOHN J. NITSCH, M.M. - 60th Anniversary Class of 1963
John Joseph Nitsch was born on June 29, 1943, in Catonsville, Maryland, son of John Joseph and Mary Catherine Faya Nitsch. He has one brother and one sister. His early education took place in St. Agnes Parochial School, and he graduated from Catonsville Senior High School, Catonsville, Maryland in June 1961. He entered the Maryknoll Brothers on September 28, 1961 and, after the novitiate, pronounced his First Oath of Obedience on June 1, 1963, choosing the religious name of Nicholas. He later changed back to his baptismal name. On May 18, 1969 he pronounced his Final Oath to the Society at Maryknoll, New York.
Brother John´s first assignment was to the Brothers’ Institute at Maryknoll, New York. In 1965 he was transferred to the Maryknoll Junior Seminary in Chesterfield, Missouri where he worked on maintenance and later in the Business Office. In 1969 he was assigned back to the Maryknoll Center where he was in charge of the Mission Shipping Agency. He pursued part-time studies at Westchester Community College.
On July 1, 1971 Brother John was assigned to the Chile Region and attended language school in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In September of 1972 he was assigned to work in the Maryknoll Parish of San Miguel in the town of Licanten, Chile where he remained until 1986 when he was assigned to the Maryknoll Parish of Divino Maestro in San Bernardo, Chile. In July 1990 Brother was assigned to the Brothers’ Formation Program at Maryknoll, New York and was named Director of Brothers’ Formation. Three years later, in August 1993 he was assigned back to Chile where he worked in the City of Curicó. He was elected to the Regional Council of Chile in 1989, the Andean Region in 1995 and the New Latin America Region in 2001.
He presently is doing pastoral work at the Parish of the Risen Christ in the City of Curicó where he is responsible for the youth ministry of the parish. Brother John has seen his students grow into adulthood, and some of these now have their own children studying in universities and improving their lives. Seeing the Chilean people continue to improve themselves is a high point of his mission service.
REVEREND RICHARD E. PAULISSEN, M.M. - 60th Anniversary Class of 1963
Richard Edward Paulissen was born in Austin, Texas on New Year’s Day, 1932, to Walter and Gertrude Loges Paulissen, one of four children. He attended Newman Grammar School and graduated from St. Edwards University High School in Austin, Texas. Richard first heard of Maryknoll during his sophomore year at St. Edwards when a Maryknoll priest gave a vocation lecture. After high school, he worked as a salesman for a baker in Austin before joining the Army in March 1951. He served in the Army for two years and was honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal in the spring of 1953. His desire to become a Maryknoll missioner increased while he was in the Army, and his Army Chaplain arranged for him to meet a couple of Maryknoll priests while in Korea.
He entered Maryknoll at the Venard Junior Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania on September 8, 1953. In September 1954 he transferred to Maryknoll College in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy in June 1958. In June 1963 Father Paulissen was ordained a priest at Maryknoll, New York, having at that time received both B.D. and M.R.E degrees.
After ordination, Father Paulissen was assigned to the Korea Region. After attending language school, he was assigned first as Curate and then as Administrator in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Pusan, before serving as an Assistant at the Cathedral in Inchon.
In July 1969 Father Paulissen was assigned to the United States Region and the Houston Development House. After serving in this capacity for three years, he worked in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston (Texas) as Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. In 1972 Father Paulissen founded The Catholic Charismatic Center in Houston and served as its Director until his retirement in 1999. In November 2000 Father Paulissen joined the Retirement Community (now known as the Senior Missioner Community) with residence in Houston, Texas, where he said Mass on Sundays in parishes and visited prisons during the week. In 2021, Father Paulissen left Houston and took up residence at the Maryknoll Society Center, where he continues to live.
Father Paulissen says he wanted to be a priest ever since he was nine-years old. He is so happy that he became a Maryknoll missioner. He says, “Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus is the only mission we have and sharing Jesus with all that we meet is the mission.”
BROTHER WAYNE J. FITZPATRICK, M.M. - 50th Anniversary Class of 1973
Wayne James Fitzpatrick was born in Malone, New York, on January 13, 1951, son of John and Helen Miner Fitzpatrick. He has two sisters and two brothers. His early schooling was at Notre Dame Grammar School and St. Joseph Ursuline Academy. In May 1972 he received the degree of Associate in Applied Science with a major in Business Administration from the State University of New York in Canton, New York. He entered Maryknoll at Hingham, Massachusetts as a Brother Candidate in September 1972. During his years as a Brother Candidate, he received a B.S. in Behavioral Science from Mercy College in New York; an M.A. in Theology at the Maryknoll Seminary; and pursued pastoral counseling studies at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he received his Masters Degree in Counseling. Brother Wayne took his First Oath to the Society at Maryknoll, New York, on May 13, 1973 and his Perpetual Oath on April 28, 1979.
In 1976 Brother Wayne was assigned to Guatemala in the Central America Region, where he was for his Overseas Training Program. In February of 1981 he was assigned to the Vocation Task Force for Recruitment in the United States. In 1983 he was elected by the Brothers as the Brothers’ Representative to the Inter-Chapter Society Assembly. He was assigned to the Formation/Education Department in 1984 and appointed Director of Brothers’ Formation, a position he held for six years. In October 1985 he was elected to the newly formed U.S. Regional Council for a three-year term. In 1990 Brother Wayne was elected as one of the Brother Delegates for the Ninth General Chapter held in October that year. At the Chapter, he was elected as an Assistant General – the first Brother ever to be elected to the General Council. The Superior General appointed him Secretary General of the Society. In May 1995 he was appointed Interim Vocation Director and supervised the reorganization of the Society’s Vocation Office. He was reelected to the General Council at the Tenth General Chapter in October 1996 and again was named Secretary General.
Over the years, Brother Wayne has been very active in promoting an understanding of the vocation and charism of missionary Brotherhood in the Society. He was instrumental in securing General Council approval for the formation of the Brothers’ Coordinating Team, later to become the Brothers’ Service Team. He has also been an active participant in the promotion of the Brotherhood vocation in the United States, working closely with the National Assembly of Religious Brothers where he served as a member of their National Board from June 1985 to June 1988, and later served on the Board of the Religious Brothers Conference.
In November 2009 Brother Wayne was appointed Director of Admissions and served in this position until March 2011.
In October 2012 Brother Wayne was appointed by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men to serve on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Advisory Council as a CMSM representative. This position was for four years, and he was one of only three designated religious men to be given this recognition.
Brother Wayne has served for many years on the U.S. Regional Council. He was appointed Assistant Regional Superior of the U.S. Region in October 2009, and was reappointed to this position for additional three-year terms in 2012 and 2015. In October 2018 he was appointed Second Assistant to the Regional Superior of the U.S. Region, and held this position until October 2022, when he was again appointed Assistant Regional Superior of the U.S. Region for a three-year term.
Brother Wayne was elected the Third Official Delegate from the United States Region for the Thirteenth General Chapter held at Maryknoll, New York in September 2014, and he was elected as the Fourth Official Delegate from the U.S. Region for the Fourteenth General Chapter held in July 2021.
Brother Wayne completed studies at Misericordia University and earned the title of Certified Geriatric Care Manager on June 1, 2013. In June 2014 the General Council appointed him the Managing Director of Senior Care and Transition Services, which was a new position for the Society. He was re-appointed in 2017 for another three year term. In March 2017 he was appointed the Coordinator of Continuing Education, with re-appointments in 2020 and 2023.
In 2020, Brother Wayne was appointed to a new Society position as Director of Pastoral and Spiritual Life. In this role, he works in coordination with the U.S. Regional Superior and the Superior of the Senior Missioner Community, and promotes the ministry of pastoral and spiritual care, wellness, and life enrichment for all Members at the Center. He also serves as House Superior at the Maryknoll Society Center in Ossining, New York.
REVEREND DAVID J. SCHWINGHAMER, M.M. - 50th Anniversary Class of 1973
David John Schwinghamer was born on May 1, 1945, in New Rockford, North Dakota, to Elmer and Ann Long Schwinghamer. He had four brothers and one sister. His brothers Michael and James are both deceased. After completing grade and high school at St. James Academy in New Rockford, he entered Maryknoll at Glen Ellyn, Illinois, in September 1963. Father Schwinghamer was ordained at Maryknoll Seminary, New York, on May 19, 1973.
Before ordination, David completed two years of Overseas Training in the Africa Region. After ordination, he was granted his first choice of assignment – Tanzania. For six years he was engaged in rural pastoral work among the Basukuma people of Shinyanga, Tanzania.
In 1980 after completing a Spiritual Renewal Program at Hingham, Massachusetts, he completed a Masters program in Social Science at the University of Chicago. Upon returning to Tanzania, he was then appointed Regional Research Coordinator of the newly formed Tanzania Region. During the early 1980s he and Father John Sivalon helped animate the Religious Congregations of Men in Tanzania by giving workshops on Justice and Peace. They also assisted Father Mike Kirwen in the launching of the TEFO (Theological Education and Formation Overseas) Program in the Tanzania Region. In May 1992 Father Schwinghamer was appointed to a three-year term as Area Coordinator for Maryknoll’s work in Africa. In January 1984 he was elected as Second Regional Assistant for the Tanzania Region and continued to work on justice issues in East Africa, especially those relating to hunger and the international debt crisis.
In July of 1987 at the request of the Center for Concern in Washington, D.C., Father Schwinghamer attended the VI UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
Upon his return from Geneva, he was assigned to the United States Region and the Development Department. After two years as a developer in the Philadelphia area, he was named Director of the Philadelphia Development House. In June 1990 he was named Director of the Development House in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During his years in Development work, he was a member of the planning committee for the restructuring of the Development Department and served as a Maryknoll representative to the Advisory Committee of the Africa Faith and Justice Network in Washington, D.C. and was an active member of the Debt Crisis Network.
During his five years of Society Service, Father Schwinghamer gave a strong thrust to Justice and Peace issues affecting the nations where Maryknollers work, providing a certain balance to the Development Department’s Mission Education presentations.
In October of 1991 Father Schwinghamer was again assigned to the Tanzania Region where he became Director of the Center for Faith and Justice of the Religious Superiors’ Association of Tanzania. In 1994 he was invited to be an international election observer at the South Africa elections.
In 1996 in response to Maryknoll’s desire to become more involved in peacemaking, he was asked to take a one-year course in Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. On completion of his studies, Father Schwinghamer returned to Tanzania and worked with the Jesuit Refugee Service in the Burundian refugee camps in the Ngara region of Tanzania.
In May 1999 Father Schwinghamer attended the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference in the Netherlands and then was assigned to the United States Region and to the Mission Education and Promotion Department (MEP) in the Minneapolis area. During the time of this assignment, he was able to care for his younger brother Michael, who passed away in 2012.
Father Schwinghamer was appointed to the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in August 2013, and took up residence in Washington, DC. He worked with MOGC for the next four years. During this time, he was elected Second Official Delegate from the United States Region to the Thirteenth General Chapter held at Maryknoll, New York in September 2014. He was appointed to Senior Missioner Status in October 2016.
In February 2018, Father Schwinghamer was assigned to the Africa Region, to work with South Sudanese refugees in the Kitgum Mission in Uganda. He was reassigned to the United States Region in March 2021 and returned to Maryknoll, New York. In September 2021 he moved to the Los Altos Residence, where he currently assists with Church Appeals and mission education.
REVEREND WILLIAM L. SENGER, M.M. - 50th Anniversary Class of 1973
William Leon Senger was born on November 26, 1946, in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, one of fifteen children of Edward and Julia Schaan Senger. His primary education was in a one-room country school. After the eighth grade he entered Assumption Abbey Preparatory School in Richardton, North Dakota as a seminarian for the Fargo Diocese. He was Salutatorian of his Senior Class in high school and was given the Constitutional Award by the North Dakota State Bar Association for having the best knowledge of our Democratic form of government. He continued his seminary studies at Assumption College. After his sophomore year at Assumption, he entered Maryknoll at Glen Ellyn, Illinois, on September 7, 1966. He received his B.A. degree at Maryknoll College, Glen Ellyn and completed his studies at Maryknoll Seminary, New York, where he was top student in his class and earned his M.Div. in 1972 and a M.A. in Theology in 1973. Father Senger was ordained at Maryknoll on May 19, 1973.
After ordination, Father Senger was assigned to the Maryknoll Mission Region in Venezuela, South America. Upon completion of language and cultural studies at the Maryknoll Society Language School in Cochabamba, Bolivia, he took up pastoral work and served in three Maryknoll parishes in Valencia, Caracas and Barinas during his ten years in Venezuela.
In December, 1982 Father Senger was assigned to the United States Region for Society Service for work in the Development Department. During his years in Development work, he served in Seattle, Washington, and Metairie, Louisiana.
In July, 1986 Father Senger was assigned to the Maryknoll Mission Region of Bolivia, South America, where the Regional Superior sent him to work in the Pando Vicariate in the northern jungles of Bolivia. He served his first three years in the Parish of Guayaramerín, Beni and then was transferred to Riberalta. In February of 1998 the Bishop of the Vicariate appointed him Pastor of the Parish of Cobija Pando. After five years, the Regional Superior of Latin America assigned Father Senger to work in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. In 2009 he was assigned to pastor the Maryknoll parish in Juarez, Mexico in conjunction with the Mission Border Team (U.S. – Mexico). It was here that Maryknoll had a hospitality house in Juárez, Mexico as well as Casa Anunciación in El Paso, Texas which assisted migrants arriving from Central America and Mexico.
In 2010 Father Senger returned to North Dakota to be with his ailing mother, who died in June. After accompanying his widowed father for six months, he returned to Latin America in December 2010 and was assigned to the Cathedral Parish in the Vicariate of Peten in Guatemala. After four years as pastor of the Cathedral, the Bishop of Peten sent Father Senger to pastor the rural parish of San Juan Apostol with twenty villages where he is presently working.
In his missionary career Father Senger has always preferred pastoral work in parishes among the urban and rural poor, emphasizing lay leadership formation and promoting lay ministries. He says he never wanted to leave any of the parishes he was assigned to, but was always open to respond to the needs of Maryknoll and the local church.
REVEREND THOMAS A. TISCORNIA, M.M. - 50th Anniversary Class of 1973
Thomas Anthony Tiscornia was born on February 5, 1944 in Hoboken, New Jersey, son of August and Evelyn Nolan Tiscornia. He has three brothers and two sisters. He attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grammar School in Tenafly, Saint Cecilia High School in Englewood and Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey where he received a B.S. in Secondary Education and entered Maryknoll at Glen Ellyn, Illinois in September, 1966. He attended the Summer Institute on Sub-Saharan Africa at Notre Dame University in 1970 prior to going to Tanzania for two years where he did his Overseas Training Program.
Father Tiscornia was ordained at Maryknoll, New York on May 19, 1973 and was assigned to the Maryknoll Mission Region in Africa. There he took up pastoral work in the Diocese of Musoma, Tanzania serving at Masonga and Nyarombo Parishes as well as several years in secondary school chaplaincy. In mid-1980 he returned to the United States for home leave and the Spiritual Renewal Program and in November 1980 was assigned to the United States Region to work specifically in the Task Force for Vocation Recruitment. In January, 1982 he was assigned again to the Tanzania Region where he returned to pastoral ministry in Mugumu and Kowak Parishes. Father Tiscornia became a member of the Society team of five, sent from Africa, to work in the Diocese of El Obeid, Sudan in January 1987. After two years of studying Arabic, his first pastoral assignment to the Parish of Babanusa with a fellow Maryknoller was cut short by the government’s refusal to allow the priests to minister to the people. He eventually exchanged places with a Sudanese priest and served as rector of St. Kizito Seminary until April, 1992.
Father Tiscornia was assigned to the United States Region and to Society’s Priesthood Formation Team in Chicago on November 1, 1992. In preparation for this work he studied at the Institute for Religious Formation at St. Louis University and eventually received a MA in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, Chicago. In addition to his responsibilities in formation work, he was assigned by the General Council in January, 1993 as the Society’s Africa representative on the Advisory Committee for Peace and Justice.
In September, 1995 Father Tiscornia was assigned again to the Tanzania Region where he continued to exercise his pastoral ministry at Mtoni Parish in Dar es Salaam. After three years at the request of Bishop Macram Max he returned to Sudan to the liberated area of the Nuba Mountains. It was here that he experienced first hand the atrocities of war and the struggle for liberation from the oppressive régime.
In October 2002 he was appointed Regional Superior of the Africa Region for the following six years. Upon completion of serving as Regional he returned to the Nuba Mountains for two years. He then participated in three month renewal in the Holy Land with the Missionaries of Africa.
Father Tiscornia took the position of Administrator for the Wau campus of the newly founded Catholic University of Sudan in August of 2010. He remained here witnessing the creation of the new nation of South Sudan until July 2011 and in April 2012 he once again was reassigned to pastoral ministry in Tanzania at Mabatini Parish, Mwanza.
In 2015, Father Tiscornia was assigned to the United States Region to work specifically with the Mission Education and Promotion Department. He was reassigned and returned to the Africa Region in 2017. Father Tiscornia joined the group “Solidarity with South Sudan”, a community of men and women religious from different congregations and nationalities. The aim of this group is to create self-sustainable educational, health and pastoral programs that will help empower the South Sudanese people.
Father Tiscornia was again assigned to the United States Region in 2019 and appointed to the Church Engagement Division of the United States Mission Education Apostolate. At the end of his three year term, Father Tiscornia requested to return to the Africa Region. In January of 2023, he was assigned to the Africa Region and resides in the Nuba Mountains, in the Diocese of El Obeid, Sudan.
REVEREND JOSEPH P. LA MAR, M.M. - 40th Anniversary Class of 1983
Joseph Patrick La Mar was born on February 10, 1934, in New York City. An adopted son of Catherine B. La Mar, he lays claim to a very complicated family structure, which allows him to call nineteen people his brothers and sisters. He notes, “I was raised by foster parents on Long Island. They gave me and 13 other children a loving family and eventually I initiated my own adoption.” He attended Hempstead High School on Long Island, New York from 1948 to 1951. When Joe was 11, he had a strong sense of being called to the priesthood, but he thought it more a call from his mother than from God.
In January 1953, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Air Force, where he served as a navigator, flying SAC bombers on Cold War missions for five years and later as a pilot, flying MAC transports around the world and into many troubled areas of armed conflicts. He states, “Before I knew it, the Air Force was my career.” From 1960 to 1970 he flew cargo missions into Vietnam with return flights airlifting either 56 ambulatory patients or 20 caskets to bases in the States. Joe recalls, “From the air, Vietnam was an absolutely beautiful scene to observe. It was troubling to imagine that the highest order of created beings were killing one another below the tree lines.” He retired from the military in 1973 after 20 years of service receiving the Meritorious Service Medal for his work at Command Headquarters, an Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters for meritorious achievement while participating in combat support missions, and an Outstanding Unit Award in the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. Immediately upon retiring, he entered Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Illinois and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Psychology.
In 1966 Joe’s half-brother, Father John P. Martin, M.M. was ordained at Maryknoll. At John’s ordination, the desire to be a priest stirred within Joe again. However, when he inquired to enter Maryknoll seminarian formation, he was informed that he was too old; he was 32. Many years later, he applied again to enter Maryknoll, and this time, at the age of 43, he was accepted.
Joe entered the Maryknoll School of Theology and took temporary oath into the Maryknoll Society in May, 1979. He obtained a Master of Divinity degree in Theology and was ordained a priest on May 7, 1983. Father La Mar was then assigned to the Maryknoll Central America Region in Poptun, El Peten, Guatemala where he assumed the pastorship of the parish of San Luis Rey. Here, he worked with both Spanish and K’ekchi’ speaking Mayans. He also worked with the Seminarians and pre-Seminarians assuming the responsibility of guiding them in the fulfillment of their vocations.
Father La Mar’s early pastoral experiences and ministries up until the time he entered Maryknoll had been varied. During his military career, he taught CCD to the youth of his home parish, he ministered to people within the military, as well as working with the aged in the various neighborhoods where he lived. He soon discovered his ability to counsel alcoholics. “Such counseling opened my eyes and my heart to the Lord through the alcoholic,” Joe says; “It is through them that I found the Lord working deeply in the mystery of what it means to be human, the expressed spirituality of those attending AA meetings were learning moments for me.”
After the murder of one of his catechist, in January 1991 Father La Mar was assigned to the U.S. Region to work in the Development Department, and in November 1992 he was further assigned as Assistant Treasurer of the Society. It was in this position that he assumed working with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) representing the Maryknoll Society in seeking justice in the market place. Working with teams, he visited the mangers of corporations where Maryknoll owned stocks and spoke with them about the social impact of their decisions. In this position, he was instrumental in persuading Pfizer, Inc to accept South Africa Churches’ Business Code of Conduct. Six other pharmaceutical corporations followed that leadership. He also led a Society shareholder resolution at RJR Nabisco that helped fuel the winning argument against the tobacco industry. In the area of human rights, several companies were “invited” to leave Burma in order to cut the flow of hard currency to the Military Junta. Also, under the leadership of the Society, both Texaco and PepsiCo withdrew from Burma. Unocal, known as a top environmental polluter in the U.S., through direct conversation with Father La Mar and the Chairman of the Board, promised and followed through with such major environmental clean ups that Maryknoll received congratulatory notes from communities affected by such pollution. In the arena of sweatshops, both internationally and nationally, Father La Mar challenged the contract supplier system refusing to allow corporations the use of them as an escape from their social responsibility. He joined with a strong working group from the ICCR in challenging major financial institutions on issues of third-world debt, money laundering, international lending procedures, predatory lending, drug financing, and financing environmental damaging corporations.
At the time, through Father La Mar’s efforts, the Society expressed its social outreach charism in many multimedia events, interviews for world-wide publications, world and local television, as well as national and international radio interviews. Father La Mar, at age 89, continues his work as Assistant Chief Financial Officer in Corporate Social Responsibility. In September of 2023, he published his autobiography, Conversations With A Friend, Concerning Justice, Peace and Joy.
REVEREND DENNIS MOORMAN, M.M. - 25th Anniversary Class of 1998
Dennis Moorman, the oldest of five children, was born on July 20, 1963 to Donald Bernard and Martha Ann (Thole) Moorman at Margaret Mary Community Hospital in Batesville, Indiana. He grew up in the countryside of Decatur County in southeastern Indiana. He was baptized at St. Maurice Catholic Church, which has been merged with a neighboring church in Enochsburg to become St. Catherine of Sienna parish since 2013. He attended Clarksburg Elementary School and went on to graduate from North Decatur High School in 1981. He attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana where he graduated in 1985 with a B.S. degree in Agronomy, specializing in Soil and Crop Science.
After graduating from college, Dennis joined the Peace Corps and served as an Agricultural Consultant working with local farmers in Burkina Faso, West Africa from 1985-87. Before beginning his work, Dennis studied French, as well as the tribal language, Gulmancema. While living in the small village of Pièla in Burkina Faso, Dennis also very much enjoyed being a part of the vibrant life of that local parish.
After returning to the U.S. from serving his term as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, Dennis served as a Teaching Assistant at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC from 1988-90 and completed a M.S. Degree in Crop Science, specializing in Plant Physiology. Dennis then moved back to southern Indiana and studied Philosophy and pre-Theology at St. Meinrad School of Theology in preparation to enter Maryknoll.
Dennis entered Maryknoll on August 15, 1991, spending his Orientation year at the Maryknoll Society Center. He studied Theology and visited the men confined to the AIDS unit at Sing Sing Correctional Facility for his pastoral ministry. In the summer of 1992, Dennis moved to Chicago, Illinois to begin intensive theological studies at Catholic Theological Union. On March 19, 1994 Dennis took his First Temporary Oath with Maryknoll and in July began his Overseas Training Program with the Maryknoll Brazil Mission Community (MBMC). The MBMC has a unique character in that members from the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, the Maryknoll Congregation and the Maryknoll Society work together as a collaborative group of equals in their commitment to mission. After a two and a half year pastoral experience in Brazil, Dennis returned to Chicago to finish his studies and obtained his Master of Divinity degree and was ordained a priest on June 13, 1998 – the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. After ordination Father Moorman was assigned to the Society’s Brazil Unit and joined the João Pessoa pastoral group as a member of the MBMC, which today is a part of the Maryknoll Society Latin America Region. During his early years in João Pessoa, Father Moorman engaged in a four-year study of Somatic Psychotherapy, which takes seriously the integration of body, mind and spirit.
Father Moorman was re-assigned to the United States Region in 2006 where he worked as Vocations Director in the Vocation Ministry Department until 2011. In 2007, Father Moorman was elected as a First Official Delegate from the United States Region to the Twelfth General Chapter held in 2008.
After a sabbatical in southeastern Brazil, Father Moorman was re-assigned to the Latin America Region in 2012 and began to work in São Paulo, Brazil as a member of the São Paulo pastoral group of the MBMC. The following year he was appointed Second Assistant to the Regional Superior of the Latin America Region for a three year term. Since then, he has served continually on the Latin America Regional Council until present, when he was recently, re-elected in 2022 and appointed as Assistant Regional Superior of the Latin America Region for a three-year term. In 2019 he was elected as the Second Official Chapter Delegate from the Latin America Region to the Fourteenth General Chapter held at Maryknoll, New York in 2021.
Father Moorman’s pastoral ministry has always involved traditional sacramental ministry in the local parish. He has especially enjoyed working with small Christian communities and engaging their creativity for celebrating and praying together as well as their commitment to action for the transformation of society. In addition, his pastoral commitment has always had a special focus on working with those who found themselves on the margins of society. In João Pessoa, his ministry included a special pastoral presence with the LGBTQ+ community who commonly experienced violence on a regular basis. He also committed to working with the Afro-Brazilian pastoral outreach to help educate against racism and celebrate the dignity of Afro-Brazilian peoples. This ministry led him into engaging in inter-religious dialogue with the many expressions of Afro-Brazilian religiosity and spirituality.
In São Paulo, Father Moorman’s pastoral ministry has focused primarily on the healing of trauma. While working in Vocation Ministry back in the U.S., he became aware of the vicarious trauma he suffered from working with people living with violence. For his own healing, he sought out therapy to heal from these experiences. This led him to becoming trained as a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner which is a neurophysiological method for helping people re-negotiate traumatic experiences held in the body. Father Moorman later became trained in Systemic Family Constellations therapy and has integrated this with Somatic Experiencing® to help people recover from issues of transgenerational trauma. For the last twelve years, he has served as a Personal Session Provider and Supervisor with the Somatic Experiencing® Institute (SEI) and the Associação Brasileira do Trauma (ABT) to help students learning to work with trauma. Since 2010 Father Moorman has been working internationally in supporting trauma healing trainings and giving trauma healing workshops in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Peru, South Korea, Tanzania, Uruguay and the United States. Since the Covid pandemic, his trauma healing work has expanded to include working with people virtually in Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Kenya, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and U.K. Father Moorman sees the expansion of this work as a possible future model for mission outreach, not limited to geographical regions, but focused on particular needs of situational circumstances of marginalization in our increasingly globalized world.
He has found the trauma healing work to be particularly gratifying in having the opportunity to accompany people at key moments in their life and to help facilitate their ongoing transformation. Father Moorman is also a practitioner of Aikido, a Japanese martial art, based on non-violence where he recently was promoted to “Sandan,” third-degree black belt. Aikido, which has a deeply spiritual aspect, has been an important practice for helping him to embody the healing work of integrating body, mind and spirit and becoming more present as a pastoral worker and priest. For Father Moorman, this Incarnational aspect of honoring “the Word become Flesh” has been central and key to his ministry and spiritual growth throughout the years.
REVEREND CUONG H. NGUYEN, M.M. - 25th Anniversary Class of 1998
Cuong Nguyen was born in Kien Giang Province in Vietnam on November 25, 1959, son of Mai Van Nguyen and Tram Thi Nguyen. He has six sisters and one brother. He did his elementary studies in his village. One year after his father’s death in 1970, he entered the minor seminary of the Diocese of Long Xuyen and studied there until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. After the fall of Saigon, all the religious institutions had to be closed. Cuong went back to live with his family and continued his studies in the high school in Tan Hiep district, 12 miles from his home. He graduated from high school in 1978. After that he stayed with his mother and helped the pastor in his parish to teach catechism and also worked with the choir.
On May 1, 1982, Cuong escaped from Vietnam on a small boat with 27 people and four days later his boat landed in Thailand. He lived in the refugee camps in Thailand and in Indonesia for almost three years. Finally, he came to America in March 1985. After living in San Diego for less than two months he moved to Stockton, California. He got to know Maryknoll and after making initial contact in 1986, he was accepted and sent to study philosophy at St. Joseph’s College Seminary in Los Altos, California in 1987.
After finishing his college, Cuong moved to Maryknoll, New York for his orientation year in 1991. He was sent to study theology at Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago in 1992. He did his OTP in Taiwan from 1995-1997, and then returned to Chicago to finish his theology study. He graduated from CTU in 1998. Father Nguyen was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1998 at Maryknoll, New York.
After his ordination, Father Nguyen was sent to Taiwan and worked at St. Paul Catholic Church in Taichung Diocese for three years. He came back to the U.S. in 2001 to work in vocation ministry for four years. In 2005, he was reassigned to Taiwan and worked in the parish in Taoyüan district, Hsinchu Diocese and also did migrant ministries, especially with the Vietnamese migrant workers.
Because of health reasons, Father Nguyen had to return to Maryknoll, New York in 2014, and was assigned to the U.S. Region in 2016. In 2020, the General Council assigned him back to Taiwan, but unfortunately, due to Covid, he could not get the visa to go to Taiwan. The General Council asked him to stay in the United States and work in vocation ministry. He was formally assigned to the U.S. Region to work with the Vocations department in February 2022. He is currently working in vocation ministry focusing on the Vietnamese Catholic population in the U.S.