Brothers and sisters, rejoice… encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11
When he wrote his letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul might have been thinking about the rejoicing we were all set to share yesterday on Ordination Day. Well, things got turned around through no fault of our own, and I think Paul would understand why: the unwelcome reality of quarantines and lockdowns.
Yesterday Deacon Gregory McPhee was to have become a Maryknoll priest. And Friday was the day Father Alejandro Marina, a Maryknoll priest associate who served in Latin America, would have been incardinated as a Maryknoll priest. To accommodate travel schedules and travel restrictions (something the itinerant Paul would surely appreciate), Deacon Greg will be ordained on August 22. Meanwhile, Father Alejandro was incardinated as a Maryknoll priest on May 25, and three seminarians took their oaths, again in a private modest ceremony.
Despite the change of plans, these are still blessings that could not have come at a better time—or without your prayers.
Deacon Greg had an unconventional path to the missionary priesthood but a rich one nonetheless. He started out in life as a defense attorney. That’s when he began drifting away from the Church in favor of the material world. But in the end that left him
wanting. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, Deacon Greg began to find fulfillment in community service—and prayer. A meeting with a Maryknoll father convinced him that he was being called to religious life as a missionary priest. Following ordination, Deacon Greg will leave the States for Bolivia where he will witness the Gospel and fulfill his one wish: “I want nothing more than to be an example of Christ for those in need, to be someone who can be trusted,” he says, “and to recognize the goodness in people that others may not.”
Father Alejandro is from Argentina and has been in the process of joining Maryknoll for the past five years. He has worked with our missioners in Bolivia for a decade or so as a Maryknoll priest associate, blessing our work among the poor. We welcome him now as a fellow Maryknoller.
And the blessings continue… today we have many remarkable young men in formation. Six of them renewed their annual vows last month, and one took vows for the first time. These are blessings that I attribute to the Holy Spirit—and you. Your prayers continue to be a powerful force.
Friend, I know our lives have changed dramatically in recent months. But please set aside some time today to remember our blessings and rejoice. Then continue praying for two prayerful and dedicated men who will bring God’s love to the ends of the earth—and for all those who will follow their example.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
1st Sunday June 7, 2020
Higher than the highest heaven
brighter than the brightest star
deeper than the ocean
and far more glorious
than the sun at noon.
Your love, O Lord, fills to overflowing
Your Creation, that redounds to
How then can I repay the Lord
for all the grace and goodness
which God fills my soul
my mind, my heart, my life
No prayer or praise
no sacrifice would suffice
nor ever be enough.
So let the Earth respond with flowers,
forests with all kinds of creatures,
let the seas produce fishes
and the sky, birds of every sort
but as for me nothing less
than all I have and want and am
I freely offer in wonder and thanks
to You, my Lord, my God, my everything.
Prayer by Father Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.