“And may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours: prosper the work of our hands for us!”
Today I am writing to you from Hong Kong—where I have a special mission to perform!
This Thursday, the Catholic Church will remember a great and inspirational missioner whose example of love and compassion is still being felt throughout the world. I speak with love and admiration of Maryknoll’s co-founder, Father Thomas Frederick Price. Along with Cardinal John Tong and other dignitaries, I will concelebrate a memorial Mass for Father Price who entered eternal life on September 12, one hundred years ago.
Father Price was in the first class of Maryknoll missioners who went to southern China in 1918. Sadly, after only one year, he fell ill and died in Hong Kong, cutting short his dream of overseas mission.
The impact of his all-too-brief life continues to inspire the Church—and missioners like me. Father Price lived by the words inscribed on his tomb: “In caritate, non ficta” or “In sincere love”—loving without prejudice, witnessing the compassion of Our Lord with an open heart. That was Father Price. He had genuine love for everyone he met.
From his earliest years, Father Price had a special devotion to Our Blessed Mother whose Nativity we celebrate today. Imagine this: In 1908, he began writing her a daily letter, sharing the challenges and joys he encountered as diocesan clergy in North Carolina—the state’s first Catholic priest!
Friend, Father Price is every missioner’s inspiration to love and serve the Lord. Today, he has the title, Servant of God, one of the first steps toward sainthood in the Church. In his honor—and because of his sincere and enduring love—the Maryknoll family remembers our co-founder, Father Thomas Frederick Price. Please celebrate along with me in prayer and thanksgiving for his gift of mission.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M
Prayer for 2nd Sunday September 8th, 2019
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mary, most holy Mother of God,
as we celebrate your birth
whom God ordained to bring
our Lord Jesus Christ into the world
we remember in a special way
this day on which 100 years ago
God called Father Thomas Price
home to heaven.
He, whose heart beat with
sincerest love for you and your Son,
spent his life to bring Christ’s love
to people in the United States
and in the world.
Grant that we, too, might look
upon and love the peoples of the
world with that same pure love
that filled Your immaculate heart
the sacred heart of Your Son and
the heart of Father Thomas Price.
Prayer by Father Joe Veneroso, M.M.