Have your prayer intentions remembered in our daily masses and communal prayers.

A New Formation Year Begins in Chicago

The Permanent Oath is the lifetime commitment members make to Maryknoll at the time of ordination as priests or completion of training as Brothers. During the initial formation years we make yearly Temporary Oaths. This Oath is a public sign of our commitment to the mission work of Christ as entrusted to Maryknoll. It is a commitment to each other that binds us together in a mutual response to God’s Mission. By this oath we commit ourselves to Jesus Christ, to the Catholic Church and to its duty to be messengers of God’s love, compassion and mercy throughout the world. Our seminarians and Brother candidates begin taking a temporary oath just prior to their participation in the Overseas Training Program (a two year internship program). It is renewed each year afterward until ordination as priests and lifetime commitment as Brothers when each makes his Permanent Oath as a lifetime member of Maryknoll. We have nineteen candidates in our program and this year nine have taken their temporary oath. Congratulations to all!The Permanent Oath is the lifetime commitment members make to Maryknoll at the time of ordination as priests or completion of training as Brothers. During the initial formation years we make yearly Temporary Oaths. This Oath is a public sign of our commitment to the mission work of Christ as entrusted to Maryknoll. It is a commitment to each other that binds us together in a mutual response to God’s Mission. By this oath we commit ourselves to Jesus Christ, to the Catholic Church and to its duty to be messengers of God’s love, compassion and mercy throughout the world. Our seminarians and Brother candidates begin taking a temporary oath just prior to their participation in the Overseas Training Program (a two year internship program). It is renewed each year afterward until ordination as priests and lifetime commitment as Brothers when each makes his Permanent Oath as a lifetime member of Maryknoll. We have nineteen candidates in our program and this year nine have taken their temporary oath. Congratulations to all!

A Message From St. John Paul II

We need heralds of the Gospel

Who are experts in humanity,

Who know the depths of the human heart,

Who can share the joys, the hopes,

the agonies, the distress of people today,

but who are, at the same time,

Contemplatives who have fallen in love with God.

A Season Of Changes That Add Color To Life

This change in the seasons is a high point for the year in the New York area where our headquarters is located.  The rich gold and crimson red colors of the leaves combined with cool breezes gives us a fresh and invigorated appreciation for life.  We hope you are blessed with these same feelings and appreciation for God’s gifts of creation during this time of the year.  We have been in contact with you while you contemplate the missionary vocation as priest or Brother.  May that motivation of service to God’s people through faith and hope in the message of Jesus provide your soul with those same feelings of zest for life!

One of our senior and now deceased missioners, Fr. Dick Clifford, once wrote: “Mission is a human touch, in whatever form, place, person or circumstance it may reach out to express itself.  It is often simple, sometimes sad, occasionally humorous but always enlightening.  When one has felt this touch and has learned to respond to its tender embrace, in love and understanding, then one has begun to experience a true sense of mission, in all its beauty and charm and incomparable value.”

Service in response to love, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”  I talk with people who admire the missionary vocation but feel they’re not worthy to undertake it.  I respond to them saying that we missioners are just ordinary human beings like them trying to contribute to God’s Mission in this world in whatever small way we can.  It reminds me of another St. Mother Teresa quote: “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

As always we look forward to hearing from you at (vocation@maryknoll.org): Fr. Rodrigo Ulloa-Chavarry, Fr. Mike Snyder, Fr. Joe Donovan and Mr. Greg Darr.

The Maryknoll Formation House In Nairobi, Kenya By Seminarians Charles Ogony & Joshua Mutende

 

It was delightful to come back home and to Nairobi after 2 years in the Overseas Training Program (OTP) in Bolivia. There we learned Spanish and then lived and worked among our Maryknoll missioners stationed in the city of Cochabamba.  This took place amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Upon our departure at the end of the program the airports in Bolivia were shut down just two days after we returned to Kenya. Many thanks for the teams that have been working round the clock to come up with vaccines against this deadly virus!

Our encounter with the men residing at the Maryknoll House has been terrific and fantabulous!  This House welcomes men from East Africa expressing interest in joining Maryknoll. It also houses seminarians like us who have joined Maryknoll through witness to the good work done by Maryknoll missioners in East Africa. We feel attracted towards that same mission charism of serving people in need throughout the world and following in their footsteps.

Here at the House there are four groups in different formational stages. First, the two of us who recently completed our OTP in Bolivia and are now awaiting to receive our student visas in order to proceed with the next stage of formation. We will be soon going to Chicago for theology studies at the Catholic Theological Union (CTU).

The second group has three men and their situation is slightly complicated. They ought to have gone for their spirituality year (novitiate) in the U.S. last year but unfortunately the pandemic has made it most difficult to complete their visa process. While awaiting visas these men have completed one year of theology studies at Hekima University College (the Jesuit University Seminary in Nairobi) and to date their visa status remains on hold. As an alternative they may be sent for OTP in Cochabamba, Bolivia before their taking the spirituality year in Chicago.  Currently they are learning Spanish in a language center in Nairobi.

The third, is a group of seminarians who recently completed their pre-requisite philosophy studies at Tangaza University here in Nairobi and are now currently enrolled for Theology studies at Hekima College as they too await their visa process to be completed enabling them to come to Chicago.

The last group is earning the pre-requisite philosophy studies at Tangaza University in preparation to come to the U.S.

Our House is well organized. We have outdoor sports activities that include football (soccer in the U.S.) and volley ball after classes as well as indoor games like Ludo and Monopoly in the evenings. Before the pandemic hit, men in the house would volunteer in different pastoral mission activities.  The outbreak of the pandemic in the house posed an enormous blow to the house curtailing many of these activities. A number of seminarians and priests in the House were infected and then quarantined. Among the seminarians only three were not infected. The silence was the order of the day as men kept quiet in their rooms with music tuned low. Mass and Liturgy of the Hours were suspended for a period of one month. We resorted to online access for Mass, classes and conference calls for chats and small talk. Nevertheless, during this time we felt so strongly the essence of the community. The negatives served the positives.  The three uninfected seminarians brought food and drinks to our rooms for more than three weeks. They woke up at early dawn to prepare coffee for those who are coffee addicts. Then they brought us breakfast, lunch and dinner. The pandemic has taught us the spirit of service to humanity; that life needs urgency and love, an outpouring of service that rejuvenates hearts that have already lost hope. The experience has brought us hope and peace as we witnessed the Christ in the example of these servants, our brothers. The pandemic has taught us to always be ready to serve in the midst of danger. Where fear and ego can lead to the loss of life, the service of missionaries can be a source of salvation.

With a slight easing of the pandemic, we have now returned to normal tasks. We discharge our duties with greater cooperation. Every member is assigned a place to keep tidy. The camaraderie among us has been impressive.  We also cultivate a vegetable garden planting kale, corn and other local vegetables. These outdoor activities are so important. Those who cherish farming would spend their good time feeling the feel of the soil and giving care to our mother earth. On this property we also raise poultry. This was initiated by the seminarians to produce local chicken breeds for house consumption. It is a great venture indeed!

 

 

 

 

Retreats & Virtual Come & See Events

While we always enjoy in person vocation events, the pandemic has also stimulated us to utilize social platforms to engage with young men interested in a missionary vocation.  One of these has been Saturday evening Come & See events.  They last just two hours and during this time we cover various subjects, introduce participants to Maryknoll priests, Brothers and candidates in training and hear some of their stories.

This October during Columbus Day Weekend (October 8 – 10) we will sponsor a virtual retreat at our Initial Formation Residence in Chicago.  Participants will be able to engage in discussions with our candidates.  For information in joining us contact our vocation director, Fr. Rodrigo Ulloa, at vocation@maryknoll.org

But they remained silent, Journey of Faith

But they remained silent, Journey of Faith

“They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they remained silent.” Mark 9:33-34

The song says:  “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”  What could be simpler—or more profound?

This Tuesday, people the world over will celebrate the International Day of Peace, an initiative of the United Nations General Assembly.  In pronouncements and special events, nations of Good will be encouraged to strengthen the ideal of peace by observing 24 hours of non-violence. 

Our Holy Father Pope Francis often talks about “a culture of care” that emanates directly from our relationship with God—something he calls a privileged path to peace.  “In many parts of the world,” says the Pontiff, “there is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds.”  Then he puts the burden on each of us:  “There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter.”

Are you up to the task?  I hope we all are.  Conflict and struggle are inevitable when one side, or one person, must prevail over another.  It took the apostles a long time to figure this out.  But once they did they became great missioners.  So if we need a guide to peacemaking, I suggest the teachings of Our Lord himself.  Jesus understood that peace can only be achieved when the weakest and most vulnerable are protected and valued.

Friend, we don’t have to transform the whole world.  Just ourselves.  When we act out of love and compassion, when we build communities that accept and care for one another, we become the peacemakers that Jesus called us to be.  And that’s when the world can’t help but become more just, more inclusive, more respectful… and more a reflection of the image of God. 

So as the song says, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…”  That’s when we will have done our job.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 3rd Sunday

O Risen Lord and Prince of Peace,

on the morning of Your resurrection

You showed Your wounded hands

to Your disciples and greeted them

by saying, “Peace be with You.”

Give us that truly blessed peace

the world can neither know nor give:

not the absence of war or conflict,

but Your presence, O God, in our hearts.

Be the still point in our ever spinning world,

the calm in our storm and the blessed silence

in the midst of deafening noise.

Fill my heart to overflowing with Your mercy,

love, and peace that I, in turn, might share Your blessings

with everyone I meet.

Lord, may all nations beat their swords into plowshares,

their spears into pruning hooks.

Show us the way of forgiveness and reconciliation

that leads to You and the Promised Land

spoken of by the prophets of old.

May Your peace cover the world as water

covers the seas, and let it indeed

begin here and now with me.

Amen.

Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

It’s All About You, Journey of Faith

It’s All About You, Journey of Faith

“But who do you say that I am?” Mark 8:29

The question of the day may surprise you:  Who is Jesus?  Is he a prophet?  A great teacher?  A political disruptor?  Is he really the Messiah?

In today’s Gospel, Peter recognizes Jesus as the Christ, and says so reassuringly.  But when Jesus tells his disciples—for the first time—that the Son of Man must suffer and die, then rise after three days, Peter has second thoughts.  In fact, he rebukes Jesus perhaps wanting to keep his own vision for a Messiah intact—and denying a future that includes pain and suffering.

At this moment, Peter was channeling things of this world and not the divine plan of salvation that Jesus had been preaching.  So the Lord had to bring his disciple back to reality with a few admonishing words.  And doesn’t this all sound a little familiar?  Sometimes we lose our focus, too, straying away from God’s plan in favor of our own.  That’s rarely a good idea.

So the question we must ask ourselves today comes down to this:  Who is Jesus in our lives?  Like Peter we can say, “You are the Christ.”  But, just as it was ultimately for Peter, the proof will be in the ways we express our faith… how we live family life, how we raise our children, how we treat our neighbors… how we live our lives in all the big and small ways of being good missioners.

We know that Peter took a while to express his faith fully.  But even after denying Christ three times, he returned to give his deepest devotion to his Lord.  The truth is, like Peter, we will always have moments of confusion and doubt, too.  Especially if God’s plan is not our plan.  But with confidence in the promise of salvation—and the belief that God is always with us—we can be worthy of our calling to eternal life.

Friend, living our faith is not a one-and-done kind of experience.  The commitments we make to one another—and to God—must be renewed throughout our lives otherwise they weaken and fray.  Affirm who Jesus is for you—in word and deed—and you will have answered the question in today’s Gospel. 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 2nd Sunday

Jesus, my teacher, instruct me in Your truth.

Jesus, holy physician, heal all my wounds.

Jesus, priest and prophet, show me the way

that leads to life with You and all the saints.

Jesus, Messiah, call me to true freedom.

Jesus, Lamb of God, take away my sins.

Jesus, Son of God, awaken the divine image

in all people in every land and in every age.

Jesus, crucified, give me the strength to carry

my cross and follow You each day.

Give me the compassion to help others to carry their crosses

and to stand, when needed, at the foot of the cross of all who suffer.

Transform my pain into a fountain of grace in which I find newness of life.

Savior of the world, save me from myself.

Jesus, Messiah, rule in my heart.

Grant me the peace You promised to

those who follow Your commands.

Jesus, Chosen One, rule in my home.

Let Your anointing cover my relationships

and draw together those who have drifted apart.

May I always confess You as my Lord,

You Who live with the Father and Holy Spirit, God forever and ever.

Amen.

Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

It’s All About You, Journey of Faith

It’s All About You, Journey of Faith

“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.”

Isaiah 35:5-6

I love a saying commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin:  “Doing your best means never stop trying.”  It’s the striving that distinguishes what we do in life—and as believers, it also means the way we share our gifts with the less fortunate.

Tomorrow is Labor Day, a great American holiday that honors the workers and the strivers who labor each day on behalf of their families and their communities.  For people of faith, we know that the tasks we perform with the intention of honoring our call to mission are another way of participating in God’s creation.  The work we do each day has the potential to transform the world.  And that’s not a fanciful thought.  We each have a role to play—whether we’re bankers, homemakers, astronauts, or public servants.

The promise fulfilled in Christ is the gift we strive for:  eternal life when our work in the here and now is completed.  Our role as missioners is to make the world we live in a better place by witnessing God’s love and the gift of salvation.  That means laboring in all the ways we know how:  laboring to support our families… laboring to make our neighborhoods stronger and more livable… laboring to protect our environment… and laboring to build up our Church.  We all have jobs to do.  And every job counts.

This Labor Day I am especially grateful for our scientists and doctors… for our dedicated healthcare professionals… and for the combined forces that gave us a COVID vaccine in record time.  Thanks to them, more people are returning to work each month in good health, and many of our service businesses are rebounding.  Thank God for the labor that has made our fall season so hopeful.

Friend, this Labor Day stop and think about the work you are doing to transform the world.  And don’t forget the day-to-day tasks that tell us who you really are in God’s eyes.  Tasks like taking care of a sick family member, babysitting a grandchild, or sitting down to pray the Rosary.  When we take care of one another in the company of Our Lord, we are changing the world.  I wish you a safe and happy Labor Day.  Rest a little… then back to work!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 1st Sunday

Accept, O Lord, the work of my hands,

all that I plan or produce, and use them

to advance Your kingdom on earth and give

You glory among the nations.

Receive, O God, my rest and relaxation,

in thanksgiving for all You have allowed me to do

with the time and talents with which You have blessed me.

Bless all people with health and strength

to find a decent job and work to earn a living

wage in safe and sanitary conditions.

Send a spirit of patience and encouragement

to all the unemployed and those seeking work.

Grant the means to retire in peace and security

to all who spent their lives in honest labor.

You Who commanded us to love our neighbor,

protect in a special way all first responders:

nurses, doctors, firefighters, and emergency workers

who risk their lives to hold the line in times of crisis and catastrophe.

For all they have done we give them thanks, and we give You praise,

O God, who call us to life, and fill us with Your love.

Amen.

Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

Justice and Mercy, Journey of Faith

Justice and Mercy, Journey of Faith

“One who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.” Responsorial Psalm 15

We often talk about justice with words that “feel right” to us—words of balance and proportionality.  Tit-for-tat.  Insult for injury.  But what exactly is the right response to a human failing, including ones we ourselves commit? What will satisfy an injury, if that’s even possible?

Balancing the scales is not what God is about.  Rather God’s justice is rooted in mercy and love—in unquantifiable ways.  That’s why when we seek justice with God in mind, the strategies we learned as little children can’t work any longer.  We need another way to heal from injury and fulfill the law at the same time.

Maybe the best way to practice justice is to build bridges.  I am not saying that rules don’t matter because they do.  The law was important to the Jewish people and to Jesus as well.  But he also gave us the greatest commandment:  Love God with all your heart; and love your neighbor as yourself. 

In today’s Gospel Jesus says the evils that come from within us—malice, greed, deceit and many more—are what defile us.  What enters from above—gifts from the Father and the commandment to love one another—are what bring completeness.  We cannot fulfill the commandments while practicing insult for injury.  So the bridges to justice that I’m talking about are built with mercy and love.  In the face of injustice, always choose love. 

Sometimes justice and love are understood as opposites, one extracting harsh judgment, the other excusing a wrong without any consequence.  I don’t see it that way.  Good and right relationships are fundamentally built on justice.  Both justice and love serve the process of restitution—for the victims, the wrongdoers, and the communities where we live.  And both are in God’s nature. 

Friend, one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s favorite bible verses is from the book of Amos 5:24:  “Let justice surge like waters, and righteousness like an unfailing stream.”  And may reflections of God’s love—the ones you witness—accompany those healing waters.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 5th Sunday

God of justice and peace,

mercy and love,

help me keep Your commandments

that I might give You glory and honor

each and every day of my life.

Let me never answer insult or injury

with vengeance or violence

but, giving everything over to You,

may compassion and forgiveness

bring me closer to Your reign.

Lord, when I can neither forgive nor forget

grant that I may nevertheless let my grievance

go so my heart might know healing

and my soul, peace.

Send me the Holy Spirit as

Comforter and Advocate

in my daily struggles to remain

true to my calling to follow You

all the days of my life.

Walk with me, Jesus, along the way

and let me lean on You

when things go wrong.

Help me to reflect Your love

and mercy to all around me

and together with Your people

seek first Your righteousness

that we might discover Your peace.

Amen.

Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Tom O’Brien, Fr. Ray Finch, Fr. Joe Everson, Fr. Russ Feldmeier)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Fr. Ray Finch.

OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

ASSOCIATE PROGRAM

Enrich your own vocation, walk-in solidarity with people overseas, and work together with Maryknoll Missioners. We offer US priests and Brothers ordained elsewhere the opportunity to work in overseas missions.

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier
“Go where you are needed but not wanted, and stay until you are wanted but not needed.”
– Bishop James E. Walsh, M.M.
First Maryknoll Bishop