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Authentic Servant Leadership, Journey of Faith

Authentic Servant Leadership, Journey of Faith

“Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45

Servant leadership is our meditation of the day… the calling we each have to play a lead role in responding to God’s presence in the world by imitating Christ himself:  alleviating suffering, building up our Church, and honoring the gifts of natural and human life that surround us.  These are all ways to serve and lead as faithful followers of God’s Word… and all ways we can live our baptismal call to mission.

Think of servant leadership as an opportunity to express the fullness of our lives in Christ by using our unique gifts.  With today’s Gospel in mind, I am inspired by some of the greatest examples of servant leadership in our Church.  St. Oscar Romero, the Bishop of El Salvador, is one, a man who ultimately died for preaching the social Gospel of caring for the poor.  Not only did St. Oscar lead his flock with complete trust in God but he preached with courage as well as humility.

I also think of St. Pope John Paul II who even in personal tragedy and illness continued to practice love of neighbor and forgiveness.  And in our own Maryknoll family, I am inspired by the ministry of Servant of God Father Vincent Capodanno, M.M.  Father Vincent chose to become a military chaplain so he could serve in Vietnam.  Caring for his men under fire, this servant leader was killed.  Today he is under consideration for sainthood.

These are extraordinary examples of servant leadership.  But I am sure you know many lives that are sainted in their own way whether long- or short-lived.  What’s important to remember is that our personal calling to serve others is a unique calling from God.  How we choose to respond is up to us.  We could say like the apostles, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”  Or we can understand that following Christ will mean accepting equally all blessings—and all challenges—and that greatness in the eyes of God is measured by how generously we serve one another.

Friend, you have the potential to be a servant leader who is an inspiration to others.  Serve with compassion, lead with complete dependence on our Creator.  As St. Oscar Romero once said:  “Beautiful is the moment in which we understand that we are no more than an instrument of God.”  I know that describes you.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Lance Nadeau, M.M.

Prayer for 3rd Sunday

On the night before you died, Lord Jesus,

You washed the feet of Your disciples and commanded

us to follow Your example and wash one another’s feet

showing us the world’s greatest leaders are those

who offer humble service.

Let no task be too small or lowly

for me that I fail to perform it out of love for you.

Your life is Your greatest lesson in humility.

I am never closer to You, Lord,

then when I kneel to speak to the small,

the lowly and the meek of this world.

For in drawing closer to these little ones

I am in fact drawing closer to You, Jesus.

You Who reigned from the cross,

help me accept setbacks and failures

as Your way to purify my heart

and make room for Your love and grace

that these, in turn, might lift me up

to those heavenly heights where

You live and reign with the Father and

Holy Spirit, God forever and ever.


Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

When we care for one another in Christ’s name, Journey of Faith

When we care for one another in Christ’s name, Journey of Faith

“Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundreds times more now in this present age.”  Mark 10:29-30

Give a lot.  Receive a lot in return.  I think that is what Mark’s Gospel is trying to tell us today.  When we care for one another in Christ’s name… when our only motivation is to proclaim the gift of salvation… God showers us with countless blessings.

But, you say, we are only human!  We have good days when being generous and caring is the easy thing to do; and we have challenging days when we wonder if our efforts have any meaning at all.  That’s when I find it’s helpful to remember one important thing:  we’re in good company. 

The apostles were just like us.  They needed Jesus to reassure them.  He told his followers that their faith would be rewarded many times over, and that living out of love for others, rather than in isolation or fear, is life-giving.  The message is clear:  love is both the gift and the reward.

Witnessing love isn’t always easy or even simple.  It can involve sacrifice and placing someone else’s needs ahead of ours.  That is the nature of sacrifice.  Like Peter, we may want to rebel or find another way out.  But like Peter, we can find comfort in the words of Our Lord who only asks us to be open to the Spirit and the ultimate destination where God is taking us.  And that is eternal life with the Father.

Friend, just before the scripture line I shared with you above, Jesus tells a rich young man, seeking salvation, that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. “Rich” can mean financial wealth—that’s obvious… but it can also mean anything that seemingly masks our need for God. 

So decide how you will enter the Kingdom of heaven.  Then in your best moments, praise God; and in your difficult ones, be assured that God is always with you… ready to reward your faith with every blessing, as Jesus says, many times over.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Lance Nadeau, M.M.

Prayer for 2nd Sunday

Everything I have, Lord, I received

from Your bountiful love:

my possessions, my home, my health,

my family, my faith, my life.

May I use these, in turn, to help build

Your kingdom here on earth.

Receive all that I have and give me

all that I need to be a living witness

to Your truth and mercy before

all peoples everywhere.

And when I have nothing more to give

let me give Your peace and presence

that everyone I meet receives and knows

Your loving kindness.

May I walk in the footsteps of

Your beloved apostles who relied

on Your blessings alone

to bring the Gospel to others.

From my poverty of spirit may I

experience the richness of Your wisdom

to live Your Gospel in everything I do.

Day by day lead us closer to your kingdom

by drawing us closer to one another and to you.

We pray in Jesus’ name.


Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

Diarmuid O’Murchu, Author of Doing Theology in an Evolutionary Way

Diarmuid O’Murchu, Author of Doing Theology in an Evolutionary Way

Traditional Western theology, according to O’Murchu, has been rooted in an understanding of sinful humanity in a flawed creation. Over the centuries this paradigm has engendered co-dependent relationships among the people of God. Even worse has been an imperial image of God, which, after Constantine, which affirmed imperial models of human authority, whether in the church or society.

Here O’Murchu shows how it is in the power of that Spirit of evolution that Jesus incarnates afresh God’s embodied presence in our midst, and encourages us on the way to becoming creative participants in God’s unfolding mission. 

Readers who are familiar with O’Murchu’s work will find much to ponder, and those seeking a new understanding of faith, church, and world, an evocative voice.

Diarmuid O’Murchu is the author of many pioneering books that include Evolutionary Faith, Ancestral Grace, Inclusivity, Beyond Original Sin, and When the Disciple Comes of Age (all Orbis). He lives in Ireland and speaks throughout the world.

Fran Quigley , Author of Religious Socialism

Fran Quigley , Author of Religious Socialism

For most of this nation’s history, religious socialists made their case to a population that was, for the most part, hospitable to religion and resistant to socialism. Today, those trends are moving in opposite directions. A majority of young people and persons of color in the U.S. express support for socialism. At the same time, even as religious affiliation has dropped, most Americans still say religion is important to them.

 Religious Socialism provides an introduction to how those powerful forces come together in the form of religious socialism, the intersection between a devotion to God and a system that promotes social justice in the world. Many of its champions would embrace the words of Eugene Debs, who ran for president several times on the Socialist ticket: “Socialism is Christianity in action.” Most of the figures in this book are Christian, including contemporary figures like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Cornel West, but others profiled are Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim socialists.

 Fran Quigley is a former journalist, now teaching as professor at Indiana University McKinney School of Law, where he directs the Health and Human Rights Clinic. He is an active member of the Religion and Socialism Working Group of the Democratic Socialists of America, where he contributes to and helps edit their blog and podcast.

Whose Guardian Angel are you? Journey of Fatih

Whose Guardian Angel are you? Journey of Fatih

“Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Mark 10:15

We know they have a special place in our lives.  But what is it about children that makes them so privileged in our world?

For God, it’s their innocence—something Jesus says we adults should emulate if we wish to enter the Kingdom.  For us, I think it’s their vulnerability.  Whether we are concerned because a child is ours through parenthood or family, or just because all children everywhere are reflections of God’s love, we know that protecting the youngest is what we are called to do.  How difficult that becomes when we see children suffer through no fault of their own from poverty and neglect, or from violence and natural disasters.

Yesterday was the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, a celebration of our belief that we are strengthened in our faith by the presence of angels just as Christ was during his lifetime.  So I wonder:  Is it possible to think of ourselves as both having a Guardian Angel and being someone’s angel, too?

I believe we can. 

The role of a Guardian Angel is to enlighten and protect—to offer guidance and support when it is needed most.  Our challenge is to find ways to live our deepest Christian values in a world that doesn’t always value children.  And in doing so, to discover that by modeling the role of a Guardian Angel, we are witnessing God’s love in dynamic ways.  Here are some suggestions:

• Become childlike in prayer.  Ask God for help in welcoming the Spirit in at all times, in all situations.  And trust that it will be so.

• Allow yourself to be a little vulnerable… as a child would.  After all, being vulnerable is the basis for any real relationship—with God and certainly with one another.  Letting go of our facades helps build trust.

• Learn about the plight of children who may be suffering in your city or town… or in your own parish. Find a way to be someone’s Guardian Angel.

• Be present to a young child in your life. Someone may need a little guidance or even protection.  You can make the difference.

Friend, I thank God for all the Guardian Angels who protected us when we were children.  And I am grateful for all those who have taken on the role of Guardian Angels in their mission lives, in their families, and in their communities. 

We can take comfort from Mark’s Gospel today.  It’s reassurance that by

becoming child-like, one day we will inherit the Kingdom of God.  May your journey be a safe one, blessed by the presence of children.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Lance Nadeau, M.M.

Prayer for 1st Sunday

Angel of God Most High

be my protector, guardian and guide.

Bear me up should I stumble

and shield me with Your wings

when misfortune and harm fall

like rain all ’round about me.

You Who stand before God’s throne

lead me along the path that leads to life.

Let not the enemy confuse my steps

nor cause me to stumble

lest I forget God’s love and mercy.

Keep me safe by day

and peaceful at night

that awake or asleep I remain

ever mindful of God’s grace.

May I be a guardian angel to others

especially the young, the old, the weak

and all and everyone in need of help,

comfort or protection from the

dangers and distractions of this world

till at length we meet all angels and saints

in the kingdom of God forever.


Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

God’s Overflowing Spirit… for All, Journey of Faith

God’s Overflowing Spirit… for All, Journey of Faith

“Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all!” Numbers 11:29

  Today’s scripture offers us a “Moses moment,” if you will, an insight into good leadership when it really counts.

Two of the men who had left Egypt with Moses were visited by the spirit and began to prophesy in camp.  That alarmed a young man who told Moses to intervene and have them stop.  But Moses answered by saying, “Are you jealous for my sake?  Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets!”

That’s our cue to welcome the Spirit into our lives—the presence of God that is always available to us—and, yes, to preach in word and deed the Good News of our faith.  No need to react to what other people are saying or doing.  As Moses suggests, better to focus on our own gifts and capabilities and share them in the same spirit in which they were given—freely and generously by a loving God.

A challenge worth contemplating at the beginning of a new week is just how we see God’s presence at work in the Church today.  Is it a broad vision or a narrow one?  Are we each a humble reflection of God’s eternal love, or are we more concerned with the doings of other people?

Friend , now is a good time to become the prophet that Moses talked about, and to let God’s love overflow from you in all directions.  Through baptism and the sacraments, each of us has the capacity to do great things.  Now is a good time to show the world how.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 4th Sunday

Lord, help me answer Your call

to serve You and share my strength,

my time, and my talents with those

who never tasted Your mercy,

love and compassion.

From of old You raised up prophets

to guide and support Your people

on their journey to new life with You.

Let me never be so blinded by my sin

nor stopped by my faults and weaknesses

that I fail to trust in Your goodness and mercy

and not in my own power alone.

Standing on Your promise to remain

ever by my side, may I rely always and only

on Your word by which You heal, free, and raise us to new life.

Help me, Jesus, to read the signs of the times, and discover Your presence

even in the most unlikely people and unexpected places.

Grant me the courage to share Your word

especially with those who hunger for truth and justice

in our world, that all might acknowledge You as Savior, Lord, and God.


Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

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!






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


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

(Fr. James M. Lynch, Fr. Lam M. Hua, Fr. Lance P. Nadeau, Fr. Timothy O. Kilkelly)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Rev. Lance P. Nadeau, M.M.


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

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)





(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

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

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

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

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