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

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way, Journey of Faith

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way, Journey of Faith

 

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” John 6:35

Easier to grumble than let God be God, right?  Easier but not very satisfying to our souls.

In today’s reading from Exodus, we hear the complaints of the Israelites who just a few days out of Egypt and slavery accuse Moses of leading them into a desert only to die of famine.  That’s when the Lord tells Moses that he will rain down bread from heaven “so that you may know that I, the Lord, am your God.”

We all need to hear those words from time to time.  Focusing on the Bread of Life doesn’t take away the shortcomings and setbacks that inevitably come our way.  But it does center us on the gift of God’s unwavering presence in our lives—through the Eucharist and through our love for one another, especially those who need us most.

At the same time, God is asking us to become the Bread of Life for one another… to share each other’s burdens and to celebrate each other’s joys.  The goal is to become the person God created us to be:  cheerful in our faith, compassionate toward those in need, and dedicated to building God’s kingdom on earth.  That is our mission calling.

And today is a perfect moment to respond:  by practicing the corporal works of mercy, making time for prayer, removing hurts, extending forgiveness… and letting God be God.

The manna from heaven in today’s reading is fulfilled in the Eucharist, the food that, as John says, does not perish but endures for all eternity.  A good message for our souls to dwell on this day.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 1st Sunday

Nourish us, O Bread of Life,

with the very Body of Christ

that the love of Christ might fill

our hearts, minds, and lives to overflowing.

Strengthen us, O Food of Angels,

with the living Bread of heaven

that we might live no longer for ourselves

but for all those for whom Christ died.

Empower us, O Blessed Sacrament

in which the body, blood, soul, and divinity Of Christ

remain with us to fulfill the command of Christ

to love and forgive.

Sanctify us, O Bread blest, broken and shared

that You may help us help others to walk the way of holiness

that leads everyone to Your kingdom

Where You live and reign

with the Father and Holy Spirit

God forever and ever.

Amen.

Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way , Journey of Faith

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way , Journey of Faith

 

“You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145:16

How many times does God open a door for us—an opportunity to grow in our faith—and we say to ourselves, “I don’t think I can handle this.  I just don’t have what it takes.”

The miracle of the loaves and fishes is a good meditation to help restore our confidence.  We’re more capable of doing good than we sometimes realize.

Today’s Gospel is asking us to take personal inventory:  What gifts do I have that I can share?  What blessings can I give that will change someone’s life and reflect the compassion of Our Lord?  Can I—just one person—help build God’s Kingdom on earth? 

The first step in working through all these questions—and experiencing a personal miracle of faith—is recognizing that we are always in God’s hands.  Everything we have is a gift from God.  With these gifts, we can be assured that we are worthy and capable of great things.

For any of us in need of a little assurance, the details of today’s Gospel provide answers.  A young boy offers five barley loaves and two fish.  The Jews knew barley as the first grain of spring—symbol of the harvest and the unleavened bread of Passover, the bread we now call the Eucharist. 

With confidence in God the Father, Jesus blessed the seven gifts from the child and began to distribute them to the 5,000 assembled before him.  The blessing was so great that later on the apostles filled 12 wicker baskets with fragments of the meal.  We can think of the 12 baskets in many ways:  as the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 patriarchs, and also the 12 apostles—all symbolizing God’s people doing God’s work.

Rather than dwell on what’s missing in our lives, today’s Gospel teaches us to think about what’s possible, especially in the presence of faith.  Rather than focus on risk, we can accept

that we are always in God’s hands, and that nothing we do will ever be wasted.  Multiply one act of kindness with more acts of kindness and… you know the rest.

, the evangelists must have thought today’s story a very big deal.  The multiplication of loaves and fishes is the only miracle Jesus performed that appears in all four Gospels.  So rather than saying, “I’m not talented enough,” or “I don’t think I’m the best person for the job,” just know that you have all the gifts you need to work a miracle.  Why not give it a try?

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 4th Sunday

What little we have we offer all to you,

Lord Jesus, who fed the hungry thousands

with just five loaves and two fish.

May we not let our poverty prevent us

from doing good by giving our all.

Multiply our good works to the glory

of Your name and build up

the kingdom of God in our time.

Jesus, our Master, and our Messiah,

help us feed people’s hunger

not just for bread but for every word

that comes forth from Your mouth, O God.

Feed their hunger for justice with righteousness,

for forgiveness with reconciliation, and for peace

with that joy that only comes from knowing and

accepting You as Lord.

We come before You with open hands, Lord Jesus,

holding nothing back we ask You to take all we offer

and give us all we need to live fully and joyfully

here on earth and eternally with all Your saints

in heaven where You reign with the Father and Holy Spirit,

God forever and ever.

Amen.

Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

For He is our Peace, Journey of Faith

For He is our Peace, Journey of Faith

 

“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31

These are comforting words… Jesus urging his hardworking disciples, just back from teaching, to rest.  We can take comfort from these words, too, because it’s safe to say we’re just as hardworking.

Today’s Gospel describes a tender moment when Jesus advises us, his modern-day disciples that we need to take good care of ourselves.  Rest well, pray well.  Then do the work of building God’s Kingdom.

Rest isn’t something we necessarily think about during the day, but even a few quiet moments between things—eyes closed—can recharge the soul.  Moments of prayer are restorative, too.  If you can’t say five decades of the Rosary, say two.   If you are unable to attend Mass in person, attend Mass online.  Or find the website of a homilist that you especially enjoy listening to.  These are all good ways to rest the soul.

We know the benefits of solitude, but we can also rest in the company of one another even in pandemic times.  Have you ever prayed with someone on the phone or done a meditation over Zoom?  Blessings via text can work, too!   

Friend, the point of resting and reflecting is to get in touch with what is happening around us.  Are we fulfilling our role as missioners dedicated to building God’s Kingdom?  A good way to find out is to pause in God’s care and rejoice in the possibilities.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 3rd Sunday

In You, O Lord of the Sabbath,

our souls find rest,

our bodies peace

and our minds, serenity.

You, Who bid Your disciples

come away, be with us also

when we seek silence and solitude.

Trusting in Your promise and providence,

we lay our plans and work aside

confident that every good work

begun in Your name will find

fulfillment according to Your Will.

Into Your most merciful hands, O Lord,

we place all our works, our hopes,

our dreams, and our plans.

Relying only on Your grace,

may we always seek first Your

kingdom of righteousness and peace.

You, Who calmed the storm and

stilled the wind and waves,

comfort and console us when life’s problems

overwhelm us or when enemies rise against us.

With You at our side, Lord Jesus,

our Rock, our Fortress, Our Deliverer,

we will not falter when facing our foes.

And when the battles of earthly life end

welcome us into Your loving embrace

where with all the saints we will forever

enjoy lasting peace in Your presence.

Amen.

Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.

The Perfect is The Enemy of the Good., Journey of Faith

The Perfect is The Enemy of the Good., Journey of Faith

 

“He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick.”  Mark 6:8

Today, Jesus instructs us to travel in mission lightly, taking just the basics. A pair of sturdy shoes and the conviction of our faith is all the inspiration we need to share the Good News.

Yes, faith.  But also confidence!  During my mission years in Peru, I worked in formation with a group of seminarians who were devoted to their calling and studied for the priesthood with great fervor.  They wanted to get everything they did just right—in other words, perfect!  But “perfect” became an impediment.  They didn’t trust their own judgment.  They worried that the people would not accept them unless everything they said and did was just so.  Of course, that’s an impossibly high bar to achieve.  Only God is perfect!

It took a bit of encouragement from me, but after a while I finally got them to trust in themselves.  Thank God, many found their calling as gifted clergymen and homilists.  They became who they were called to be, not by being “perfect” but by delivering the message of Christ’s compassion with confidence.  And that’s all that God ever asks.   

Friend, none of us wants to make a mistake or appear less than who we are.  God understands.  If you have any doubt that you are a worthy and capable messenger of the Gospel, just know this:  You have been called to mission in baptism and your gifts are uniquely yours.  God’s grace will show you how to share those gifts.  Whatever path you take, you will be building God’s Kingdom on earth.  And that will be perfect enough.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 2nd Sunday

Help me, Lord Jesus

to walk in Your ways

seek Your truth and know

Your justice that I might

enjoy Your heavenly peace

here and now.

Teach me, Lord Jesus

to know Your commands

and love as You love, and pray

as You pray to our Father in heaven

that I might look at all people

as my brothers and sisters and

overflow with forgiveness and mercy

for everyone I meet.

You Who alone are perfect and good,

grant me the grace to overcome pride

that I might never be afraid to fail or fall

but seek always to know, love, and serve

You all the days of my life.

Amen.

Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso

Oh, Beautiful for Spacious Skies, Journey of Faith

Oh, Beautiful for Spacious Skies, Journey of Faith

 

“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” Luke 4:18

“America, God shed his grace on thee!”

Today is a day for picnics and family gatherings—and a moment or two of reflection.   On Independence Day 2021 we have so much to be thankful for.  The blessings of a democratic and open society are ours to cherish and protect.  We are also blessed with remarkably diverse communities drawn from talent and aspirations the world over.  These are the strengths that endow us with greatness.

At the same time, we are a country still in formation… still finding ways to resolve social and economic inequalities, especially the poverty that prevents people from living decent, hopeful, and productive lives.  As we celebrate our 245th birthday today, may we be judged not only by our worldly accomplishments, but by how well we treat the weakest among us:  the children, the elderly, the sick, the lonely, and the recently arrived. 

Striving for success has its place, and we are truly grateful for the goal-setters. America’s achievements in science and the humanities continue to build better lives for people all over the world.  But these achievements will always be compromised unless we also care for those who can’t care for themselves.  I remind myself that true power rests in our relationship with God—and one another.  So my prayer today is that we will direct our patriotic energies toward building a society where we can be judged first on how we treat the least among us.  That is Christ’s message, too.

Friend, if you are traveling today, please arrive safely.  Enjoy the festivities that I believe are really a call to serve one another and the nation we love.  Today is a reminder that we are all caretakers of our democracy and the freedoms we cherish.  I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy July 4. 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Independence Day

We sing to You, O God of every nation,

who led Israel out of slavery and

purified them in the desert of Sinai.

You blessed them with Your wisdom

and protection and bestowed on them

the sweet burden of the law

that they might ever remember

the good things You did for them.

Bless our nation as we recall the good things

You have done for us, breaking the Chains of Bondage

that bound us to one another, and setting us like a glorious

city on a hill offering a Beacon of Hope to those still oppressed.

Make us ever mindful of Your many graces and mercies

though times of peace and poverty, prosperity and pandemic

that in all things and in all ways Your name be praised.

Bless all prophets and patriots who sacrificed their

futures and often their lives to keep us safe and free.

May Your gifts of life, health, equality, and opportunity

be preserved and provided to all who dwell in our land.

May we never forget our final destiny

and fulfillment are with You in Your kingdom

where You live and reign forever and ever.

Amen

Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso

Donal Dorr, Author of A Creed for Today

Donal Dorr, Author of A Creed for Today

“Offers a vibrant spirituality based on a rereading of Christian tradition through a lens of love for the Earth and all its creatures. It is a joy to read!”—James Corkery, SJ, Gregorian University, Rome

Renowned theologian Donal Dorr explores the interplay between an ecological spirituality and our traditional Christian faith at this critical juncture in the twenty-first century. Rather than seeing ecological spirituality as an adjunct to Christian doctrine, Dorr views it as central to our understanding of Christianity today, and integral to understanding our relationship with the natural world.

In building this creed, Dorr lays out a compelling vision for how we should live at both a spiritual and practical level in terms of our Christian faith and our attendant role as stewards of the Earth.

Donal Dorr is an Irish theologian and missionary priest who has served as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and as a resource person for the Irish Missionary Union. He is the author of ten books, including the Orbis titles Option for the Poor and for the Earth and Mission in Today’s World.

Search for Healing, Journey of Faith

Search for Healing, Journey of Faith

 

“Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Mark 5:36

Today’s Gospel is about the power of faith in the face of fear—emotions we all experience at one time or another.

We know the story well.  An official of the synagogue pleaded with Jesus for a laying of hands on his sick daughter who was at the point of death.  The crowd said why trouble the rabbi when the girl had in fact died.  Jesus’ response was calming.  He would go to the home of the official with a message of faith.

Upon entering the house, Jesus said the child was not dead but merely asleep.  Ignoring the disbelievers, he took the young girl by the hand and asked her to rise.  Which she did. The crowd was utterly astonished at the healing powers of the preacher from Galilee.

Placing complete faith in God in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulties is perhaps the most challenging experience any of us can have.  But faith, as the Gospel shows us, is the only remedy for grief and fear.  Faith is the grace that can us heal from deep hurts and sorrow, and from personal disappointments as well.  Faith restores our souls, transcending moments of doubt and fear with the conviction that we are destined for eternal life in the company of Our Lord.

Friend, no matter our calling, we are all human beings in need of healing.  But just as important, we are all capable of offering healing to one another—the gift of grace that begins with an act of compassion.  Today, Jesus assures us that we will always have the presence of God to restore our souls.  When we need help, all we need to do is ask.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 4th Sunday

Lord of life, love and light

stand by our side when death

draws near, when hatred abounds,

and when darkness obscures the way.

You Who came to earth to live like us

help us to live like You putting all our

trust in our Father’s mercy.

You Who wept at the death of Your friend,

Lazarus, and felt the grief of parents for their

dying daughter, help us to trust despite our doubt

and when death claims those we deeply love

may we rely on Your loving kindness even then.

May the power of Your resurrection transform

our doubts into hope, our tears into determination,

and our grief into a wellspring of peace, confident that

You who created and assumed our human nature

will not abandon us nor allow us to suffer

life’s setbacks alone.

Amen.

Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso

Do you not care that we are perishing? Journey of Faith

Do you not care that we are perishing? Journey of Faith

 

“Give thanks to the Lord, His love is everlasting.” Psalm 107:1

Job, the apostles—and we, too—have a few things in common.  At least that’s what we learn from today’s readings. 

In his distress Job calls on God to rescue him from his many torments.  Finally, in a stormy whirlwind God does appear, not with answers but with questions.  Of course, Job cannot answer any of the questions, making the point that Job must let God be God.

Then in Mark’s Gospel we hear the distress of the disciples who meet up with a terrible squall crossing the Sea of Galilee.  Frightened for their lives, they awaken Jesus who had fallen asleep on a cushion after a day of preaching.  They plead, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  Jesus immediately calms the wind and quiets the sea, but not before asking, “Why are you terrified?  Do you not yet have faith?”

At times, we are all reflections of Job and the apostles.  We have a clear picture of how we want life to unfold, but question why God’s plans don’t always match up with our own.  We may experience any number of personal storms… within our families, at work, or in our communities. We may be tempted to ask, “Where is God in all this?”  Today’s readings provide the reassurance we need.  God will not let us perish.  As people of faith, we are given the grace to overcome life’s inevitable challenges and with that gift, our faith will grow in strength.

With prayer and perseverance—and the support of loved ones—difficulties have a way of resolving themselves.  I look back on this past year think about the challenges we all faced, including the tragedies.  With God’s grace and one another, we have managed to survive.  When Jesus calmed the storm, he was not asking for awe at a miracle but rather trust in the ultimate victory of life over death.

Friend, today’s readings assure us that confidence overcomes fear; and faith is always victorious over doubt.   Whenever I have put my trust in God, I have been rewarded.  I believe you will be rewarded, too. 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 3rd Sunday

Dear Lord, we know You neither slumber nor sleep,

and yet at times we fear You do not know

or worse, do not care of the terrible

perils we face. In our distress we cry out to You

to wake and save us from dangers that

threaten to destroy us.

Forgive us, at times like these, for our lack of faith,

for surely You Who died for us will not abandon

us In our hour of greatest need.

You Who command the wind and the waves

and who walk upon the water, be our sure comfort

and consolation when fear drowns our faith.

May we trust neither in our strength

nor in our boat tossed by the waves

but rather, confident in Your merciful love,

let us always strive to remain awake

to Your powerful presence among us.

Amen.

Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso

Nothing’s Too Small, Journey of Faith

Nothing’s Too Small, Journey of Faith

“It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.  But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants.” Mark 4:31-32

Think of today’s parable as a pause button.  The story of the mustard seed gives us the needed room to exhale and remember that despite the headlines, the personal setbacks, and the wonderings why, God is still at work transforming us and our world.  We are never alone.

How do we know?  Mark’s Gospel explains it with the story of the mustard seed.  From this tiny expression of new life, a plant grows into a sturdy tree and eventually its branches and leaves become shelter for the birds of the air—and for us as well.

Jesus likens the mustard seed to the Kingdom of God… plant seeds with acts of compassion and kindness and the Kingdom grows.  The life of our Church becomes stronger with each planting, and this is confirmation to the world that we rejoice in our faith.

So instead of getting frustrated by how seemingly great the task of everyday living is, let’s take a moment to remember that each thing we do with the conviction of faith—no matter how big or small—is another mustard seed.  Some of us are called to lives of great sacrifice for family and friends.  Some of us are called to public service or religious life.  But all of us are called to ordinary acts of kindness and compassion. These are the plantings we can sow each and every day.

Friendl, we never know how someone will receive a smile, a morning phone call to check-in, or a quick note to say “I’m thinking of you.”  These are the mustard seeds that cost nothing but have the potential to change the world. Knowing that, let’s disengage our pause button and reengage with the world.  And know in your heart that God’s Kingdom on earth is yours to nurture and grow.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

 

Prayer for 2nd Sunday

Praise to You, Lord God, for tiny miracles

and small graces with which You bless

the world and all who dwell in it:

gentle rain, a songbird’s melody,

a child’s laughter and the quiet

wisdom of age.

Help me sow small acts of kindness

throughout the day on all I meet.

A smile, a prayer, a friendly greeting,

given in Your name, plant seeds of love,

mercy and justice that grow and blossom

into a heavenly harvest of Your kingdom.

Amid life’s storms may Your word be our guide

and Your gospel our light even when darkness comes.

May the simplest prayer pierce the clouds of doubt

and cause Your blessings to fall abundantly on us

who struggle to help establish Your reign here on earth.

Amen.

Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ , Journey of Faith

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ , Journey of Faith

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord.” John 6:51

The gift the Church celebrates today on the feast also known as Corpus Christi is an invitation from Our Lord to be living witnesses of his love and compassion. 

When Jesus consecrated bread and wine at the Last Supper, he said these gifts, His Body and Blood, would be given up for us—as they were on Good Friday—and that our Eucharistic celebration was to continue in his memory. The gift of faith we received is now ours to give.  In word and deed we are called to give our lives, becoming the Living Bread that we consume, that heals our world and welcomes all to salvation in Christ.

When I celebrate Mass and the Eucharist today, I will remember a woman who was an extraordinary example of the Living Bread—someone I will never forget.  Her name was Maria Elena Moyano, a devout member of a Christian community in Lima, Peru who died in 1992.  When armed guerrillas of the far-left threatened to kill people, Maria Elena organized a brave cadre of women to protect themselves.  They started common kitchens and neighborhood cafes so people, especially the children, would not go hungry.  They believed in non-violence and led demonstrations in support of social justice and self-government.

The guerillas regarded Maria Elena as a threat.  Even with protection, Maria Elena was murdered by guerrillas in front of her family.  Her death sparked so much outrage in the community that support for the guerillas began to wane and her resistance movement actually gained strength.  Her legacy in Peru is honored to this day.  She is an inspiration for Christian communities throughout Latin America, especially those struggling against social injustice and conditions of extreme poverty.

Very few of us are called to live our faith the way Maria Elena did.  But each of us is called to become Living Bread with the gifts we do have… kindness, understanding, humility, courage, understanding, and reverence for all life.  These are gifts that can transform the world.

Friend, the giving that Christ spoke of at the Last Supper began with the transformation of bread and wine into His Body and Blood.  May the giving continue each time we witness our faith and become the Bread of Life for all to see. 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 1st Sunday

O blessed Bread, broken, and shared

that we might have communion with You,

Lord Jesus Christ. Give us Your strength

and courage to live Your gospel in our lives

and in our world.

O sacred Wine, blessed, and consumed

that we might experience the peace of heaven

here on earth. Fill our souls with the joy of

receiving the Body and Blood of Christ

into our hearts that long for Your love.

May the Blessed Sacraments be forever praised

in all the tabernacles of the world and may

our good words and actions act as a vigil light

to Your abiding presence in all peoples

who claim You as Lord.

Amen

Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso

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