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

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

Jordan Denari Duffner, Author of Islamophobia

Jordan Denari Duffner, Author of Islamophobia

Arson and vandalism at houses of worship. Bullying at schools and harassment at the grocery store. Political scapegoating and institutionalized discrimination. Muslims in the United States–and beyond–have faced Islamophobia in a range of forms. This ground-breaking book argues that Christians should be at the forefront of efforts to end the prejudice, discrimination, and violence, that Muslims face.

Writing for Christians of all denominations, Jordan Denari Duffner offers an introduction to Islamophobia, discusses the unfortunate ways that Christians have contributed to it, and offers practical steps for standing in solidarity with Muslims. Viewing Islamophobia as both a social justice and a religious freedom issue, Duffner makes the case that Christian faith calls us to combat religious discrimination even when it is not directed toward our own faith community. She weaves together insights from Catholic social teaching, examples from Protestant leaders, and expertise from Muslim scholars and activists, resulting in a compelling book that will be of interest to academic and lay audiences alike.

Islamophobia: What Christians Should Know (and Do) about Anti-Muslim Discrimination

Jordan Denari Duffner is a doctoral student in theology and religious studies at Georgetown University and an associate and former research fellow at the Bridge Initiative, a research project of Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. A 2013 Fulbright scholar, she is author of Finding Jesus among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic (Liturgical Press) and many articles in print and online media, including The Washington PostAmerica, and Commonweal.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Journey of Faith

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Journey of Faith

“And behold I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20

Jesus had one mission in mind for his apostles—and for us:  Transform the world as you have been transformed.

This is what we celebrate today on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity:  our calling to go out into the world in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Just as the Father sent his Son to redeem the world, Jesus sent the Spirit to fortify us in proclaiming the Good News of salvation.  With the gift of the Spirit—our personal Pentecost—we have all the tools we need to witness Christ’s compassion and God’s eternal love.

At the same time, Jesus understood that the apostles would have moments of doubt.  That’s why he reassured them—and now us—with words of comfort.  He said he will be in our presence always, an endless reservoir of strength and good will.

Matthew’s gospel reminds us that living our faith happens in relationships…  how well we care for one another… how well we live our baptismal call to serve… and how well we teach others by modeling the Gospel.  Acts of compassion beget more acts of compassion.  That is the nature of the divine impulse:  to transform the world by reaching out, over and again, through prayer and good works.  Being called… being sent… gifting the Spirit to everyone we know.  This is the “trinity of our faith” that we can have only in community with God and one another.  We live our lives in relationships, and we live the most rewarding ones in the presence of God.

Friend, as you celebrate today’s feast day and the infinite gift of the Holy Trinity, let your love spill over the way God’s gifts do—reshaping the world and transforming the soul within you.

       

Prayer for Trinity Sunday

All praise, honor and glory to You, Lord God,

most blessed and Holy Trinity

source of life, love, wisdom and truth

Creator, Sanctifier and Sustainer

of all that is, was, or ever will be.

You created humans in Your divine image

and breathed into us Your life-giving Spirit

and in the fullness of time You became one

with us in our humanity that we might

become one with You in Your divinity.

O Trinity of holy relationships help us empty

ourselves in loving service to one another

and to the world. Be our dynamic force of faith

to overcome mountains of hope to conquer

obstacles and of love to transform our world

into a living tabernacle of Your abiding presence.

Amen.

Prayer by Father Joe Veneroso, M.M.

I hope today’s reflection has special meaning for you.  This is Father Ray Finch, sending you a blessing for the week, and an invitation to listen in again next Sunday.   

Summer Time And The Living is Easy!

New moon emerges over Nairobi, Kenya

Welcome to the Summer 2021 Vocations Newsletter!  I hope that the living is indeed easy for you during this time of the year, especially after a long year of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.  You have been in contact with Maryknoll and so are contemplating a missionary vocation as priest or Brother.  You come to us from the motive of faith and hope in the life-giving message of Jesus.

I once heard the word vocation defined as the place God calls us to where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.  I hope you recognize how much you and so many others like you are needed today.  The Gospel message of God’s love, mercy and compassion for all people is so important.  It needs to be preached not only in words but in the living out of our daily lives.  You are a messenger wherever you go and in whatever you do.  But, you still need to take steps in the direction that will fulfill the deep gladness you wish in life.  To move beyond your own personal concerns by seeking to meet the needs of others as a missionary priest or Brother may be the vocation that God has chosen for you – the path that brings joy, gladness, and contentment to your life.

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.

Seminarians and Brother Candidates Renew Their Temporary Oath

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 2 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 eighteen candidates in our program and this year nine have taken their temporary oath with one, Br. Candidate Jonathan Jose, taking it for the first time.  Congratulations to all!

Two Missioners Are Off to New Assignments

Newly ordained Fr. Greg McPhee and seasoned missioner Br. Joe Bruener have recently traveled to Cochabamba, Bolivia.  First they will study Spanish and later begin their missionary service.  Fr. Greg came to us with a background in law as a criminal defense attorney in Syracuse, New York.  As a seminarian he was sent to Tanzania, East Africa for two years on our Overseas Training Program.  Br. Joe has spent many years serving in Asia (Taiwan, mainland China and Hong Kong).  He has also served as vocation minister and with the initial formation team here in the U.S.  He brings the richness of these experiences to his new assignment in Latin America.

Fr. Greg contemplates the Mission Cross given at ordination

Fr. Rodrigo (center) bids farewell to Fr. Greg & Br. Joe as they leave the Maryknoll Center for Bolivia

Virtual Come & See Events

While we always enjoy in person vocation events, the pandemic has 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.

For example on May 22nd we covered a lot of ground in two hours from learning a little of ourselves including the music that has given us grace during the pandemic; how to prepare and build your vocation raft (using Tom Hanks’ movie: Castaway); visiting the Maryknoll Center via a virtual tour; reflection on a mission story by vocation minister Greg Darr; discussion on the particular Gospel that is lived in one’s home town; what our nation went through when George Floyd died and the meaning of the poetic words of Amanda Gorman. Preparation matters when building your vocation raft. Stay tuned for more information about the next come and see event.

Participants at our May 22nd Event

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