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Maryknoll's 100 Years of Mission View Comments
By Dr. Michael Gable

The mission bell in Maryknoll, New York, has announced the sending of new priest and brother missionaries for 100 years.

Feliz cumpleaños. Gracias Maryknoll.” That’s what Father John Spain, M.M., will soon hear in El Salvador. In Taiwan, homeless women may greet Sr. Molly Mertens, M.M., in Mandarin: “Sheng ri kuai le. Xie xie. Maryknoll.” An AIDS patient in Tanzania may whisper in Swahili to lay missioner
Elizabeth Mach, “Kumbukumbu njema. Asante. Maryknoll.”

Across the United States many Maryknoll supporters are celebrating a centennial of inspiring missionary service and also saying, “Happy birthday. Thank you, Maryknoll.”

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers began in 1911 and Maryknoll Sisters a year later. In 1975 the Maryknoll Lay Missioners were formally established, enabling U.S. men, women and families to serve three-and-a-half-year, renewable commitments in mission overseas.

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Dr. Michael Gable and his family worked as Maryknoll lay missioners in Bolivia and Venezuela. Besides teaching theology part-time at Xavier University and at Cincinnati’s archdiocesan seminary, since 2000 he has directed the archdiocesan mission office.

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Fidelis of Sigmaringen: If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life. 
<p>Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a member of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor. </p><p>As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. During a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers. </p><p>He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions. </p><p>He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed. </p><p>He was canonized in 1746. Fifteen years later, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was established in 1622, recognized him as its first martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog Obedience means total surrender and wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor. All the difficulties that come in our work are the result of disobedience.

 
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