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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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Peter Chanel: Anyone who has worked in loneliness, with great adaptation required and with little apparent success, will find a kindred spirit in Peter Chanel. 
<p>As a young priest he revived a parish in a "bad" district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a missionary, he joined the Society of Mary (Marists) at 28. Obediently, he taught in the seminary for five years. Then, as superior of seven Marists, he traveled to Western Oceania. The bishop accompanying the missionaries left Peter and a brother on Futuna Island (northeast of Fiji), promising to return in six months. He was gone five years. </p><p>Meanwhile, Peter struggled with this new language and mastered it, making the difficult adjustment to life with whalers, traders, and warring natives. Despite little apparent success and severe want, he maintained a serene and gentle spirit, plus endless patience and courage. A few natives had been baptized, a few more were being instructed. When the chieftain's son asked to be baptized, persecution by the chieftain reached a climax. Father Chanel was clubbed to death. </p><p>Within two years after his death, the whole island became Catholic and has remained so. Peter Chanel is the first martyr of Oceania and its patron.</p> American Catholic Blog No matter what their age, people can continue to make their voices heard in the arenas of public opinion and in the political process. Let nobody say they are too old to be concerned about abortion. As long as we possess life, we have the duty and privilege to defend life.

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