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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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Didacus Joseph of Cadiz: Born in Cadiz, Spain, and christened Joseph Francis, the youth spent much of his free time around the Capuchin friars and their church. But his desire to enter the Franciscan Order was delayed because of the difficulty he had with his studies. Finally he was admitted to the novitiate of the Capuchins in Seville as Brother Didacus. He later was ordained a priest and sent out to preach. 
<p>His gift of preaching was soon evident. He journeyed tirelessly through the territory of Andalusia of Spain, speaking in small towns and crowded cities. His words were able to touch the minds and hearts of young and old, rich and poor, students and professors. His work in the confessional completed the conversions his words began. </p><p>This unlearned man was called "the apostle of the Holy Trinity" because of his devotion to the Trinity and the ease with which he preached about this sublime mystery. One day a child gave away his secret, crying out: "Mother, mother, see the dove resting on the shoulder of Father Didacus! I could preach like that too if a dove told me all that I should say." </p><p>Didacus was that close to God, spending nights in prayer and preparing for his sermons by severe penances. His reply to those who criticized him: "My sins and the sins of the people compel me to do it. Those who have been charged with the conversions of sinners must remember that the Lord has imposed on them the sins of all their clients." </p><p>It is said that sometimes when he preached on the love of God he would be elevated above the pulpit. Crowds in village and town squares were entranced by his words and would attempt to tear off pieces of his habit as he passed by. </p><p>He died in 1801 at age 58, a holy and revered man. He was beatified in 1894.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, when I help someone who is ill, let me never forget that love is the most important medicine. And when I am ill, Lord, please send me medical men and women who are not only wise and skilled but filled with love.


 
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