Maryknoll celebrating its 100th

Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, the Roman Catholic missionary group based in Ossining, has just started celebrating its 100th birthday.

Maryknoll was co-founded by Father James Anthony Walsh of Cambridge, Mass., and Father Thomas Frederick Price of Wilmington, N.C., as the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America. Pope Pius X gave the group his blessing on June 29, 1911.

Since then, Maryknoll has become quite famous for working with the poor all over the world, particularly in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the U.S.

There will be special events all year, including a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Oct. 30.

I hope to write something about Maryknoll’s history over the next few weeks.

Maryknoll kicked things off Tuesday with an opening Mass in Ossining. It included a specially commissioned composition by Father Jan Michael Joncas, liturgical theologian and composer of contemporary Catholic music.

Here are two pictures from the Mass, provided by Maryknoll:

Maryknoll nearing centennial

It seems like just yesterday that I wrote about Maryknoll’s 90th birthday:

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OSSINING – A family reunion of sorts has been taking place here, bringing together men and women from the poorest, most desperate regions of the world.

Many haven’t seen each other in years, but they’ve shared remarkably similar tales about the fallout from globalization, the continuing spread of AIDS, unabated threats to the environment and the basic plight of the oppressed, illiterate and hungry.

A depressing scene, perhaps, one without hope. But these are Maryknoll missioners, the heart of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, and they have been trying to bring light to the darkest corners of the world for 90 years.

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Now here we are, on the cusp of Maryknoll’s 100th anniversary, which will be celebrated through all of 2011.

Here’s the anniversary logo (it’s kind of small, I know):