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Thursday, 22 September 2011 11:58

Greater LA Chapter joins Society Centennial Celebration

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Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Centennial Celebration - The Gift of Mission 1911 - 2011

NEW: See more pictures from the event here.

As part of a series of Centennial Celebrations on the West Coast, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers invited Maryknoll Sisters, Maryknoll Affiliates, benefactors and friends to a wonderful afternoon of hospitality and friendship. The celebration was held at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Maryknoll Japanese Catholic Community in Little Tokyo - Los Angeles, California on Sunday, September 18, 2011.

Banner of Mary and Jesus in Japanese art formRepresenting the Greater L.A. Affiliate Chapter were Kathee Bautista, Veronica Horn, Irma Pazmiño, Joe and Peggy Santos, as well as Sister Kathryn and Sister Lucy representing both the Affiliates and the Sisters in Monrovia.

The Eucharistic celebration started at noon with a welcome from Fr. Joe Donovan, MM. The St. Francis Xavier Chapel was filled with about 400 plus persons. The Presider and Homilist was the Most Reverend Alexander Salazar, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles. The Concelebrating Bishop was Most Reverend Edward Clark, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles. Maryknoll Concelebrants were Fr. Robert, MM - MEP (Mission Education Promotion) Department Director; Fr. Joe Donovan, MM - Los Angeles Mission Promoter; Frs. Richard Oulette, MM; Michael Callanan, MM; Scott Harris, MM; Fr. Richard Hoyne, Pastor. Serving as Deacons were Matt Dulka, Western Area Director and Leonel Yoque, Los Angeles Mission Promoter and Affiliate.

Fr. Hoynes placed a relic of St. Francis Xavier on the altar, recognizing the special relation of Maryknoll and St. Francis Xavier as missioners. The Gospel reading was done by Deacon Leonel. Bishop Salazar's homily reminded us that the gospel story of the landowner and laborers is not about wages, but it has everything to do with God's mercy and love. He also recounted the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers 100 years gift of mission. The mass concluded with the enthusiastic singing of "Maryknoll, My Maryknoll".

Mass was followed by a delicious and plentiful hot buffet lunch including sushi and other Japanese dishes.

After lunch, we gathered in a large meeting room and after Fr. Joe's introduction, we viewed a short slide presentation of Maryknoll History in Los Angeles. Maryknoll Fathers, Brothers first came in the early 1920's when California was mission territory. In fact, St. Francis Xavier Community will celebrate their Centennial in 2013. Subsequently the Maryknoll Sisters (one of whom was present in the audience) came to the school established for the Japanese American children. Maryknoll's ministry with the Japanese Community also continued during the years (1942 era) at the Manzanar internment camp the United States government had established. We saw photos of the school children over the years, including photos of the Maryknollers at the Manzanar Camp.

Deacon Matt recognized the Maryknoll benefactors; Fr. Robert spoke on the importance of Benefactors to Maryknoll; Deacon Leonel welcomed the Benefactors in Spanish; there was a greeting by the Maryknoll Sisters in Monrovia, and the program was brought to its conclusion by Fr, Joe.

It was a special celebration. It was pointed out that we are all needed as benefactors, Affiliates, Sisters, Lay Missioners and Fathers and Brothers, to continue our mission to Seek first the Kingdom of God for the next 100 years.

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