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Monday, 28 August 2017 20:30

Affiliates Help Send Two New Maryknoll Priests

Written by Rich Lessard
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Rich Lessard – Affiliate Board member, Albany Chapter

Early on the morning of May 20th, I set out under sunny skies for my two-hour trek to Ossining, NY, for the ordination of Maryknoll’s two newest priests. My anticipation for the day ahead increases with each mile traveled—this is my first ordination. Then, about five minutes from my destination, raindrops begin to fall on my windshield, mixing with the previous days’ pollen accumulation. “Uh oh,” I think, knowing part of the day’s ceremonies are to be held outdoors. But just a few raindrops fall, stopping right as I arrive. Perhaps it is a sprinkling of holy water on those assembling at Maryknoll to mark the importance of the day ahead!

Fathers Daniel Kim from Anaheim, CA, and Peter Latouf from Detroit, MI, are Maryknoll’s newest missioners. In the Queen of Apostles Chapel, surrounded by family, friends, and the gathered community of Maryknoll priests whom Daniel and Peter are following in the 100-year tradition of Maryknoll, they are ordained. The remarkable setting, under colorful flags representing all the countries where Maryknoll has served, brings forth the real and remembered spirit of those whom Maryknoll missioners have blessed by their presence over the century.

It is my great honor to represent the Maryknoll Affiliates at this ordination. Not only am I able to witness the celebration, but, as the Affiliates’ representative, I have a role and responsibility in the sending of these two young missioners to China. After both Daniel and Peter give their personal blessings outside in the quadrangle, we reconvene in the Chapel for their mission sending. The Church of Hong Kong’s calling forth message is read in both Mandarin and English; then I, along with the leadership of the Fathers and Brothers, Sisters, and Lay Missioners, continue the long tradition of blessing and presenting mission crosses to the new missioners.

Fr. Daniel Kim, MM blesses Affiliate Rich Lessard.

Reflecting on the day, I’m so glad I was able to participate in a little bit of Maryknoll’s history and story. Part of Daniel’s and Peter’s stories can be found in the May/June 2017 edition of Maryknoll Magazine. I look forward to continuing to follow their stories of mission and hope to meet them again either in their mission countries or back at Maryknoll. May God bless them as they witness the real presence of the divine in the work they are embarking on now and for many, many years to come.


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