MANILA, June 23, 2011?The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, formally known as the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America will celebrate their centennial on June 29, remembering with gratitude graces received in 100 years of missionary presence in the Church.
Fr. Jeremiah Burr, superior of the Maryknoll in the Philippines said their community will mark the event in a very humble way, taking into account the situation of the poor in their midst.
There are currently six Maryknoll priests in the country; four are stationed in Davao where the central house is located, while two are working in the Archdiocese of Manila.
â€œWe will spend the day in recollection and go on pilgrimage to Davao del Norte to visit the grave of Bishop Regan in Tagum,â€ Burr said.
Maryknoll priest Joseph William Regan was appointed Bishop of Tagum in February 1, 1962. He shepherded the diocese until his retirement in May 16, 1980.
Burr said they will remain in Tagum for the day and back to Davao in the afternoon for a concelebrated Mass to be presided by Archbishop Romulo Valles of Zamboanga.
It will be a private celebration, a family gathering, followed by a simple dinner, he added.
The Maryknoll Society was established in 1911 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. The founders, two diocesan priests, Fr. James Anthony Walsh (Archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts) and Father Thomas Frederick Price (Diocese of Wilmington, North Carolina) received the approval of St. Pope Pius X on June 29, 1911 to open an American seminary for missionary priests.
The first Maryknoll missionaries were sent to southern China in 1918. While not in large numbers, Maryknoll priests served in the Philippines since 1926. Some were imprisoned during World War II in Los BaÃ±os and UST. In 1952, the Maryknoll Fathers worked in Laguna Province.
By 1956 this missionary society of apostolic life had focused on the building of the local Church in what are now the Dioceses of Tagum and Mati in Mindanao. They have also worked in other dioceses of Mindanao, particularly in Ipil and Tandag, and in Manila.
The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers have worked in Asia, Africa and Latin America in countries such as China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Egypt, Namibia, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil and Chile.
Remembering the graces received throughout the 100 years of their missionary existence, the Maryknoll Fathers thank God for being able to serve the Church in the Philippines.
The Maryknoll are also grateful for the foundation of a Pontifical Society of Apostolic Life, the Mission Society of the Philippines, who share the same missionary goal as theirs. (CBCPNews)