From the Collections

Foundation Day

Today is the anniversary of the foundation of Maryknoll. To mark this occasion, we will take a glimpse at the thoughts shared by two former Superior Generals in their Foundation Day letters to Society Members on this significant date, June 29.

Foundation Day, 1945 (34 years old):
“We are 34 years old today. Maryknoll has come a long way since the Founders obtained our original charter from the Holy See. They started a Mission Society with little else. They had plans and faith, however– and they knew America. They thought the Catholic body in this country possessed the generosity and courage to launch into full-fledged foreign missions. They believed that men and means would be forthcoming. They were right. They did not build on sand. They saw a phenomenal growth even in their own lifetime– they left behind them a mission-minded America and a strong Maryknoll,

This is our inheritance and it is a goodly one. We go on now to write other chapters and we must take care to write them well.”

Foundation Day, 1977 (66 years old):
“It was 70 years ago that Father James Anthony Walsh began the publication of the mission review, “The Field Afar.” This event occasioned the beginning of a new mission spirit in the U.S. Church and developed into the Society we know and love as Maryknoll,

Then as now criticism is heard against doing mission work overseas when there is so much mission work to be one at home. The reply still is found in the words of our Co-Founder, “That Charity begins at home every reasonable man must admit, but who will say that it should end thee… The love of Christ cannot be confined; like the flame — Charity must expand or it will die.”

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