This coming weekend on Saturday, June 29th the Maryknoll Society will celebrate their Foundation Day. This year marks the 113th anniversary of their founding on June 29, 1911. It is a day to remember their beginnings and to see how far they have come. It is also a day to look back with gratitude for the many experiences, trials, and, most importantly, people they have met along their journey. For without the people, what Maryknoll was, is, and will be is not possible. This sentiment of gratitude is exactly what Co-Founder, Bishop James Anthony Walsh was feeling 100 years ago on the Society’s 13th anniversary. Please take a moment to read a selection from his Foundation Day speech on June 29th, 1924 and know that Maryknoll still feels this same gratitude towards you.

“I have just offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for both Communities and for all of our members here and in foreign lands, as also for the souls who have already gone to God.

Co-founder, James Anthony Walsh, MM outside on the Maryknoll grounds in Ossining, New York

Co-founder, James Anthony Walsh, MM outside on the Maryknoll grounds in Ossining, New York

But what I think has been sounding in our ears during the morning and what should sound in our ears during the entire day is a note of thanksgiving. It is overwhelming when we think of what God has done for us. Each of us can say that for himself or for herself individually, and we can all say it for the Society at large. It would be an endless occupation today were we to count what things God has done for us and to what extent, therefore, we should express our gratitude, but, as I look back over the year, I feel, first of all, that we owe special thanks to Almighty God for the health of the community, for the opportunities He has given to us, for the resources He has placed at our disposal, and for the friends which He has brought to our aid.

These are only a few, I know, of the material benefits for which we are thankful to Almighty God and then of course, comes that tremendous wealth of grace which He has poured so lavishly upon us, into our souls and into the community.

He has been good to us in the friends that He has made for us. They are many more than we had a year ago. He has been good to us in the resources which He has provided for us. To witness the development – even the physical development – of this work, and the possibilities already realized, and to know that from day to day we are unaware of either the amount or the source from which these amounts should come is a rare privilege. While God in His usual way and according to the wisdom of His Providence has not given us over-abundantly, He has supplied our needs and enabled us to push forward. This has been done by bringing us friends inspired by Him. Why, therefore, should we not be grateful? And if some of us have experienced trials in the past year, and if the Society has experienced trials, (as it has, and always will experience trials) for these, too, we should be thankful to Almighty God because through many tribulations we enter into the Kingdom of God and we know that we can progress only through pain.

Therefore, it is with hearts filled with gratitude that we meet these anniversaries as they come along.[..] So, let us rejoice as we look back over the year. Let us be grateful, too, for the companionship given to us, for the tremendous privilege that has been ours, for the great fields we are trying to cover, and let us know that in all our works God’s grace will be sufficient for us.”