I was looking through the old issues of The Field Afar, looking for something to post about this month, when the title, The Knoll In November, caught my eye. The article, from the November 1925 issue, paints a picture of the events happening at Maryknoll:
The Knoll in November
We are already well into the year and settled for what promises to be a very successful school term.
Our farm – always a place of interest – yielded a good crop. A special measure of thanks goes to our Auxiliary Brothers who gave up several free days to get in the hay, oats, and other produce. Now the barns are filled, and the cellar is well stocked with apples and other preserves, put up by the patient hands of our Sisters. There are no husking bees at Maryknoll, but all hands turn into the cornfield; and the only apple-ducking took place in the orchard when unsuspecting ground pickers got under the wrong branch. The chickens waxed strong on the bits dropped from the farm wagons, but, fatal error ! they became very attractive towards Thanksgiving.
November is a month of pleasant memories at Maryknoll from its first holy days until it stretches out toward Advent. The one day which has always been revered by Knollers is the twenty-first, the feast of Our Lady’s Presentation in the Temple, which also marks the birthday of Blessed Théophane Vénard. On this day, the students who have recently come to the Seminary are invested with the cassock and the cincture of Maryknoll.
For the candidates – fifteen in all this year – assembled at the altar, the cassock is blessed and conferred, while the seminarian recites the Psalm, The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup; it is thou that will restore my inheritance to me. (Ps. XV, 5-6) After this declaration of purpose, the young men return to the sanctuary, divested of their secular attire, wearing the habit of religion. With the prayer: ‘May the Lord gird thee with the cincture…’ they are then invested with the cincture. The ceremony is simple, but its effectiveness is recalled each year by Maryknollers wherever they may be, when they gather, as is done in many seminaries of this country, to renew their clerical promises on this day.
The article also included a poem, written by a Maryknoll Sister:
Every day I kneel to thank Thee
Lord, for Thy dear care;
Every hour I look to heaven
With a grateful prayer.
I have need of Thy great kindness—
Well I know it, Lord.
Else I’d find in very living
Days and hours too hard.
Not alone for life I thank Thee,
For my daily bread,
But for all delights You send me—
For Your Banquet spread
Every morning at the altar,
When You come to me
Radiant with the joy of morning
Gifts of friends, and hope immortal;
Endless joys to come
When, dear Father, all Your children
Will have reached their home.
Lord, I seek Your Heart’s dear shelter.
There to learn the way
Best to say a heart-felt “thank You!”
This Thanksgiving Day.