Maryknoll Vocation Ministries is a service to the Maryknoll Society.
This blog aims to keep Maryknoll Formation Candidates and
Vocation Prospects abreast of discernment and Church issues.

December 19, 2011

Bishop Patrick J. Byrne, M.M. - Modern martyr of Korea

Bishop Patrick J. Byrne, M.M. was the first Maryknoll priest. Orginally ordained for the archdiocese of Washington, D.C., he was given permission by Cardinal Gibbons to join Maryknoll a week after his ordination.  As a young priest, Father Byrnes supervised the building of Maryknoll and was assigned to Korea in 1923.  In 1929 he returned to Maryknoll and was elected Vicar General during the first Society chapter.  In 1935 he opened a new mission in Kyoto, Japan, and was placed under house arrest during World War II.  When the war ended, he helped General Douglas McArthur calm the people during the beginning of the American occupation. In 1947 he was appointed by Rome as Apostolic visitor to Korea, and in 1949 the first Apostolic Delegate to Korea. On July 2, 1950 Bishop Byrne was seized by the Communists and put on trial. Refusing to give in, he was forced to march to the Yalu river along with remnants of the US Army 24th Infantry Division. He died on November 25, 1950 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Hanjang-ni, North Korea.  View Video

December 7, 2011

A Christmas poem: No Mistake

So how was your Christmas?

If this is the stable
there must be some mistake
but Bethlehem was no mistake
Jesus is born, the promise of God fulfilled
   in a poor village
   a poor family
   poor folks all around
in a cold and strange place
   hungry, crying
   lots of problems
   escaped massacre

Not all that different from our stable
   poor part of the world
   poor families
   cold especially in the early morning hours
   hungry, kids crying
   all sorts of problems
   living in a relocation camp
   escaped massacres
   (six hundred and seventy-six areas massacred)
   they survived

So we did have a pretty good Christmas
   found the stable
   but it was just that
   lots of problems
   lots of rain, mud
   very cold

But through it all
through the tears we saw the kids
and recognized the place
no mistake, it was Christmas!

by Brother Marty Shea, M.M.