Christ the King

“Like a sudden breaking storm, the coronavirus crisis has caught us all by surprise, abruptly changing on a global level our personal, public, family and working lives. This dramatic situation highlights the vulnerable nature of our human condition, limited as it is by time and contingency. It reminds us that we have forgotten or simply delayed attending to some of the key issues in life. It is making us evaluate what is really important and necessary, and what is of secondary or only superficial importance. The crisis has shown us that, especially in times of need, we depend on our solidarity with others. In a new way, it is inviting us to place our lives at the service of others. It should make us aware of global injustice and wake us up to the cry of the poor and of our gravely diseased planet.” — Pope Francis




For Thanksgiving Weekend 2012, my Seminary Brothers, now Father Ivan Olmo of Orlando and Father  Michael Fragoso of Metuchen, and I visited Maryknoll in New York.


Our purpose was to visit Father Larry Murphy who then was well into his nineties… and is now well over a 100…an Incredible Priest and with a Lifetime of Incredible Ministry!


The weekend was filled with great joy as we visited with a number of the retired Maryknoll Priests at the facility that was once their Seminary and is now their Retirement Center. Their stories were filled with adventure and fulfillment.


We prayed at the Tombs of the Founders, we Contemplated the Missions at the Commisioning Bell, and we looked over the Hudson River at a World in Need of  Evangelization.


One of the Memorable Moments of that weekend for me was to Pray at the Grave of Bishop James Walsh who was imprisoned in China from 1958 to 1970. As a Grade School student at  Presentation of Our Lady in Barnum, I read HIS STORY in the Catholic Comic Book, Treasure Chest. Because we were in the Cold War at the time, had Civil Defense Drills, heard the Defense Siren tests from atop our school, and received instructions on building a Civil Defense Shelter in your Basement, HIS STORY had great relevance.


That Thanksgiving Visit rekindled my interest in the great work of the Maryknoll Priests, Brothers and Sisters. I want to share with you two Pandemic Prayers by Father Joseph Venerosi, M.M. as we celebrate perhaps the most Extraordinary Thanksgiving of Our Lifetime.


We pray…


+Save us, Savior of the world!

Let your mercy cover the earth

as sunlight fills the skies.


May these days of disease,

uncertainty and fear

never overshadow Your call to be

our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.


Keep us safe, O Lord, not only from physical illness and danger

but also from spiritual sickness

of hatred, envy, greed and apathy.


Grant that this time of testing

teaches us to appreciate our health,

our faith, our friends and family,

but most of all, our life.


Into Your most merciful hands

we commend the souls of the dead

and beg Your blessing on the sick.


Open our hearts to Your

love and forgiveness

and our eyes to Your divine image

in all peoples at all times.


May we never tire of serving You.




Let us pray…


+We give You thanks and praise,

O God of times and seasons,

but especially during these difficult times when disease and death have

threatened the whole world with suffering.


Though separated from one another

You remain near to all.


While uncertain as to what

the future may bring

we find comfort in knowing

You hold all things in Your hand.


May this be a time of purification

and penance that we might

number our days aright and

find wisdom to walk in Your ways.


Grant that we never again take

our life, health, breath, food or freedom for granted.


Bless us through our friends and families and may this food and Your grace

give us strength and courage to follow

You more faithfully through Christ our Lord.




+May God Bless You and Keep You+