MESSAGE ON THE PANDEMIC from Maryknoll’s Superior General

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In this time of pandemic from the Covid-19 virus, we join Pope Francis and the U.S. bishops in praying for the intercession of Mary, Our Blessed Mother, on behalf of all those around the world suffering from this pestilence. We pray for the thousands who have already died and the hundreds of thousands more sickened and the untold number who will be stricken as the illness continues. We remember, too, the tremendous hardship for so many others who will be adversely impacted in myriad ways by the unprecedented disruption the coronavirus is causing around the globe.

In this time of trial, we support the efforts of leaders and health workers everywhere who are responding to this crisis with urgency and compassion, and we pray that this emergency will serve to remind us that we are one body, all of us children of God, and that the fight to overcome this evil will serve ultimately to unite us on this our Common Home. For, as St. Paul said, “God has so composed the body … that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together.” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26)

As we at Maryknoll keep you, members of our Maryknoll family, in our prayers, and extend those prayers to all our brothers and sisters around the world, we ask you for your prayers for our missioners in the fields afar and for those they serve.

Let us pray with Pope Francis to the mother of Jesus during this pandemic: “Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.”

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Maryknoll Superior General

Prayer In Time of Pandemic
by Joseph Veneroso, M.M.

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 sicknesses
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.


Pandemic prayer: Jesus is depicted as the good shepherd in a stained-glass window at Blessed Sacrament Church in Bolton Landing, N.Y (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Jesus is depicted as the good shepherd in a stained-glass window at Blessed Sacrament Church in Bolton Landing, N.Y (CNS photo,Gregory A. Shemitz/ U.S.)


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About the author

Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Father Raymond J. Finch is the superior general of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, a position he also held from 1996 to 2002. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Father Finch served in Peru for 23 years, working mostly with the Aymara indigenous people in the southern Andean highlands. He has also served as director of the Maryknoll Center for Mission in Latin America in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and as the Maryknoll Society’s assistant regional superior and regional superior in Latin America.