One of the most facinating rooms in the Maryknoll buidling was a quiet alcove, which was semi-dark, but partially illuminated by stained glass windows depicting the Christ child and mother, but as if they were Asian. You will see this image below. But among the displays were some effects from the Maryknoll missioners of long ago, including local dress and shoes that were assumed by the missioners to blend into their cultural surroundings. As you will see also, there are various crucifixes and pocket-sized objects, which they carried around the fields and countryside with them.
The manuscript paper in this photo, which was also on display within the same alcove, shows the notes written by one of the former "Fr. Generals" (as it reads), prepared for an audience with the Holy Father (i.e. the pope, as he is most often referred to by adherents of the Catholic faith). I am also intrigued with historical documents of this kind, which preserve a relic of time, which for one reason or another, transport us back to an event with an historical personality. In the case of a meeting with the pope, it makes it ever more real to "see the words" written on a piece of paper, which were then read before that historical figure, and heard by him. Certainly, this is a good example in hermeneutics: I definitely approach this text differently than if it had been just some piece of writing by the same person, but with this added element of historic recitation, the paper and its text take on a whole new level of meaning and understanding.
And here we have the image, which I mentioned earlier: that of the Christ child and mother, depicted of Asian ethnicity. These typologies are very common in areas where mission work has been done, as it was a way to re-contextualize the biblical "Word" and message of the various Christian denominations and missions. I did take photos of the other stained glass windows, but did not include them in the blog. They were, as noted in a plaque describing the images, St. Peter and St. Paul, both portrayed as Asian saints.
To the right of the stained glass windows is this little plaque, (which you can enlarge by clicking on). It describes the window as being part of a chapel of "Maryknoll's promotion house in St. Louis." It also describes the centrality of the Gospel's universality and the role that China played as the location of Maryknoll's first mission field.
A Lifetime of Service
In 1933, Walsh was elected to the episcopacy and named Titular Bishop of Siene. He was consecrated in Rome on June 29, 1933, in the College of Propaganda Fide by Cardinal Fumasoni-Biondi. He died at Maryknoll, New York, on April 14, 1936.
In addition to his writings in The Field Afar, he wrote a number of books: Choral Sodality Handbook (1898,1955), A Modern Martyr (1907), Thoughts from Modern Martyrs (1908), Observations in the Orient (1919), and In the Homes of Martyrs (1922).
A biography of his life, All the Day Long, written by Daniel Sargent, was published in 1941 by Longmans, Green & Company, New York and Toronto. Further biographical information may be found in issues of The Field Afar (Maryknoll Magazine) and in writings of Maryknollers."An interesting man, for certain.
The Field Afar. As we have come across already, the magazine or journal "The Field Afar" was published by Maryknoll as its mission reporting text, among other things. As the subtitle suggests, it is "devoted to the interests of Catholic Missions."
Here is a fine little tome entitled "The Lily of Mary," which is a life of Bernadette of Lourdes, or Bernadette Soubirous, who was the young girl who saw visions and apparitions of "a young woman" in Lourdes, France in 1858. Now, some century and a half later, some sources report that over 5 million visitors come to Lourdes each year! All this because of the reported visions of a young woman so long ago!