Communities of missionary disciples going forth in joy to share the Good News of God's love. We're on a mission to discover God's love and share it with others. The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers were founded almost 100 years ago to animate and support the Catholic Church in the U.S. to live up to its baptismal call to participate in the Christ's mission to bring the Good News of God's love to the world.
In the days leading up to a trip to Haiti, I felt like I
really should not be going. With a busy life
at work and home, and with my wife being pregnant, it just seemed like a crazy
a thing to be doing. But I went anyway…
Getting off of the plane in Port-au-Prince and working my
way through customs and baggage claim was an overwhelming experience. I quickly
instructed others in my group to simply say “No, mési,” (“No, thank you) to men
offering to “help” with our bags, and they followed my lead. In the days
leading up to this visit to Haiti, I felt like I really should not be going. Soon,
we were in a van riding through the streets of Port-au-Prince, which swelled
with the over three million Haitians that populate the city. As the sights and
sounds of the city enveloped us – people buying and selling goods, intense
traffic, Red Cross vehicles, UN trucks mounted with machine guns – I suddenly
felt that God was calling me to be there.
As a mission promoter for the Maryknoll Society, my role was
to provide a spiritual component on this parish immersion experience. I hoped
to help the group place their experiences in the larger context of God’s
mission. As part of this task, each night I led prayer and reflection on one of
the Beatitudes, a strategy that I had learned from Matt Rousso, a veteran
Maryknoll promoter. On the third day of our journey, we visited a feeding
program in Port-au-Prince. A local woman, Madame Samson, approached a non-profit
twenty years ago with a proposition: if they provided the funds, she would
prepare a hot meal six days a week for the neighborhood children. For many,
this would be the only full meal that they would receive each day. Now in her
eighties, she still fulfills this duty for 75 local kids.
When we visited, we met a young woman named Gloria, 17. She
spoke impeccable English, which she had largely taught herself by watching television
shows from the US. She was helping out with feeding the kids, so I asked her
how long she had helped out in this program. It was the wrong question! She
explained that she had been receiving meals there since she was a little girl.
Sure enough, after the others were fed, she, too, sat down to eat. We also met
Mackenson, 19. He had graduated high school and now needed work. (Haiti has a
70% unemployment rate.) He asked members of our group if they could get him a
job. When he learned that one of us was a priest, he asked that he pray for
That evening, I led the group in reflection. Our Beatitude,
fittingly enough, was “Blessed are the Meek…” I explained that the meek are sometimes
described as those who “hunger for bread and thirst for dignity.” And here we
had just witnessed this in raw form: the young people like Gloria that rely on
Madame Samson for their daily beans and rice; people like Mackenson who thirst
for the dignity of work and opportunity. On the last night of our immersion in
Haiti, members of the group thanked me warmly for the reflections that I led,
and commented on how much they looked forward to them each night.
I have come to appreciate more and more the role of
Maryknoll in accompanying people towards a deeper experience of faith. The
presence of Christ in the poor and vulnerable is so central to our faith that
if we do not choose to encounter it directly, we are denying ourselves a deeper
relationship with God. As a mission promoter, I am privileged to play some
small part in helping people make sense of these experiences. Needless to say,
I no longer doubt why I went to Haiti!
Mackenson and Gloria with a member or our immersion group
by Matt Gray,originally published in the Catholic Community of Pleasantonbulletin
A couple of weeks ago, I went with two others on a missionary immersion trip affiliated with the Maryknoll order of priests and nuns. We traveled to Haiti and spent one week in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. We didn’t go to “do” anything or to try to build or “fix” anything. The model that we used was one of encounter. The metaphor is to walk with care through someone else’s garden. This posture is central to what it is to do “mission” work today.
There was a strong spiritual dimension to our time in Haiti. On three mornings we celebrated Mass at the convent of the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order founded by Mother Teresa. We also joined the Sisters at their clinic. Inside the clinic is a room that contains 44 cribs and in each crib is a malnourished infant. The infants’ mothers bring their babies to the clinic because they have no food for them and their tiny bodies show sign…
Position Announcement Mission Education Specialist - Promoter New York (Ossining)
Join the Maryknoll Society’s Mission Education Team to help U.S. Catholics share God’s love as communities of missionary disciples. Motivated by love and challenged by the Gospel, Maryknoll’s global mission ministry aims to build bridges of solidarity and compassion with marginalized people throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. We are seeking a Mission Education Specialist - Promoter to engage in outreach to Catholic educators and students as part of our U.S. ministry to foster a culture of mission through mission education and engagement programs. This position specializes in developing global mission education resources for middle school students in line with the Maryknoll Society’s mission vision and Pope Francis’ vision for a missionary Church. Based out of our headquarters in Ossining, New York.
Responsibilities: Cultivate and maintain relationships with strategic partners to promote mission and…
Isis (pictured), became involved in the Catholic Worker community and educational program founded by Maryknoll Father Tom Goekler in Honduras, after Fr. Tom helped her mother secure a home for the family. Now, Isis and her brother, Carlos, run the program in Guatemala City with a community of other young adults and local mothers. They live and serve in one of the most marginalized and dangerous neighborhoods in the world. Their community is a sign of hope and peace, a place of warmth, welcome, community, and love.
Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, who wakes to the empty tomb and weeps, yet recognizes the Risen Christ in the midst of her despair and announces new hope to the world. Christian people are challenged by the witness of Mary Magdalene, by women and men like Isis and Carlos, and by our belief in the Gospel of Jesus to announce the Good News, especially at times when God's love seems most distant.
We cannot ignore the crises in our midst, but must address them with…