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.
I had only two issues with the immersion trip to Jamaica. One, it was over before I had a chance to unpack the last can of mosquito spray. Two, the natives continually misspelled the name of their own country.
Well, regardless of their insistence, I prefer my version: Joymaica.
There was no shortage of joy during our one-week excursion. It wasn’t only seen and heard; it was felt. It penetrated the depths of my soul and settled there, shaking me from my slumber. I can run down a long list of things we have at home that Jamaica doesn’t. But what Jamaica has and demonstrates in abundance—unashamedly and indisputably—is joy.
It is a classic case of quality over quantity. Throw out all the numbers. The 4% Catholics in Jamaica. The 95% of children born to single mothers. They matter, sure. But then they don’t. Back home, we are too process-oriented in our parishes. Everything has to go according to the book. You know, basically the kind of stuff that Jesus warned the Pharisees about over and over until his throat ached. Not so in Jamaica. I am not even sure they have a book. They don’t need one!
Back home, there are meetings to attend and papers to push and money to squeeze out of a turnip. Who has time to be joyful? In Jamaica, a woman named “Auntie” Delta welcomed us to tiny St. Paul’s church on the hill with a genuine embrace, an upbeat hymn (including tambourine accompaniment!), and a resounding conversion story that had me ready to quit my job. Through Delta and so many others, the Gospel wasn’t confined between dusty pages; instead it sprang to life!
Oh yes, Jesus is alive and well in Jamaica, clapping and singing all the way to the church and back. And I saw Him. I saw Him in the faces of the marginalized and mentally challenged, the disabled and downtrodden. But Christ’s light shone through the caregivers and the clergy, too. He was in the people who worshipped with us, waited on us, taught us, and transported us. Yes, Jesus was in every breathtaking nook and cranny of that broken but beautiful country. At the Last Supper, Jesus said to the Apostles, “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” (John 15:11).
Jamaica may lack many things but His joy is not one of them; there may be many unfinished things about Jamaica, but its joy is genuine, it is contagious, and it is complete.
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…