Former Superior General, Fr. John Sivalon, once described Mission this way:
A tangle of twigs lies drying in the sun,
And then a spark catches one, and she,
Astonished by divinity, topples and tumbles and ignites
Another and another and another and
Soon the whole tangle is aflame
Gibber jabbering in many tongues!
Chattering and blabbering until babbling comes
Singing – in so many harmonious parts even the twigs can’t count them!
Each year at this time I enjoy sharing these words from Fr. Sivalon. They remind me of the Apostles at Pentecost: “Suddenly, from up on the sky there came a noise like a strong, driving wind which was heard throughout the house where they were seated. Tongues as of fire appeared, which parted and came to rest on each of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclamation as the Spirit prompted them.” (Acts 2:2-4)
The Apostles emerged from that experience on fire and boldly went forth to Jerusalem, Judea, the surrounding lands and finally even Rome proclaiming the saving message of Jesus. They, as have generations of men and women who have followed in their footsteps, were filled with a dream instilled in them by the Risen Jesus. They had been like twigs filled with the fire, the passion for God’s Mission as lived out in the Paschal Mystery that is Jesus. For the past 110 years Maryknollers have been among those twigs generating sparks that have ignited others and others and others. We continue to go forth and invite you to join us for the short term as volunteers, the long term as lay missioners, and the life time as Priests, Brothers, and Sisters. We welcome you to Maryknoll (https://maryknollsociety.org)!