Vocations Facebook Page

We understand that not everyone is a Facebook user.  However, if you take the time to visit us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mklvocations)  you will find several short video testimonies of Maryknoll Missioners speaking about their vocations and experiences in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  Here is a sample by Sem. John Siyumbu: https://www.youtube.com/embed/qQI_rFCN4m8

We also have a private Facebook Vocations Group for men expressing greater interest in a missionary vocation.  The group meets regularly to watch interviews with Maryknollers and have the opportunity to dialogue with us and with each other about missionary life.  Please visit our Vocations Facebook page and if you are interested in joining this group then just contact Fr. Rodrigo at vocation@maryknoll.org or follow the instructions online for membership.

Fr. Larry Radice offers a blessing in Thailand

 

Renewal through Forgiveness, Journey of Faith

Renewal through Forgiveness, Journey of Faith

“Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low.” Luke 3:5 quoting Isaiah

When preparing for a big event—like Christmas—a helpful approach is deciding on your goal, fixing it in your mind, then figuring out a plan to get there.  How can we fill every valley and make low every mountain and hill?  That, my partner in prayer, is the work of Advent.

If renewal is our goal, then today’s Gospel provides some useful guidance.  At the time of Christ’s birth, Luke recounts the imperial reign of Tiberius Caesar and his underlings, men who ruled with iron fists.  So you can imagine yourself as an ordinary person of the day asking, “How much longer can this go on?”  Take a step forward and doesn’t that all sound familiar?  We worry about violence, racism, poverty, and divisions over a vaccine that seems to be tearing us apart.  Like someone living in the age of Tiberius, we might ask the same question:  “How much longer can this go on?”  Something has to give.  But what?

Israel had hoped for drastic change as promised by Isaiah and the prophets—most likely a political change.  Luke reminds us that John the Baptist took a different approach.  He offered the waters of baptism for a personal renewal—renewal of heart and soul.  We know this because the original meaning of “baptism” as recorded in Luke’s Gospel actually means, “receiving a new kind of mind, a new way of thinking.”  

Renewal through forgiveness is John the Baptist’s message to the world.  He deftly used the symbolism of water to make his point, something the Jews of his day would have understood.  They remembered well the difficult crossing of the Red Sea and the River Jordan into the Promised Land.  Interesting that even now, just weeks before Christmas, we hear the language of Exodus.  Today’s Gospel is saying that we deal with the “winding roads” of life through repentance and forgiveness—through the healing waters of baptism.

Friend, renewal is surely the goal of Advent—our personal exodus from darkness into the light of Christ.  So how will you be renewed?  How will you respond to the things God is asking of you even amidst the turmoil of life?  Here’s my suggestion:  Think back to your own baptism and your call to mission.  Then spend some time with today’s readings, believing that your faith has given you all the strength you need to be renewed in God’s image.  In case you’re wondering, that’s my plan, too.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Lance Nadeau, M.M.

Second Sunday of Advent

Our souls cry out “How long, O Lord?”

how long till justice rolls down

like a mighty river and peace springs

forth from the earth turning deserts

into oases of truth and Your mercy

falls on us like the rain.

Shorten the time, O Lord, till You return

to rule the earth in fairness and the

nations in equity lest we lose hope

and turn from walking in Your ways.

Set our feet aright upon Your way

and let forgiveness level the mountains

and service fill in the rough roads

that lead to Your kingdom on earth.

Send forth Your light to lead us to You

that we might put aside deeds of darkness

and welcome You into our hearts and homes.

Amen.

Prayer by Father Joe Veneroso, M.M.

A Season Of Changes That Add Color To Life

This change in the seasons is a high point for the year in the New York area where our headquarters is located.  The rich gold and crimson red colors of the leaves combined with cool breezes gives us a fresh and invigorated appreciation for life.  We hope you are blessed with these same feelings and appreciation for God’s gifts of creation during this time of the year.  We have been in contact with you while you contemplate the missionary vocation as priest or Brother.  May that motivation of service to God’s people through faith and hope in the message of Jesus provide your soul with those same feelings of zest for life!

One of our senior and now deceased missioners, Fr. Dick Clifford, once wrote: “Mission is a human touch, in whatever form, place, person or circumstance it may reach out to express itself.  It is often simple, sometimes sad, occasionally humorous but always enlightening.  When one has felt this touch and has learned to respond to its tender embrace, in love and understanding, then one has begun to experience a true sense of mission, in all its beauty and charm and incomparable value.”

Service in response to love, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”  I talk with people who admire the missionary vocation but feel they’re not worthy to undertake it.  I respond to them saying that we missioners are just ordinary human beings like them trying to contribute to God’s Mission in this world in whatever small way we can.  It reminds me of another St. Mother Teresa quote: “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

As always we look forward to hearing from you at (vocation@maryknoll.org): Fr. Rodrigo Ulloa-Chavarry, Fr. Mike Snyder, Fr. Joe Donovan and Mr. Greg Darr.

The Maryknoll Formation House In Nairobi, Kenya By Seminarians Charles Ogony & Joshua Mutende

 

It was delightful to come back home and to Nairobi after 2 years in the Overseas Training Program (OTP) in Bolivia. There we learned Spanish and then lived and worked among our Maryknoll missioners stationed in the city of Cochabamba.  This took place amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Upon our departure at the end of the program the airports in Bolivia were shut down just two days after we returned to Kenya. Many thanks for the teams that have been working round the clock to come up with vaccines against this deadly virus!

Our encounter with the men residing at the Maryknoll House has been terrific and fantabulous!  This House welcomes men from East Africa expressing interest in joining Maryknoll. It also houses seminarians like us who have joined Maryknoll through witness to the good work done by Maryknoll missioners in East Africa. We feel attracted towards that same mission charism of serving people in need throughout the world and following in their footsteps.

Here at the House there are four groups in different formational stages. First, the two of us who recently completed our OTP in Bolivia and are now awaiting to receive our student visas in order to proceed with the next stage of formation. We will be soon going to Chicago for theology studies at the Catholic Theological Union (CTU).

The second group has three men and their situation is slightly complicated. They ought to have gone for their spirituality year (novitiate) in the U.S. last year but unfortunately the pandemic has made it most difficult to complete their visa process. While awaiting visas these men have completed one year of theology studies at Hekima University College (the Jesuit University Seminary in Nairobi) and to date their visa status remains on hold. As an alternative they may be sent for OTP in Cochabamba, Bolivia before their taking the spirituality year in Chicago.  Currently they are learning Spanish in a language center in Nairobi.

The third, is a group of seminarians who recently completed their pre-requisite philosophy studies at Tangaza University here in Nairobi and are now currently enrolled for Theology studies at Hekima College as they too await their visa process to be completed enabling them to come to Chicago.

The last group is earning the pre-requisite philosophy studies at Tangaza University in preparation to come to the U.S.

Our House is well organized. We have outdoor sports activities that include football (soccer in the U.S.) and volley ball after classes as well as indoor games like Ludo and Monopoly in the evenings. Before the pandemic hit, men in the house would volunteer in different pastoral mission activities.  The outbreak of the pandemic in the house posed an enormous blow to the house curtailing many of these activities. A number of seminarians and priests in the House were infected and then quarantined. Among the seminarians only three were not infected. The silence was the order of the day as men kept quiet in their rooms with music tuned low. Mass and Liturgy of the Hours were suspended for a period of one month. We resorted to online access for Mass, classes and conference calls for chats and small talk. Nevertheless, during this time we felt so strongly the essence of the community. The negatives served the positives.  The three uninfected seminarians brought food and drinks to our rooms for more than three weeks. They woke up at early dawn to prepare coffee for those who are coffee addicts. Then they brought us breakfast, lunch and dinner. The pandemic has taught us the spirit of service to humanity; that life needs urgency and love, an outpouring of service that rejuvenates hearts that have already lost hope. The experience has brought us hope and peace as we witnessed the Christ in the example of these servants, our brothers. The pandemic has taught us to always be ready to serve in the midst of danger. Where fear and ego can lead to the loss of life, the service of missionaries can be a source of salvation.

With a slight easing of the pandemic, we have now returned to normal tasks. We discharge our duties with greater cooperation. Every member is assigned a place to keep tidy. The camaraderie among us has been impressive.  We also cultivate a vegetable garden planting kale, corn and other local vegetables. These outdoor activities are so important. Those who cherish farming would spend their good time feeling the feel of the soil and giving care to our mother earth. On this property we also raise poultry. This was initiated by the seminarians to produce local chicken breeds for house consumption. It is a great venture indeed!

 

 

 

 

Retreats & Virtual Come & See Events

While we always enjoy in person vocation events, the pandemic has also stimulated us to utilize social platforms to engage with young men interested in a missionary vocation.  One of these has been Saturday evening Come & See events.  They last just two hours and during this time we cover various subjects, introduce participants to Maryknoll priests, Brothers and candidates in training and hear some of their stories.

This October during Columbus Day Weekend (October 8 – 10) we will sponsor a virtual retreat at our Initial Formation Residence in Chicago.  Participants will be able to engage in discussions with our candidates.  For information in joining us contact our vocation director, Fr. Rodrigo Ulloa, at vocation@maryknoll.org

ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. James M. Lynch, Fr. Lam M. Hua, Fr. Lance P. Nadeau, Fr. Timothy O. Kilkelly)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Rev. Lance P. Nadeau, M.M.

OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier
“Go where you are needed but not wanted, and stay until you are wanted but not needed.”
– Bishop James E. Walsh, M.M.
First Maryknoll Bishop