- Not So Far Afield Vol 19 No 2 – March/April 2010
- The Dalai Lama and the Maryknoll Affiliates
- Formation and Renewal Program
- Save the Dates
- 2009 Annual Appeal
- Maryknoll Affiliates: Additional Thoughts and Reflections
- Renewal in the Center of the City
- Drawing on the Brain
- Let's Walk the Talk With Our Investments
- The Affording Hope Project
- Retired Professor Becomes Full-time Advocate and Worker for Social Justice
- To Be a Pivot Point of Compassion
- Maryknoll Mission Institute
- News from the Knoll
- All Pages
To Be a Pivot Point of Compassion
This article was originally written as a promotions piece for local church publications. As we approach Maryknoll’s centennial celebration, this is an example of how a Chapter might also want to talk about Maryknoll.
The year 1908 was a pivotal point in the history of the United States Catholic Church. Pope Pius X declared the U.S. Church a mission sending church.
Did you know that before that time, the U.S. church was considered mission territory? That means, the rest of the world sent their missionaries to evangelize us.
On June 29, 1911, the U.S. Bishops established the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, now commonly known as MARYKNOLL. Their two founding priests, James Anthony Walsh and Thomas Frederick Price, along with Mary Josephine Rogers, wanted to form a group of American religious who would be sent out into the world to look for the hungry Jesus, the sick Jesus, the homeless Jesus, the oppressed Jesus.
They set up a training center for missioners on a hill top in Ossining, New York, and in doing this they invoked the intercession of the Blessed Mother, and called their location, “Mary’s knoll.” As a result, Maryknoll became the group’s popular name.
This 98-year-old group has ordained over 2,000 men to the missionary priesthood, and several hundred have taken oaths as Brothers. A comparable number of Maryknoll Sisters and hundreds of Maryknoll Lay Missioners have worked in Asia, Africa and the Americas. They have continued to pledge themselves to carry the Good News to all the world.
Today, there are 531 full time Maryknoll missionaries, with lay missioners making up about 20% of the total number, serving in 35 countries. They are a model of compassion for us to follow. They realized that we are all connected by the call of compassion regardless of what culture, what language, or what tradition. The call of compassion can be anywhere. No matter where we are around the globe, we are all part of the human family. Compassion is at the heart of all the ministries of Maryknoll. Whether providing life-giving medicines, nutritious food, blankets, or something as simple as a glass of clean water… it is compassion at work.
We, the American Church, are here to be a sign of compassion… to be with the poor, to make a difference in their lives. If we allow ourselves to love, we will see the Christ in others, and by God’s grace, they will see the Christ in us.
Maryknollers have learned from those they serve. Veteran Maryknoll missioners say, let them come to know you as a person, accept them as they are, who they are, build relationships and you will discover and experience Jesus Christ in one another.
Compassion calls. The world needs you. In too many communities people are sick and hungry and oppressed. Almost always they are poor and their lives are a constant struggle. Compassion answers. May we feel that urging strongly enough to overcome our comfort. May we respond to our baptismal call. May we answer the call of compassion by striving with struggling communities to build a more just and peaceful world.
Welcome to Maryknoll! The Maryknoll family includes the Fathers and Brothers, the Sisters, the Affiliates, and the Maryknoll Lay Missioners. Please go to www.maryknoll.org and www.MaryknollAffiliates.org where you will find a wealth of information. Consider yourself invited to be a sign of compassion by living a life completely devoted to the Gospel. You too can be a pivot point of compassion. May you have a hunger to share the greatest treasure we have, Jesus Christ.