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Wednesday, 29 June 2016 05:38

Calls to Mission

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Mary Massaro – Board Nominating Committee 

Long ago, I responded to that call to mission, not sure of what I had to offer but eager to try. As so many missioners discovered, what we had to offer paled in comparison to what we received. And so it was that I spent nine years in Tanzania learning what it means to be in dialogue and community with those whose experience of God was different from mine but no less grounded in the Divine, people whose life struggles were so very immediate, and whose culture was so rich in affirming one’s connection to and sense of belonging in community.

My life’s journey then shifted from religious to married life, but never did I, or my husband, doubt that call to mission. I was blessed to continue service in partnership with Africans in their local communities through the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). This Catholic learned so much from the Peace Testimony of Quakers openly and courageously responding and giving voice to communities ravaged by civil wars and the lack of basic necessities, nearly forgotten by the world community.


In my later years, I have a home again with Maryknoll through the Affiliates, as part of that wonderful Third Wave of Mission. When I was invited six years ago to join the Leadership Board, I again knew I needed to respond to a call while not quite knowing what I might offer. Now that I near the end of my time on the Affiliate Board, I once more rejoice in recognizing the gift of that opportunity to serve and learn.

During my tenure, the Affiliates moved from an experimental model to a leadership structure with its dedicated Regional Coordinators making meaningful connections among local Affiliate communities. Our Affiliate brothers and sisters from Korea and The Philippines at the MAC 2011 prompted us to re-examine the process for Chapter recognition around the world, and we created a coherent formation process for new Chapters and Affiliates. Our Board invited representation from outside the United States, expanding and enriching our worldview. 

The time is so right for us to gather next year in Guatemala for MAC 2017. We celebrated the Maryknoll Society’s, Sisters’, and Lay Missioners’ milestones. Now comes our own 25th anniversary – we are no longer a fledgling movement. Affiliates have been and continue to be invited to the Maryknoll table of celebration and of deliberation. Most importantly, Maryknoll Affiliates enable people to take part more directly in Maryknoll’s mission of service and connecting communities of faith around the world. While we recently experienced the death of some of our Affiliate pioneers, a new wave of Affiliates brings even more possibilities for the creative expression of mission in the 21st Century.

As a member of the Maryknoll Affiliate Leadership Board, I invite you to consider accepting our call to serve on the Board. Join us as we continue to seek how best to support Affiliates as they answer their own call to mission. Please don’t hesitate.

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What’s involved? The following information may be helpful to someone considering agreeing to nomination to the Board: 

  • Term – Three years, with the option to renew for another three years.
  • Meetings –Two Board meetings per year and conference calls as needed.
  • Duties – Apply leadership, wisdom, and creativity to policy development; contribute to the generation of sound decisions regarding the future direction of the Affiliate movement; serve actively on an ongoing basis on one or more Board committees.
  • Transportation – Board members are responsible for their own transportation to and from Board meetings, which usually are held in New York.

Nominees should have been an Affiliate for at least one year and have developed familiarity with the Maryknoll entities (The society of the Fathers & Brothers, Congregation of the Sisters, and Lay Missioners). It is essential that a Board Member possess basic computer and electronic email skills (composing, sending, opening, and attaching documents).


Click here to access Board Application and Nomination Forms.

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