Saturday, 23 June 2018 18:40

Telling our Maryknoll Stories

Written by Sr. Teruko Ito, MM
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 Sister Teruko Ito, MM, – Affiliate Board Member

After the 2017 Maryknoll Affiliate Conference in Guatemala, I reconnected with my former mission site and renewed my life energy and hope in mission. I was able to visit San Marcos, a beautiful town in the Western Highland of Guatemala near the Mexican border located about five hours northeast of Guatemala City, at an altitude of about 3000 feet. Another Maryknoll sister and I, as members of the Diocesan Pastoral Team for Women, visited many of the parishes, empowering their women’s teams.

Many women, mostly Mayan, shared their joy at being able to see the bigger world more clearly, as though being led out of the smoke in their kitchens. Besides themes from the Bible, we discussed women’s health, women’s rights, ecological projects, and managing profit-generating handcrafts. Many women shared their struggle to find safe places.

I was able to bring in my former ministry experiences: while in Japan, establishing and running addiction centers for men and women, especially the Skid Row people; while in Newburgh, NY, as a Formation Team member in a very culturally diverse community, welcoming and accompanying new members to our Maryknoll Sisters Congregation; and while in Tanzania, my first mission, teaching math to young girls and even creating new mathematical terms in Swahili. Everything is connected, from Kyoto, Japan, where my family met Maryknoll during the difficult time of post WW II, through my Maryknoll Novitiate in the Philippines, to various missions around the globe.

At present I am sitting in one of the Offices here in New York as a member of Maryknoll Sisters Congregational Leadership Team. As a liaison to the Affiliates, I am privileged to journey with many of you as I serve on the Affiliate Board. Maryknoll Affiliates invites us to deeper collaborative mission and expansive rootedness of our Maryknoll Charism in daily living. We are all invited to tell OUR new Maryknoll story—how our lives were transformed through interconnectedness in the web of Maryknoll.

 

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