At our May Affiliate chapter meeting, the master list of parishes and assigned priests is laid out. Affiliates sign up for parishes near their home or with a priest they know personally, They usually sign up for two parishes; even then, some parishes do not have Affiliates partnering with a Maryknoll priest. And sometimes Affiliates cannot help at every Mass.
Last year, to “recruit” interest in the Affiliates, we inserted a flyer with information about the Seattle Affiliates into 500 or so Maryknoll Affiliate brochures. We had a competition—two priests, Father Bob Wynn, MM, Maryknoll House and visiting Father Bob Carlton, MM, versus the Affiliates—to see who could fold their flyers and put them into the brochures the fastest. Who would be first? The priests were winning until they were disqualified for improperly folding their flyers! Great fun!
How do we partner? We…
- ARRIVE at the parish early and greet the priest when he arrives.
- HELP carry in the boxes of pamphlets, set up tables with literature, and place donation envelopes in the pews .
- MEET & GREET parishioners. We often stand out by the sidewalk, ahead of the parish greeters.
- STAND at back of the church at the start of Mass, as the priest will usually introduce the Affiliates. During Mass, we talk with other parishioners. We do not attend every Mass!
- PASS OUT Maryknoll Magazines and Affiliate flyers. If ushers do this, we stand by the table, available for questions. Some priests personally hand out the Maryknoll Magazine.
- RESTOCK donation envelopes and brochures for the next Mass.
- REBOX supplies after the last Mass for return to Maryknoll House. And last, but not least,
- EAT! After Saturday evening Mass, the priest and we Affiliates are hungry. Often we go out to dinner “Dutch treat,” to a pizza or burger place.
By Sunday evening, everyone is exhausted. The priest usually heads directly to Maryknoll House or the airport. The priests, delighted to have our assistance, give fantastic feedback. In turn, we Affiliates are happy to partner with other Maryknoll missionaries. New friendships emerge. That’s Mission in Action!