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Thursday, 27 February 2020 23:26

A Maryknoll Partnership

Written by Carolyn Creighton
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Carolyn Creighton – Seattle Chapter 

For many years Maryknoll has had a missionary cooperative agreement with the Seattle Archdiocese.  Maryknoll priests come to educate regarding mission work by sharing their personal experiences during Mass.  In a three-year cycle, most parishes set aside one weekend during the summer for this missionary visit to learn about the overseas work of the Church.

The Seattle Archdiocese provides the list of parishes desiring a Maryknoll priest’s visit, as well as the dates and parishes to which they have been matched.  Most priests stay overnight at Maryknoll House and have use of the house car. Usually the priest will take the supplies (Maryknoll Magazine, donation envelopes, pencils, brochures, etc.) with him.  Sometimes Maryknoll House ships the supplies to the parish in advance.  The number of Masses served on the weekends—from three to six or seven—can sometimes be overwhelming for a single priest. 

Three years ago, the Seattle Affiliates decided to partner with the visiting priests by helping to alleviate some of their work load at the parish level.  We only assist at the parishes within the greater Seattle area and the Portland Affiliates assist at parishes in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, area.  


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! 


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