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Sunday, 15 July 2018 22:19

Our Relationship - Maryknoll Affiliates

Written by Dave Schaffner
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Dear Affiliate Community,

As members of the Maryknoll family we are blessed by the over 100 year legacy of Maryknollers bringing social justice and ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of peoples around the world. 

We all need to recognize our individual and collective responsibility in protecting the Maryknoll name and insuring that it is not misused in any way. The attached statement titled, "Maryknoll Relationship" summarizes our responsibilities. While it has been in place for many years, this is probably a good time to refresh our memories. Please print this document and take it to your next Affiliate meeting for a short discussion.

If questions arise where you need counsel, please contact Executive Coordinator Bob Short at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or, for Maryknoll positions on many global issues, Gerry Lee, Executive Director, Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Best wishes and peace,

Dave Schaffner, Board Chair, Maryknoll Affiliates

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Maryknoll Affiliates Our Maryknoll Relationship

The relationship between the Affiliates and other Maryknoll missioners is to empower all parties to be connected to the people they both serve—in global vision, spirituality, community, and mission action.


Maryknoll Affiliates commit themselves to the mission goals of Maryknoll through an Affiliate relationship. All who respect Maryknoll’s Catholic identity are welcome to participate in this Affiliate relationship. Maryknoll Affiliates are respectful of the human dignity of every person.

At all times, Maryknoll Affiliates strive to conduct themselves with integrity and in a responsible manner that will reflect positively on the reputation     of Maryknoll. This includes all dealings with Maryknollers, other Maryknoll Affiliates, and especially with all the people whom Maryknoll serves. Additionally, from time to time, Affiliates work with Maryknoll missioners in mission education and promotion in schools and churches and participate in short-term mission service. In those situations, Maryknoll Affiliates abide by all policies and procedures of the responsible Maryknoll entity.

Maryknoll Affiliates assume their own financial and legal responsibilities. As Maryknoll Affiliates, members are not agents, employees, representatives, or members of any of the three Maryknoll entities and are not under legal  or financial obligation to Maryknoll (except for the Executive Coordinator or others who are employed by Maryknoll). Maryknoll does not compensate a Maryknoll Affiliate for gifts or talents shared with any of the Maryknoll entities or for injuries, sickness, or death incurred when acting within the Affiliate relationship or otherwise.

Maryknoll is not under legal or financial obligation to a Maryknoll Affiliate and is not legally responsible for any action or representation of a Maryknoll Affiliate unless such act or representation is specifically authorized by the responsible representative of Maryknoll leadership.

Maryknoll Affiliates’ Responsibilities

Maryknoll Affiliates:

  • participate in the mission goals of Maryknoll by joining with others in a local or virtual Affiliate
  • after an appropriate period of discernment, may be officially recognized as a Maryknoll Affiliate by the local Affiliate
  • participate in local Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter meetings faithfully attending at least three each
  • respect and participate in the four Affiliate pillars of: Spirituality, Community, Global Vision, and

Maryknoll Affiliates strive to be respectful and loving to all and will not:

  • participate in any harassing behavior including epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping or threatening, intimidating, or hostile
  • display or circulate material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward any individual or
  • make intimidating, hostile, derogatory, contemptuous or otherwise offensive conduct or remarks.
  • engage in any behavior that may be harmful to the health and safety of the
  • engage in any behavior that may be detrimental to
  • discriminate against any other person on the basis of age, sex, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, or the presence of any physical, mental, or sensory

This behavior is affirmed primarily in the local Affiliate Chapter, where fellow Affiliates encourage one another to live in a spirit of mutual commitment, trust, and accountability. Should a Maryknoll Affiliate violate the above standards, which may have potential legal ramifications and/or may harm the name of Maryknoll, the Regional Coordinator and Executive Coordinator should be contacted immediately.

Using the Maryknoll Name and Relationship

The Maryknoll Affiliate Movement is not a legal entity but is considered to be a “fourth expression” of Maryknoll. Honoring this relationship, a priority for Affiliates, calls us to consider carefully the circumstances and guidelines that direct our use of the Maryknoll name.

We recognize that Maryknoll Affiliates or Affiliate groups, as Affiliates:

  • do not support or oppose
  • in taking a position on issues, do not necessarily express the opinion of all Maryknoll Affiliates or
  • cannot represent any Maryknoll Affiliates without their
  • cannot represent the Affiliate Movement, nor can the Affiliate Movement represent all of

Communications by Individuals, Affiliate Chapters or Committees

Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter or a designated person may release a public statement to the media about their chapter participating in events in their area. The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC) provides an informed, unified position for the Maryknoll entities on global issues. If neither the MOGC nor US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expresses a position on an issue, you may contact the Executive Coordinator for guidance.

Maryknoll Affiliate Chapters, committees, or individuals should not use Maryknoll’s name in other communications, such as personal interviews, letters to the editor, or opinion-editorials, which would be seen by the media or general public to commit Maryknoll to a particular position. Maryknoll Affiliates are encouraged to send communications to the media, but they must do so under their own name with no identification as a Maryknoll Affiliate included. Also, the name “Maryknoll” should not be mentioned in the communication.

This discussion of our place in Maryknoll, including our rights and responsibilities, is grounded in the overarching description of our character and goals found in our identity statement.

Maryknoll Affiliate Identity

Affiliates are those committed to Christian ideals ~

who have a strong desire for bondedness in community,

who want to participate in Maryknoll's mission to the poor in its global and local dimensions.

Affiliates are people of prayer ~

committed to continuous formation in their spirituality, in their sense of mission,

aware of the continuous creative tension between being and doing.

Affiliates want to be part of the 21st century Maryknoll movement of Maryknoll's new, developing understanding of its charism which moves beyond Congregation, Lay

Missioners and Society, and is led by the Spirit to be open to new possibilities of expression.

Affiliates bring a uniqueness to this charism while pursuing their life's journey.

Affiliates are willing to claim Maryknoll and want Maryknoll to claim them. They offer and seek a relationship based on mutuality, on trust, patience, and presence, matching needs with resources, and are willing to enter into healthy, creative tension in working out this relationship.

The relationship between the Affiliates and other Maryknoll members is to empower both parties to be connected to the people they both serve—in global vision, spirituality, community, and mission action.

The Covenant is a means of expressing the mutual relationship in which Maryknoll and Affiliates covenant to each other.

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