Desiring to live out a faith journey in a world that is both increasingly interconnected and more fragile and fragmented, Maryknoll Affiliates gather in over 50 small mission communities spread throughout the US, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Guided by our four pillars of global vision, spirituality, community and action, we affirm our belief that God's presence and love invite all human beings into a fullness of life. Whether serving internationally or cross-culturally in our local context, we seek especially to be in solidarity with the poor, the oppressed and the excluded. We are continuously enriched by encounters with the life and faith experiences of a diversity of peoples and inspired by the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of adversity and suffering.
Our Relationship to Maryknoll
Seeds of the Affiliate movement began to germinate long before inauguration of the first Affiliate Chapters in 1991. Inspired by Maryknoll's history of groundbreaking international work and the evolving vocation of lay people, many within the Maryknoll family and beyond had wondered if a new formulation for dedicating ones' self to mission was beginning to emerge. Co-founders Fr. Jim Madden MM and Sr. Ellen McDonald MM began first by traveling and meeting extensively with small groups and individuals, sounding out ideas and exploring what might draw people to align their own life journey with that of Maryknoll. As this input began to take shape, it became clear that people desired to express their personal call to mission in a variety of unique ways and walks of life, but in relation to Maryknoll. Together, Jim, Ellen and many others worked to create a collaborative opening, a new expression within the Maryknoll family that would craft itself more as movement than program.
Over two decades later, Affiliates continue to choose to be in relationship with all members of the Maryknoll family: Fathers and Brothers, Sisters and Lay Missioners. We share the spirit of Maryknoll through work in our own communities or through service in other places around the world. But it is in our relationship with Maryknoll and with one another that our call to mission is nurtured. We look to live out of the charism of the Maryknoll founders, even as we continue to discover the uniquely Affiliate expression of this charism, which we experience as an ever evolving source of gift and joy.
Our Evolving Understanding of Mission
"Love is a consciousness of belonging to another, of being part of a whole. To love is to be on the way toward integral wholeness, to live with an openness of mind and heart, to encounter the other-not as stranger-but as another part of oneself. When we enter into the heart of love, that integral wholeness of love that is God, we enter into the field of relatedness and come to see that we are wholes within wholes. This is the consciousness we need today, an integral wholeness of love that is open to new life; a being-at-home in love that can evolve." — (The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love, Ilia Delio, OSF)
For over 100 years, Maryknoll has embraced mission work as a call to go out from one's familiar self, family and community to seek the other, in a myriad of cultures, and to share the message of God's love. Echoing Pope Francis' words in The Joy of the Gospel, we affirm that mission "demands greater generosity on our part" and yet is always initiated by God. It is always new and yet "arises from grateful remembrance...it is a grace." Ultimately, mission teaches us to move from fear of others or simple tolerance to a deep appreciation of the sacredness of all peoples and all of creation.