Maryknoll Lay Missioners - April 2020 mklm news
O Lord, hear our lament!
Jill Foster and Abby Belt in Haiti
Melissa Altman in El Salvador
Being in mission during COVID-19
It is a difficult time to be in mission for both the individuals who are sent and the communities who receive them. Vulnerable communities will need much support, and yet, for valid reasons, many overseas programs have recalled their people back to the U.S. Numerous factors age, health, family, and others influence discernment in this time. As we see in the news, it is a distressing moral dilemma.

In these challenging times, most Maryknoll lay missioners chose to stay with their communities. Please read what missioners are beginning to share about their experiences during this global pandemic. All of their reports are available on our COVID-19 web page . Please check it now and also come back in the future, as we will continue to update it.

Ted's Talk

In recent weeks, as the global COVID-19 pandemic developed, our missioners had a very difficult decision to make: to stay with their communities or to rejoin their families in the U.S. All were given the option to return—and several, especially those in high-risk age groups or with underlying health conditions, decided to do so. But the great majority opted to stay in mission, where most are now under various quarantine restrictions.
In most of the countries where we serve, the pandemic is currently still in an early stage. However, all predictions are that it will hit the global South especially hard . Physical distancing is almost impossible in crowded informal conditions. Livelihoods and food security are severely threatened for the many working in the informal economy. Lack of access to clean water and sanitary conditions will increase the likelihood of virus transmission. And under-resourced healthcare systems may quickly become overwhelmed.
As we are moving into Holy Week, we ask you to keep all of our lay missioners and their communities in your fervent prayers! Please join us in prayer by posting your own special intentions in our “Virtual Chapel.”
We are living in a drastically changed world today. As a result, the reality of suffering and the many contemporary crosses in this world will be our lament during this coming Holy Week.
Can it be that the shimmering light of lament—personal and communal—illumines our path into the heart of God? May it be so! We are an Easter people who know that suffering, death and crucifixion are not the last word. We can trust in the assurance of our faith that will lead us to renewed love, rekindled hope and reinvigorated community.

Let us claim the resurrection love of Jesus Christ and shout it to a world that greatly needs it right now.
Stay safe and vaya con Dios!
Ted Miles
Executive Director
Help us to BUILD HOPE
now more than ever!
During this time of uncertainty and fear, we, at Maryknoll Lay Missioners, prayerfully ask for your support.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, our lay missioners and the people we serve in Asia, Africa and the Americas have greater needs for their safety and healthcare.

The crisis also has a financial impact on many of us including Maryknoll Lay Missioners. 

Please consider a generous donation to build hope for the most vulnerable in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Facebook Live
Mondays at 10 am EDT (from April 20)

Join us on our Facebook Page for Live interviews with Maryknoll lay missioners serving around the world. 

On April 20, physician Susan Nagele will be our first featured missioner, sharing about her time living and serving in East Africa, as well as what those experiences have taught her that will help us get through this current pandemic.  
We are also hosting Facebook Watch Partys for:

  • Solidarity on Tap
  • Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Sunday Mass at 10 am (EDT)

Cortney Freshwater with one of her ‘abuelas’ at Hogar San José in Cochabamba, Bolivia
Is this YOUR year to
become a missioner?

Are you longing 
  • to be part of something bigger than yourself?
  • to live your faith through international service?
  • to use your skills and talents to make the world a better place?

Join our VIRTUAL Holy Week Discernment Retreat
April 9-11

As we all come to recognize our vulnerability in this challenging time, is God leading you to accompany the most vulnerable around the world? 

Join our virtual Holy Week Discernment Retreat to take some time and space to listen and discern where God may be leading you in the next few years. *

Each day of this virtual retreat,
  • You will receive morning and evening prayers straight to your email inbox. 
  • You will be guided through reflections on Holy Week, mission, and discernment (via video conference or recording)
  • You will spend time with a returned missioner who will accompany you on your discernment journey (by phone). 

For more information or to register,
or call 914-467-8857.

* We will continue to assess programs and opportunities for new missioners as we monitor the situation with COVID-19 in the US and abroad.
Our next Discernment Webinar
is on April 23 at noon (Eastern).

Questions? Email
COVID-19 Resources

We are collecting helpful practical and spiritual resources and tools on our Coronavirus Resources page.

You will find sections on:

  • Health
  • Spiritual Resources
  • Prayer, Online Masses and Spiritual Reflections
  • Global South
  • Official Church Messages
  • Children, Youth and Families
  • Advocacy
  • General Resources

During these troubling times, please join us in prayer in our "Virtual Chapel" on our website.