Maryknoll Lay Missioners - June 2019 mklm news
Being known—and loved
On a mission to restore justice
In São Paulo, Brazil, Maryknoll lay missioner Joanne Blaney applies restorative justice to break cycles of urban and domestic violence
First of all, Joanne says, she and her colleagues work toward helping people feel "restored" to themselves, so they can recognize themselves as "persons of dignity and respect.” Only then, she explains about the process of restorative justice, can people start to restore broken relationships and work for “a just justice for everyone involved in the conflict or crime.”
Since joining Maryknoll Lay Missioners in 1990, except for a few years back in the U.S., Joanne has worked at a human rights center in an impoverished, violent neighborhood of São Paulo, engaging with individuals and community leaders of marginalized and vulnerable populations to break cycles of urban and domestic violence. She uses restorative justice principles, including dialogue and compassion, and works to change structures to accomplish that goal.
“There is a process of healing that takes place,” Joanne says, “that leads to responsibility for the harm they have caused and a desire to repair the harm with the victim and/or their family." The healing and forgiveness that restorative justice is able to bring about helps both victims and offenders to move forward with their lives.

Ted's Talk

As I have visited lay missioners during my first year and a half with Maryknoll, one thing has stood out for me: their cultivation of intentional and mutual relationships with vulnerable people. I am reminded in these life-giving moments of something a mentor told me years ago: “The reign of God is to let no one remain anonymous.” Perhaps the most fundamental gift is to know and be known, for it is in knowing that we discover what it means to love and be loved.

Today there are more people on the move—through migration, displacement, and trafficking—than in any other time in human history. Sadly, so many remain anonymous, hoping to be named, welcomed and offered refuge, safety, work, a home. June 20 is World Refugee Day , a moment to stand in solidarity with those who seek, perhaps more than anything, to be seen, to be known.

This month, let us commit to listening carefully to the stories of refugees and migrants around the world, striving to see these least of our sisters and brothers who too often remain invisible. If our brother dares to trek across a desert or cross a sea in a small boat—willing to risk everything—let us remember that violence and injustice may have rendered him anonymous in his country of origin. May we understand that our sister, caught in a web of trafficking, seeks to return to a home where she is truly known and can reclaim her dignity.

When we are tempted to turn off troubling news of destruction in Syria or violence in Central America, let us resist the fear of being overwhelmed and instead let their brokenness break our hearts. The reign of God demands no less!

Peace and every good!
Ted Miles
Executive Director
Sheltering lives from violence in El Salvador
Fleeing gang violence, internally displaced Salvadorans have found a temporary safe haven in a network of secret church-run shelters. Several times a week, Maryknoll lay missioner Peter Altman visits the people in two of those shelters. Many of them have already been living there for more than a year, and except for a few appointments related to their asylum applications, they are unable to leave the house or even look out a window.

Pete teaches them English, helps the children with math and other studies, leads art projects and plays games with them. “When Pedro comes, he brings joy and happiness,” says 19-year-old Rafael.

The shelter provides a safe place for them to live while they go through the application process for legal status in the United States or another country.

"When I see stories on the news about Salvadorans immigrating to the United States," Pete says, "it is very clear to me that this isn’t just a quest for better economic opportunities. Most of the time, people have no choice to stay in their homes. They are running for their lives.

What's cooking?

At a vocational program in Mombasa Kenya, Mike Garr teaches at-risk youth from poor neighborhoods catering and life skills.

Mike not only prepares them for a career but also mentors them, sharing his own experiences, struggles and spiritual insights on how to lead lives of respect, dignity and compassion for others.

 Join our July 26-28 Discernment Retreat
at Maryknoll House in CHICAGO
This retreat is open to all considering a call to serve in overseas mission —
whether as a lay person, a sister, a priest or a brother.

For more information, to REGISTER or to learn more about the opportunities for mission as a Maryknoll lay missioner, contact or 914-467-8857.

Our next webinar on the process of becoming a Maryknoll lay missioner is on Wednesday, June 12 at 6 p.m. (Eastern time).

For more information, email .

Friends Across Borders
Immersion Program

Come travel with us and see what life is really like in communities where Maryknoll lay missioners are living out their faith and helping to create a more just and compassionate world.
Sign up NOW for our trip to Kenya

October 17 28, 2019: KENYA
Deadline for signups: July 17, 2019

Karibu Sana Kenya – Welcome to Kenya! Participants of our Friends Across Borders trip to Kenya will experience not only Kenya’s stunning natural beauty but will also have the opportunity to walk with Kenyan people on their daily journeys.  The focus of the trip is meeting and making friends with Kenyans and learning about their culture, faith, and history. The experience will showcase the ministries of Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Kenya.

Call 914-236-3474