Maryknoll Vocation Ministries is a service to the Maryknoll Society.
This blog aims to keep Maryknoll Formation Candidates and
Vocation Prospects abreast of discernment and Church issues.

September 28, 2011

Maryknollers: The Church's Marines

Fr. John Lange, M.M.
COCHABAMBA, Bolivia (CNS) -- Their numbers are down, their average age is up, and their last names are as likely to be Vu or Gonzalez as Kelly or O'Brien, but one thing that has not changed about Maryknoll priests and brothers in the past century is their commitment to live and work among the poor in distant lands and unfamiliar cultures.

One of Maryknoll's greatest contributions to Catholic mission has been "seeing and affirming the value and individual worth of all people and cultures," Father Raymond Finch, Maryknoll superior general from 1996 to 2002, told Catholic News ServiceRead More>>

September 27, 2011

My summer in East Africa

Sem. Daniel Kim, M.M.
There’s an African Proverb that says, “There is no better guidance than lessons learned from experience”.  Having visited East Africa this past summer, my experiences there have definitely guided me to a deeper appreciation for the African people as well as my missionary vocation with Maryknoll.

Every summer, Maryknoll seminarians and brother candidates who have completed at least a year of theological studies have an opportunity to go on an immersion trip to East Africa.  The trip consists of visiting the various countries in East Africa where Maryknoll is present.  During my trip, I had the chance to visit three countries: Tanzania, Kenya, and South Sudan.  With each visit to the different places, I had the privilege to see and experience the wide varieties of ministries Maryknoll undertakes; ranging from parish ministry, chaplaincy for medical students, AIDS work, directing varies institutes and programs.  The list goes on and on. 

September 12, 2011

I feel a Passion for Mission

Sem. Angel Oswaldo Garcia, M.M.
My name is Angel Oswaldo Garcia, I am originally from El Salvador, Central America but I have been living in California where I have relatives. I came to the United States nine years ago. After a few years in California, I moved to Chicago. By the way, Chicago is a great city which has offered me great experiences, especially the beautiful scenes of Lake Michigan, the art institute of Chicago, and Calvert House which is a Catholic ministry at the University of Chicago.

September 6, 2011

The Habit does not make the man; the man makes the habit

Sem. Pablo Talavera, M.M.
People who are contemplating a religious life are simultaneously seeking to answer a call of identity. To be able to see yourself and have a clear image of who you are or what you want to be is essential regarding vocation. Many people approach their vocation by the image that they have of a certain profession. For instance, the image that a fire-fighter, policeman, doctor or lawyer has usually represents the work each profession does. In the same manner, for a long time the image of the religious person involved a habit, which for the most part included the major orders (Franciscan, Dominican, Benedictine, and Augustinian). This image has been slowly disappearing among religious communites as lay people have been empowered and religious members have sought to  blend into secular society. For the most part, the traditional orders have maintained their habits as a sign of identity.  However, for many other religious communities the emphasis on the habit has decreased.

Happiness...Where are you?

When people hear that I am a seminarian, I often get the same response from them: why?  Why would I throw my life away by forcing myself into unnatural celibacy?  Why would I give up a life with a good career and give myself to the Church, all while living a life of poverty?  I have such good potential.  What could possibly possess me to do such a thing?

It seems that many people associate worldly success with personal success.  Happiness for many seems to be associated with being able to support oneself comfortably all while winning the accolades of one’s neighbors.  However, this happiness that many people seem to think they know how to find is always just beyond the horizon, found in a few dollars more, or a few possessions more.  They think, “If only I can get to retirement, I will be happy.”  Yet, sadly, happiness never comes, or if it does, it is fleeting and hard to capture long term.  So where is it?  Let me tell you a story.

September 3, 2011

9/11 10 Years Later: God’s Presence in the Face of Evil – Priest/First Responder/Survivor

Fr. Ray Nobelitti, M.M.
This is a story about the presence of God made so real for me, thousands of other New Yorkers, and for most of the known world on one very memorable day.

That morning, a perfect fall day, cloudless and filled with bright sunshine, I celebrated the eight o'clock Mass in Transfiguration Church in Chinatown, New York City. Our elementary school children were in their second day of the new semester. I planned to cast my vote in the mayoral primary election and enjoy the rest of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

September 2, 2011

A Community of Prayer

As our first full week back in Chicago came to a close, we in the Formation Community started a new tradition for this year: Taizé prayer.  This was certainly a new experience for me, and one that I was looking forward to participating in.  I had heard about Taizé for the first time when I was at World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany in 2005.  That was the fateful year that the founder of Taizé, Br. Roger Schutz, was stabbed to death while conducting an evening prayer service.  Coincidentally, another current Maryknoll seminarian was in France and witnessed the event as it unfolded.  Since then, however, the aura of Taizé continued to glow in the back of my mind, but the glow was beginning to fade, until it was lit anew by this evening’s service.

10 Maryknoll Candidates begin 2011 Formation year

2011 Formation Class
Maryknoll is proud to announce that there are 10 Candidates in the 2011 Formation Program.  Candidates come from California, Texas, Indiana, Florida, New York and Canada.  Of the 10 Candidates, 6 are working on their undergraduate degree.  One candidate, Dae Kim has just returned from his Overseas Training assignment in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  There are 12 Maryknoll Vocation Candidates in all.  Two are in the Overseas Training Program: Lam Hua in Africa, and Shaun Crumb in Bolivia.  According to their Formators, these men are studious, responsible, pastorally involved, and ON FIRE FOR MISSION.

September 1, 2011

A Time for Celebration!

Sem. Tony Lopez's Birthday party
Here in the Chicago Formation Community, time flies pretty quickly. Once we return from our summer breaks, we have just a few short days usually before we begin classes in our various colleges again. And variety is certainly the word, since we attend four different locations throughout the city. Some go to CTU (Catholic Theological Union) for their graduate degrees, while others attend undergrad schools like Loyola, St. Xavier and Harold Washington. On top of these requirements, we also have various ministries that we attend to throughout the city. Some work in hospitals, some in churches, while others also help mentor and tutor young children in their homework.