There won’t be any white smoke coming from the Maryknoll Society’s headquarters in New York this September, but a conclave of sorts will be taking place. Representatives of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers will meet in their Thirteenth General Chapter to elect new leaders for the next six years and set direction for the Society’s future.
As Superior General of the Society for the last six years, I have been privileged to see up close and personal how our members live out their missionary call all over the world. I have been incredibly impressed by their service to the Gospel and their joy in ministering to God’s people near and far.
It has been a pleasure to serve as the publisher of our magazines and to witness the hard work and dedication of our employees here at the center and throughout the world.
In 2011, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers celebrated its centenary and on all the continents where we serve there were accolades for our Society. There were also challenges that arose that give us pause now as we prepare to plan for the future.
Recently I strolled through our cemetery here at our center and was struck by the number of men who died during this six-year period. Seeing their grave markers saddened me at their loss but also reminded me of the passion for mission that their lives still inspire.
Now we celebrate with our newest priest member, Father Lam Hua. Lam will begin his mission as a priest in Africa by the end of this year, and so our mission continues. We are fewer than we were six years ago, yet hearing the cries of a world that so desperately needs God’s love, we resolve to continue to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed as a missionary group.
In this issue, Deacon Matt Dulka, our Western U.S. Mission Education and Promotion director, writes about promoting mission education in the United States. He and our other mission promoters keep alive the dream of our co-founders, Bishop James A. Walsh and Father Thomas F. Price: to stir U.S. hearts and minds to mission. That dream has captured countless young Americans, who have joined us as missioners with their lives or with their prayers and interest.
I will be eternally grateful to God for the opportunity to be in service as the leader of the Maryknoll Society during these years. May all our future journeys be blessed with God’s peace.
Edward M. Dougherty, M.M.