Readers’ Responses, Spring 2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I noted in your Fall issue that Father Edward Hayes died during this year. I was in the sabbatical program at the North American College in Rome with Father Ed in the early months of 1997. He always impressed me with his gentle spirit and his commitment to the missions. He brought a unique perspective to our study and discussions. He always preferred to be back among his people in Africa rather than in the office in Rome. Father Ed was a faithful servant. May he rest in peace.

Father Phil Thompson
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

A cradle Catholic, I was seriously considering becoming a Maryknoll sister when I met my late, non-Catholic husband. He often teased that supporting the organization was the least he could do for having taken me away. We were very young and had a large family quickly, so money was always tight, but Maryknoll was important to us, so we always found a way.

As years went on, however, I became very disillusioned with the Church. The sexual scandals and the ongoing use of funds for things and power instead of people and their needs angered and saddened me. We discontinued our donations to every group associated with Catholicism — every group, that is, except Maryknoll. We felt there was something beautiful and unique about the way Maryknoll embraced other cultures, religions and ways of living.  One of my favorite photos is that of a Maryknoll priest seated on a floor in front of a rustic table with a chipped plate and a water glass for his chalice and paten. Maryknoll’s union with the poor and openness to God’s presence in all peoples continues to sustain and inspire me. Still, when similarly frustrated friends ask why I continue to support this very Catholic organization, I struggle to fully explain my reasons.

Then I read Father Veneroso’s article “Missioner vs. Missionary” and that article said it all! How honest, how open and how beautifully Father Veneroso has informed us readers about the true missioner spirit. He has expressed, much better than I ever could, the very reasons that part of my heart will always be with Maryknoll! Thank you for this beautifully written explanation. I will be sharing it!

I am proud to continue my monthly support of the Maryknoll Sisters. I am blessed to have had many of them as friends, and I miss them now that they live in heaven. They enriched our family’s life, just as they touched those whom they served in mission. I thank you all for the loving work you do, for sharing this article, and for recognizing God in his universe, in his people and for bringing God’s love to all the sad, messy and wonderful moments of life!  

Rita Pisano
Candler, North Carolina

I just had to comment on the article “Teaching with Love in the Andes” in the Winter 2022 issue of Maryknoll magazine — or, I should say, the wonderful smiles that stood out and really pleased me. The smile on Minh Nguyen’s face on page 36, the boy in front and in the middle of three on page 38, and some of the children on page 40. Perhaps you can let Ms. Nguyen know.

Thomas Diemer
Kenner, Louisiana

I worked for the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) in Bogota, Colombia, and knew Maryknoll missioner Father John H. Gorham, now deceased. I also visited the Maryknoll house in Guatemala near the U.S. embassy. In short, I have had good interactions with Maryknoll missioners in Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Guatemala and various other countries. I admire your work and your dedication to the poor and human development. Do not get discouraged. Continue forward always. May Jesus Christ bless you. 

Father José Dimas Soberal Días
Lares, Puerto Rico

I read various Catholic magazines monthly. However, your Maryknoll magazine is the most uplifting. It inspires hope for and in me.

God’s continued blessings on your ministry.

Father Ray Lescher
Pembroke Township, Illinois

On behalf of the Downtown Brooklyn group of Pax Christi Metro New York, I want to express our joy in learning that Sister Teresa Hougnon has been chosen to lead the Maryknoll Sisters as president for the next six years. We remember Sister Teresa as a young woman searching for a vocation … of peaceful accompaniment of anyone in need. As a member of the Maryknoll community, she found what she was looking for. 

Edith Newman
Brooklyn, New York

The Winter 2022 issue of Maryknoll shows merciful acts to be emulated. I was especially intrigued by the piece on the internment of Japanese Americans at the outset of World War II. The service that religious and laity offered to those imprisoned in the camps, especially the children, is an example of the persistence of our faith.

This Gospel passage is especially relevant: “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me” (Matthew 18:5).

This is clearly seen in the example of the Maryknoll missioners.

Mark A. Sleboda
Redford Township, Michigan

Correction: The article “Setting Japanese American Captives Free” in the Winter 2022 issue contained an error about Japanese American journalist Harry Honda. He was serving in the U.S. Army during World War II while his family was imprisoned in the internment camp in Rohwer, Arkansas.

Photo Credit: Josh Wetmore/U.S.

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