The cover line of this issue of Maryknoll says it all: From mission, to mission.
On the face of it, we are talking about Maryknoll’s newest priest. Father John Siyumbu’s call to the priesthood was kindled by stories he heard as a child in Kenya about early missionaries to East Africa. As a university student he was inspired by the work of the Maryknoll missioners he met. Now, ordained from a mission country where Maryknoll serves, he will go on mission to Peru in South America.
Father Siyumbu’s ordination opens a new chapter for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers — the fruition of a decision made eight years ago to accept seminarians from mission sites. Previously Maryknoll held that it should only build up the local Church abroad, not “take” vocations needed there. Times change.
Today, unlike 1918 when the first Maryknoll priests sailed for China, mission is no longer just evangelization from the wealthier European and North American continents to the developing world. It’s now global and multi-directional. It’s going abroad and it’s receiving missioners from abroad and it’s ministering in our hometowns, our own backyards.
In welcoming Father Siyumbu into the Maryknoll family, the Fathers and Brothers join the Maryknoll Sisters in accepting vocations from mission sites. Yet, those familiar with this magazine already know that it has long shown the changing face of mission and the diversity that makes this country a global melting pot — and a reflection of the one body in Christ.
Lynn F. Monahan