T his season marks 10 years since the late Pope Benedict XVI retired in a noble gesture of humility. Pope Francis’ papacy has emphasized mission and a Church that goes out to those on the peripheries, the poor both physically and spiritually. He has made championing the plight of migrants and refugees a signature issue of his leadership, along with global peace, care of the Earth and synodality, a Church that listens and dialogues and journeys together. The issues that Pope Francis speaks of are the very themes found regularly in Maryknoll magazine.
Pope Francis signaled from the very beginning that he wanted a clergy among the people, “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.” At times, this implies taking risks for the sake of the Gospel. Missioners take risks for faith — like the catechist on the cover of this issue, or the Maryknollers who embarked to Korea 100 years ago.
In this edition, our cover story focuses on Maryknoll Father John Barth’s work in Thailand serving among Myanmar refugees fleeing the violence of a military dictatorship. We share an interview with Maryknoll Father Bob McCahill, who helps get medical attention for sick and disabled children in Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim country. We report on educating tribal girls in Tanzania, economic empowerment of women in Brazil, and a young immigrant who combined art and theology studies in a beautiful rendering of the Way of the Cross as the migrant’s perilous trek, symbolized by the seasonal flight of the monarch butterfly. Come journey with us.
Lynn F. Monahan