Readers’ Responses, Spring 2024

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Please thank Father Bob McCahill for his interview in the Spring 2023 issue of Maryknoll, from an old friend in Bangladesh! I enjoyed the article about his ministry and the articles about other ministries too. 

Also, please thank the lovely young lady — Jacqueline Romo — for the eye-and-heart-opening butterfly Way of the Cross, “The Passion of the Monarca Migrante” in the same issue. Another treasure!

Margaret Shield, CSC
Ventura, California


I used to, for years, look at the pictures in the Maryknoll magazine and, of course, read an article or two about a Maryknoll relative or friend. In the last few years I started becoming interested in the articles on Tanzania, as I know a Maryknoll missioner who worked there. 

I now generally read the magazine cover to cover, even though I’m not an avid reader. The articles on the immigration issue have been most helpful, especially “Borders of Hope” in the Winter 2024 issue. I have much more insight into these problems and how Maryknoll is trying to help.

I was also touched by the Winter 2024 cover. When I saw it, I laughed out loud along with the priest in the photo! 

I pray every day that I may live my purpose in life. Also, I pray for many relatives and friends. I wrote to my nieces and nephews about their purpose (use of gifts) some years ago — a lot of time is spent on this, and yet it is really so simple: Love.

Mary Gail Royal
Cedarville, Michigan


What a grace-filled smile of Father Robert McCahill on your cover! As grace-filled as his purpose in life — God bless him. I love reading Maryknoll magazine.

Louella Armstrong
Jackson Heights, New York


What a joy it brought to my heart to read about Gabriel! [“Educating Heroes,” Summer 2023] It pleases me that my little offerings can help to do so much for our deserving brothers and sisters.

Lucille Brady
Washington, D.C.


As a longtime friend of Maryknoll, I know that staying true to mission while remaining apolitical is not always compatible. The “climate controversy” letter in the Spring 2023 issue being a case in point. 

As someone who grew up on a farm and remained in agriculture, I find hope in the regenerative farming movement. Its essence is a renewed focus on the biology and life of the soil. Basically, we stop treating soil like dirt. 

One irrefutable fact regarding our precious planet is the concern for global desertification. It should come as no surprise that this well-documented trend would contribute to famine and war. Without going into detail, suffice to say that reversing global desertification is within our capacity — given the will to do so — and in keeping with Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’.

Dennis McLaughlin
Cumming, Iowa 



Naïve? What could be more naïve than the letter from a reader in the Winter 2024 issue mindlessly parroting the anti-immigrant slanders of some of our politicians and their disciples? Without a doubt, a criminal element exists among the waves of immigrants at our borders, but if he and his ilk knew what they are talking about, they would know that the vast majority of the crime in this country is homegrown. 

From long experience with immigrants, I can say with confidence that almost all are here in a desperate search, not just for a better life, but in many cases to stay alive. Believe me, almost all of them would rather have a peaceful life with their rights respected in their own countries.

Rev. Michael Burton Roark
Murfreesboro, Tennessee



Nice article about asylum-seekers crossing our southern border. However, the vast majority of illegal crossings are not by qualified asylum-seekers, but by illegals who paid a small fortune to human traffickers for passage through very dangerous territory to our country. Many of these illegals will be indebted to the drug cartels for years to pay off their debt. If they don’t, the consequences will be brutal. 

Richard Ready
Shawano, Wisconsin



The Fall 2023 article by photojournalist Paul Jeffrey suggests that martyrdom has many forms. In the good works portrayed in “Serving Migrant Martyrs in Taiwan,” Maryknoll Father Joyalito Tajonera is indeed serving an Asian Catholic community well. My own research as a historian examines the implications of the ultimate sacrifice, and its mystery is astounding. 

An example for consideration is the life of Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish priest who gave his life to save a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz during World War II. Its beauty is that Kolbe was offered a white crown of purity and a red crown of martyrdom by the Blessed Mother. He earned both.

By Jeffrey’s article, we Christians are asked to consider what martyrdom means. Perhaps we may someday be asked to give the ultimate sacrifice of our own lives as well. 

Mark A. Sleboda
Redford Township, Michigan

Featured image: (Left to right) Deacon Arturo Medina, Friar Jarek Wysoczanski, Sarah Bueter, Julienne Hoang, Kathy Flatoff, Bishop Mark Seitz, Theresa Glaser and Maryknoll Father Raymond Finch celebrate the sending of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners Class of 2023 at Cristo Rey Church in El Paso, Texas. The four lay missioners were sent to El Salvador, Cambodia and Kenya. 

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