OSSINING, NY – On Dec. 8, 2018, 12 Maryknoll lay missioners and one Maryknoll sister will celebrate the beginning of their mission journeys in a joint Sending Ceremony. The ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the Annunciation Chapel of the Maryknoll Sisters in Ossining, New York.
This Sending Ceremony marks the end of a 10-week orientation program, which the new missioners undertook together as they prepared for cross-cultural ministries in six countries around the world. After a seven-year hiatus, this year’s event once again combines the Sending Ceremony for Maryknoll Lay Missioners and the Maryknoll Sisters—two branches of the Maryknoll family, which also includes the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers and the Maryknoll Affiliates. The heads of all four branches will participate in the ceremony.
During the Sending, the new missioners will be “called forth” for their new mission region, receive mission crosses and express their commitment “to witness the Good News of Jesus Christ, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are marginalized and oppressed.” They commit themselves “to care for the earth, our common home, and to respond in service to help create a more just and compassionate world.”
The new lay missioners range in age from 23 to 69 and include individuals, couples, and a family of five. They are committing to three and a half years of service. They will depart in January 2019 for their respective mission sites, where they will receive extensive in-country language training and acculturation before they begin their ministry assignments.
Ted Miles, the executive director of Maryknoll Lay Missioners, said that the past 10 weeks of orientation have been a profound time of spiritual, theological and practical preparation for the 13 missioners. “We are delighted with and proud of this group of dedicated new missioners,” he said.
“Pope Francis has called all Christians to be missional,” Miles added. “He continues to remind us so beautifully that the church’s mission is enlivened by a ‘spirituality of constant exodus,’ and he challenges us to go forth from our own comfort zones into the world’s ‘peripheries.’ We celebrate these 13 individuals who have listened carefully and responded to God’s call in their lives. They are committing themselves to this exodus in a most unique and radical way to share the ‘joy of the Gospel’.”
Maryknoll Lay Missioners work in Africa, Asia and the Americas in a wide range of ministries that include health care, education, restorative justice, pastoral care, human rights, sustainable development, and ministries with refugees and people with disabilities.
Earlier this year the whole Maryknoll family, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the very first Maryknoll Sending of four missionary priests to China.
The 13 new missioners are:
- José Luis Aguilar and Verónica Arriagada from Chicago, going to Bolivia
- Abby Belt from Wichita, Kansas, going to Haiti
- Cortney Freshwater from Ashland, Ohio, going to Bolivia
- Sam Janson from Amherst, New Hampshire, going to Tanzania
- Kevin and Marilyn McDonough from Santa Clara, California, going to Tanzania
- Joe Miller from Evanston, Illinois, going to Bolivia
- Jayne Prior from Overland Park, Kansas, going to El Salvador
- Sister Armeline Sidoine, MM, from Congo Brazzaville, going to China
- Rich Tarro from Narragansett, Rhode Island, going to Kenya
- Loyce Veryser from Bukoba, Tanzania and Stephen Veryser, originally from Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, (with their children, Claire, Justin and Abigail) going to Tanzania
Click here for a PDF of the press release
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