On Sunday, September 22, Maryknoll Lay Missioners joyfully welcomed our 52nd Orientation class. The 12-week Orientation Program is an exciting and inspiring time as we accompany our candidates in their final discernment and multidisciplinary training for overseas mission.
These six people—five new lay missioner candidates and one Maryknoll sister—are now participating in courses ranging from scripture to education and from community building to staying healthy in changing environments, as they prepare for their formal sending ceremony on December 14. Most will be traveling in early January to the next phase: language school.
Please pray that these candidates will be well prepared to discover and join with what God is doing in their assigned countries.
JILLIAN FOSTER, assigned to HAITI, from LOVELAND, OH
Jillian recently finished a year of service with FrancisCorps in Syracuse, NY where she worked with a L’Arche community for adults with disabilities. She has also done volunteer work with urban farming, tutoring children, and at a camp for children with disabilities. While in college, she had the opportunity to spend two months in Malawi where she conducted research on climate change and its effects. Jillian graduated from University of Dayton with a BA in Human Rights Studies. She enjoys reading, hiking, watching movies, singing, and plays the ukulele.
GREG GARRITY, assigned to KENYA, from MIDDLEBURY, CT
Greg has served for more than 30 years as a Family Services Counselor and Supervisor for the courts in the state of Connecticut. Currently, he is a literary volunteer and religious education teacher for his parish. He was a Jesuit Volunteer in the United States. Greg received his BA in Theology from Boston College, and an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School. He enjoys hiking, attending the opera and ballet, and watching documentary films. Greg had an uncle who was a Maryknoll priest and an aunt who was a Maryknoll sister. He has four adult children.
JACLYN GEYER, assigned to HAITI, from TACOMA, WA
Jaclyn has a BA in History from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA where she ran Cross Country and Track. She has studied abroad in New Zealand, Tanzania, and Rome. Jaclyn is a convert to Catholicism. After college, she served in AmeriCorps with the Campus Kitchens Project at Gonzaga University, and with the Norbertine Volunteer Community in Green Bay, WI, serving at St. Willebrord Parish. She has worked the last two years at FedEx Ground as a Package Handler. Her interests include reading, movies, hiking, sports, board games, and all things Star Trek and Lord of the Rings.
JULIE LAWLER, assigned to CAMBODIA, from AUSTIN, TX
Julie is a Deaf Education Teacher. She received a BS from the University of Arizona in Special Education, and both a BA in Elementary Education and an MA in ASL-English Bilingual Deaf Education from Gallaudet University. She volunteers in youth ministry, confirmation preparation, and in her local community for people coming out of chronic homelessness. She has been on a mission trip to Peru. Julie enjoys baseball and softball, being with family and friends, and doing hands-on science projects with her nieces and nephews.
BRENDA SEYMOUR, assigned to KENYA, from HUDSON, MA
Brenda is a certified ESL teacher for grades 5-12, and has teaching experience in Poland, Honduras, Uganda, and Kenya. Her most recent experience has been teaching ESL to adults. Brenda also volunteers with a soup kitchen and food pantry. She served in the Peace Corps in Kenya. She has a BS in Elementary Education from Westfield State University (MA), and a Masters in ESL Education from the University of Massachusetts. Brenda enjoys bike riding, walking, swimming, yoga and Pilates, reading, listening to music, and arts and crafts.
Maryknoll Sister Candidate
SR. ROLANDE PENDEZA KAHINDO
Rolande was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, Zaire, or Belgian Congo). She holds a BA in Education from Tangaza College, a Constituency of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Kenya. She first met the Maryknoll Sisters in 2014 when she was working as a teacher in Dodoma, Tanzania, with the Jesuit Fathers. Rolande was attracted to the sisters because of their simplicity of life, their missionary spirit of crossing borders to meet those living on the margins, and their willingness to go to remote areas and share life with the poor according to one’s giftedness. She had her first year of integration and acculturation in Chicago, where she lived in community and continued to learn about the Maryknoll spirituality while taking classes from CTU (Catholic Theological Union) for her personal growth. After her canonical year in the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate in Saint Louis, Rolande made her first vows on August 4th 2019. She is now in the mission phase and has started discerning about where God wants her to be in mission. (Although the Sisters and the Lay Missioners are separate organizations, candidates spend part of their training together.) She has seven siblings, and is the second born and eldest sister. Her passions are gardening, knitting, singing, and dancing.