Join our mission family as a Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partner!
An important invitation from Fr. Edward M. Dougherty,
Superior General of the Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers:
October 24, 2012
Dear member of the Diaconate Community,
Your service to the Church is a visible sign of God among us—and nothing gives me greater joy than inviting you to mission in a new and fulfilling way: as a member of the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program.
As you may know, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers represent the U.S. Catholic Church overseas in the mission of Jesus by proclaiming the Word and engaging in programs of charity and justice that address the root causes of global poverty and suffering. Because none of that is possible without the active involvement of the community at home, we offer mission education programs in parishes and Catholic schools to help parishioners become more aware of their own mission vocations through Baptism. Now we need your help to expand our mission outreach both at home and overseas.
The Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program has three goals to engage the Diaconate in a partnership that I hope will encourage you to become an active member of our mission family:
• formation of Deacons and wives in evangelization and global solidarity with the poor;
• cross-cultural and international immersion experiences for the Diaconate that enrich our understanding of the Gospel; and
• the development and support of Deacons and their wives as mission educators in their parishes and dioceses to become a driving force for mission in the Church.
As with any faith partnership, joining the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program involves a commitment to serve the Gospel and an openness to the Holy Spirit. Through our mission partnership, you and your wife will share Christ’s message in new ways by:
• learning about the spirit of mission and how you can better connect your ministries at home with the work of spreading the Gospel abroad.
• praying regularly for the mission efforts of our Church, especially for those individuals engaged in the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program.
• considering a mission immersion trip or short term mission experience here in the U.S. or overseas.
• becoming an advocate for mission and the poor in your own ministries of charity and justice.
• supporting our Maryknoll Deacon Partners Mission Program with an annual gift or monthly contribution, according to your ability.
Our Maryknoll family is on the same journey you are. So as a member of the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program, you will interact with our Fathers and Brothers as well as Deacons from all over the country. We will provide you with formation resources such as workshops, retreats, and a dedicated web page. You will also receive a quarterly newsletter with stories about the work of fellow Deacons throughout the U.S. along with homily suggestions and lesson plans. And of course, you will receive Maryknoll Magazine, the award-winning publication devoted to our global ministries.
The gift of mission to Maryknoll becomes a gift to the world from the Catholic Church in the U.S. to the world. As a member of the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program, you will have the opportunity to join your fellow Deacons and their wives on mission immersion trips overseas. Right now our Fathers and Brothers are promoting community and economic development programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. You and your wife can join them on short-term mission to witness the Gospel in action. For many participants, this is a life-changing experience that deepens their faith more than they ever imagined possible.
When I see the transformative impact that Maryknoll missioners have on the lives of thousands of children and families living in a variety of oppressive environments, I know there is a role for you to play as well. After all, through Baptism Jesus invited us all to mission—and now more than ever the Church needs the kind of bold and visionary witness that Deacons and their wives can provide. Will you consider accepting our invitation to serve the Gospel alongside Maryknoll? I sincerely hope so. Simply complete and mail the enclosed acceptance form or sign up online at www.deacon.maryknoll.us. Nothing would please me more than hearing back from you.
The Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program is new, although Maryknoll itself is over 100 years old! A few years ago two Deacon couples asked if there was some way for them to deepen their mission vocation with Maryknoll. From that tiny seed, we began to hold gatherings with other members of the Deacon community. Their input and ideas proved invaluable, and this year we formally launched the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program.
With the support of our Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, you now have the opportunity to become a driving force for mission in the U.S. Will you help us share the joy of our faith and accept our invitation to become an inaugural member of the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program?
This year is the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II, which opened the window of renewal and encouraged the Church to become more engaged with the world. One of the Council’s documents on mission called for the restoration of the Permanent Diaconate, which I know is close to your heart. What better way to fulfill the legacy of Vatican II than by witnessing your faith with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers!
In the next few days, I hope you will give prayerful consideration to joining the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program and respond by returning the enclosed acceptance form.
I know you may have questions that I haven’t answered here, or perhaps you and your wife would like to speak with Deacons already active in the program. If you do, Please take a moment to visit our website at www.deacons.maryknoll.us. You can also contact our Directors of our program, Deacon Matt Dulka (firstname.lastname@example.org, (510) 276-5021). He would be very pleased to hear from you.
I look forward to meeting you and your wife in person and learning more about your ministry. For now, may the Holy Spirit bless your faith journey. My prayer is that you will continue to witness Christ’s message of salvation, and that soon we will welcome you as a member of the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partner Program.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Edward M. Dougherty, M.M.
P.S: Thank you for considering my invitation to join the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners Program. I can’t think of a better way for us to praise God’s glory together!