I have named this icon “Christ of Maryknoll” because Maryknoll and Orbis Books mean so much to me. Both endeavor to see the Christ among the least of us, and to serve the Christ that lives in the margins of this world. Maryknoll priests, brothers, sisters and lay people have been imprisoned in China and elsewhere for their work among the poor, the broken, the oppressed; Orbis has taken great risks to extend the Maryknoll vision.
I hope this icon will bring inspiration to all those who share in that vision. The icon does not make clear which side of the fence Christ is on. Is he imprisoned or are we? Through our cultural institutions and personal lives we all place barriers between ourselves and true happiness. We and our institutions also try to imprison Christ in various ways, to tame him and the dangerous memories he would bring us of our goals and ideals.
—Br. Robert Lentz, OFM, September 11, 2002
Maryknoll, The U.S. based Catholic mission movement includes: the Maryknoll Society (priests and brothers), Maryknoll Congregation (Sisters), the Maryknoll Mission Association of the Faithful (laity, priests and religious), and the Maryknoll Affiliates.
Since 1911, Catholics in the United States have responded to the worldwide cry of the poor by becoming Maryknoll Missioners. Today, Maryknollers help people overseas build communities of faith. Some work in war zones with refugees, others minister to the sick, the elderly, orphans or people with AIDS. Through lives of service, Maryknollers translate the gospel of love into different languages and in different cultures.
Maryknoll offers U.S. Catholics an opportunity to participate in the missionary activity of the U.S. Catholic Church. Since Christ calls each of us to be missionaries, to live Gospel values and to love one another as He loves us, Maryknoll offers an opportunity to directly serve overseas as a priest, Brother or lay missioner. If a person is unable to go abroad and serve, the work of Maryknoll can be supported through prayers and financial assistance. Maryknoll’s particular charism is overseas mission in service to the poor -- all done in the name of the millions of Catholics comprising the U.S. Catholic Church.
“It is not enough to discover Christ -- you must bring Him to others! The world is one great mission land, even in countries of long-standing Christian tradition.”
—Saint John Paul II