Steps in the Process to enter Maryknoll
Maryknoll is a Society of Apostolic Life dedicated exclusively to foreign missionary service. Consequently the spirituality and common life of the Maryknoll community are directed towards accomplishing the missionary mandate: to actively witness to Jesus Christ through prayer and sacraments, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and reaching out to outcasts. We work in many cultures, languages and religious traditions.
As men from the US culture are drawn to pursue the Maryknoll charism of foreign missionary work, there are a number of steps that they must take in order to become members of the Society. These steps include discernment, application, and formation.
Discernment is a time of sifting and sorting. It is a time to see with the eyes of the heart so that one can choose life in God. It is a time when one seeks to be open to God’s will, and it is an opportunity to allow the heart to guide the mind more than only trusting in one's own reasoning. There are four steps in the discernment process: becoming aware; gathering information and investigating options; choosing what seems to be God's will; and confirming one's choice. Maryknoll Vocation Ministers actively accompany men in this stage of their vocation development.
The Application process is the formal step whereby one seeks admission to the Maryknoll Formation process. After at least 6-8 months of active accompaniment, and upon recommendation of the Maryknoll Vocation Ministries Team, men interested in pursuing a commitment to the Maryknoll Society are invited to apply for admission to Formation. During this step they fill out a formal application, gather and submit pertinent documents, and participate in formal interviews. At the end of this process an Admissions Board reviews their request for admission and decides on their suitability as Maryknoll candidates.
Once admitted to the Maryknoll Formation process, those who are accepted begin formal studies for Maryknoll missionary priesthood or brotherhood at the Formation residence located in Chicago, Illinois. The Formation process usually encompasses 6-8 years of formal study, training overseas, and pastoral experience.