In 1968, shortly after Vatican II, Maryknoll formally began the Priest Associate Program, giving diocesan priests an opportunity to participate in Maryknoll's mission efforts under a five-year contract. In 1978, through the Seventh General Chapter, the Society affirmed and formalized the program. The action of the Chapter also expanded the program to include religious priests and brothers, as well as diocesan priests. The Chapter also recommended the appointment of a Coordinator for the program and the active recruitment of candidates. The program has been affirmed and supported by each of the succeeding Chapters.
Priests and religious brothers who desire to participate in the Associate program must first obtain permission from their Ordinary or Religious Superior to enter into the discernment process with the Maryknoll Vocation team. During this accompaniment process, usually 8-12 months, an Associate candidate must fulfill all admission requirements including: a lifeline interview, a thematic interview, and an autobiography. He will also visit Maryknoll, New York.
After completing the requirements of application for admission to the Associate Program, the individual's request for admission along with the attendant documentation is submitted to the Society's Admissions Board for consideration. If the Board approves the application, the priest or brother is formally accepted as an Associate. (For those accepted as priest or brother Associates, diocesan priests remain incardinated in their own dioceses, and members of religious congregations remain as members of their own congregations.
Once accepted as an Associate, Maryknoll trains the Associate for mission work in a Maryknoll Region in a six week orientation program at Maryknoll, NY. Afterwards, a three-way contract is signed between the Associate, the Maryknoll Society, and the individual's bishop or religious superior. As an Associate of Maryknoll, an Associate receives the same monthly stipend and medical benefits as a Society member. Maryknoll also pays yearly into his diocesan retirement plan while he is under contract.
During the period of the contract the Associate enjoys all the same rights, privileges, and obligations as a Society Member less voting for Society superiors. However, Associates have full voting rights in the Maryknoll Region where they are assigned on matters concerning the apostolate. Contracts can be rescinded at any time by any or all parties to the contract by submitting a three-month notice stating a reasonable cause.
If interested in the Maryknoll Associate Program, please fill out the Associate questionnaire.