As a Catholic missionary Society which works in different overseas cultures, Maryknoll actively proposes that dialogue with the followers of other religions should be a characteristic of the mission in the world that Jesus entrusted to the community of his disciples. The mission to follow Christ includes many aspects: daily prayer and worship of God; a special concern for the poor and victims of oppression and injustice; care for the sick and aged, theological reflection on the meaning of Christian faith in each cultural context; proclamation of faith, that is, sharing “the reasons for hope” with all those who are seeking truth; and catechesis, the communication of the faith to new generations of Christian disciples. So also, a basic element of Maryknoll's mission is the encounter with people of other faiths.
Since interreligious dialogue is a part of the mission of the Church, as Maryknoll missioners are committed to engage in understanding the relationship between “dialogue and proclamation” as two authentic and irreplaceable aspects of evangelizing activity.
Christians are called to share life and that includes common efforts for justice and peace. Sometimes it means simply living together in harmony or working for reconciliation after conflicts. At other times it demands coming to the aid of the weakest and neediest in our midst, taking action in defense and solidarity with the poor and victims of injustice. On certain occasions, it could mean sharing the reasons for why we live the way we do. Maryknollers are motivated, as are their partners in daily life, their coworkers for justice and peace, by a personal encounter with God.
Since there are millions of people in the world who are seeking God, who are looking for a way to live in accord with God’s will, and who want to find meaning, and a reason for living in their daily situations, Maryknoll missioners have a duty to share with them the faith that has given direction to their lives, that which inspires them and gives them the courage to love, that gives them reason for hope in moments of failure and desperation. This is the meaning of interreligious dialogue. As Catholic foreign missioners they believe that this is the only way to live in the twenty-first century. They are believers in the gospel.