Since their first days in South and Central America in the 1940s the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers have served the poorest of the poor in rural and urban situations in Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and along the US/ Mexican border. From the beginning a major goal has been to strengthen the local churches with a strong formation of clergy and laity. In the early years there was need to build up infrastructures of parishes, schools, clinics and social programs such as cooperatives. In more recent years our emphasis is on the formation of a committed laity to assume more responsibility in the evangelization efforts of local churches.
Now after nearly 60 years of service and recognizing our strengths, limitations, and experience we are committed to live out our lives participating in God’s mission in the continent to make real God’s Reign through integral evangelization that addresses the negative impact of globalization and the stark poverty and exclusion it has produced.
As disciples and missionaries of Jesus living among the people within the local Churches, we see our role today as catalysts seeking to inspire, strengthen, form and create ecclesial communities following Jesus from the perspective of the poor who face the sweeping transformations of their continent. We do this by affirming and celebrating all that is already good and true in their lives and cultures. We invite them to know Jesus, to experience his call to conversion, discipleship, freedom and fullness of life, and to prepare and accompany them in the process of missionary formation to live their lives in service to God's Reign.
We continue to serve in pastoral roles within parishes in many countries with a particular commitment to instilling a strong sense of parish as mission outreach. Some Maryknollers minister to migrants, street children, to those with AIDS, and rehabilitation of youth gangs. Others accompany groups of prayer for visiting the sick and elderly. Others work directly with youth groups and university apostolates.
In Cochabamba Bolivia a major priority at the Maryknoll Mission Center is the leadership formation of Latin Americans to assume a greater role in mission in the local churches and as committed change agents in social movements in promoting ecological stewardship, responsible citizenship, and sustainable growth. The Latin America Region is committed to doing mission in collaboration with the Maryknoll Sisters, Lay Missioners, and to be a welcoming mission community by offering opportunities for volunteers from the US Church to have an experience of short-term mission in order to build bonds of solidarity between the churches of both the northern and southern continent.
Deeply conscious of participating in God’s mission of mercy and healing, Maryknollers who work in mission in Latin America, labor as joyful disciples sharing the faith of the local peoples and their cultures in celebrating the wonders of God’s presence among them.