These missioners, through the kindness and concern of local pastors, are given welcome access to Sunday communities, classrooms, young adult and other parish groups. They make presentations, offer reflections and retreats, workshops and forums; they staff booths at religious education congresses and do mission appeals at weekend Masses. This is full time mission activity. It can also be exhausting. But it is always exciting and rewarding.
One of Maryknoll's best kept secrets is that there is serious mission activity going on in the United States too - though not the type one might imagine. From time to time, missioners are asked to return on assignment from their mission countries to the Church that sent them in mission, to share back with our wider missionary family the joys, sorrows, adventures, needs and learnings of their years in the field afar. We call this reverse mission. This is the job of the Mission Education and Promotion Department (MEPD) of Maryknoll.
One of the best ways that Maryknoll has developed over its 100 years, to stay in touch with its sending Church, has been Maryknoll magazine, and in the last 30 years, its companion, bi-lingual, Revista Maryknoll. This is what Maryknoll strives to get into every mission-minded home, office and classroom in the country. It is what keeps mission alive, a household word. It is what enthuses readers to become mission-hearted.
Similarly, the establishment of Orbis Books in the 1970’s was a gesture to the world of cross-cultural mission, and a gift to the developed world. Orbis publishes works of authors from developing nations and presents them to concerned readers, in English, in the developed world. Dialog, across language, cultural, ethnic and religious barriers is the goal.
One of the most rewarding things that a missioner of MEPD can hear is someone reminiscing how “my parents / grandparents always loved Maryknoll”. A modern day missioner of MEPD knows no greater happiness than that of making known to a whole new generation of mission supporters the joy of becoming an evangelizer in the modern world along with Maryknoll. This is what we do best. This is the vocation gift we have received by becoming part of the Maryknoll family.