“Ready to set forth again to be the presence of our loving and compassionate God in the times and ways to come…” Sister Janice McLaughlin, president of Maryknoll Sisters, led the congregation of women religious in, once again, saying yes to following their God “who dwells in stables and humble homes, in prisons and refugee campus, in our neighbors, in each other and all of creation” at a special Eucharistic liturgy marking the opening of the sisters’ second century of service on Sunday, Jan. 6, at the Maryknoll Sisters Center near Ossining, New York.
Maryknoll Sisters have a “significant, perhaps indispensable role to fulfill” in 21st century mission, noted Sister Ann Braudis, MM, main speaker during the Mass. Throughout the last 100 years as missioners, “we have become practiced in embracing the foreign and working in every kind of place and situation,” Sister Ann commented.“Bringing about the global community requires people, agents if you will, who know how to be present to difference, how to be present to different by sharing divergent views and finding the intersection of common agreement that will enable working together for the common good.
“All that we have lived through, achieved and lost in the past has equipped us to engage this challenge,” she maintained. “In this light we continue on our journey, inspired by new insights, with a horizon that stretches out to the whole Cosmos and with a great sense of urgencv. The wisdom, skills, and love for people and all life that characterizes us are needed to meet the challenge of intentionally bringing forth the global community; the one mind and one heart foreseen and announced by Christ Jesus, the eternal voice of the future.”
The Mass, celebrated by Fr. Ed Dougherty, MM, was one of two weekend events which closed out a year of celebration for the congregation, founded Jan. 6, 1912. The sisters and staff also gathered for a special prayer service on Saturday afternoon, in which they took time to reflect on their 100-year journey and wonder aloud what the next century might bring.
Following the Mass, members of Maryknoll Convent School and Maryknoll Sisters School, Hong Kong, presented Sister Janice with a certificate representing $155,000, raised through a benefit showing of the new documentary, “Trailblazers in Habits,” at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan on Oct. 28, 2012. The documentary, directed by Nancy Tong, tells the story of groundbreaking ministry efforts of the Maryknoll Sisters in Hong Kong, China and throughout the world.
The first U.S.-based congregation of Roman Catholic women religious dedicated to foreign mission, Maryknoll Sisters now number nearly 500 members and serve in a wide variety of ministries throughout the world. For more information, visit www.maryknollsisters.org.