“Being A Brother,” with stories that reveal the long history of the Maryknoll Brothers who walk in the footsteps of Jesus in the U.S. and in mission projects around the world, is the theme for the March-April issues of Maryknoll magazine and the Spanish-language Revista Maryknoll. Both magazines are published by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, the foreign mission society of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Current and recently published issues of both Maryknoll magazines can be viewed online.
The stories about Maryknoll Brothers are more numerous than the hundreds of men who have served the Maryknoll Society in this formation during its 100 years. The first, Thomas McCann of Brooklyn, offered his services to the new mission society during 1912 and before Maryknoll received its first seminarians. Brother McCann desired to be a missioner though he felt he had not received the calling to the priesthood.
Many have since followed the path blazed by Brother McCann, and Brother Anthony Lopez and Brother Sebastian Schwartz are among the contemporary Maryknoll Brothers featured in the current issues of Maryknoll magazine and Revista Maryknoll.
Brother Lopez was raised on the west side of Chicago. He relied on his close family ties, his Mexican heritage, his Chicago roots and his meeting with Mother Teresa to guide him as he served people in Venezuela, Thailand, Japan and elsewhere who were affected by poverty, illness, or violence.
Brother Sebastian, born James Schwartz and known to many by his pen name of Sepasitiano, is a native of Menominee, Michigan. He uses the art of comics to spread messages that all people are equal in the eyes of God. Brother Sebastian developed his cartoonist talents at a young age and he has created many educational comic books to raise awareness of AIDS and other issues among people who have intellectual disabilities.
As part of the year-long theme of “preferential option for the poor” around the world, both Maryknoll magazines also include an article about teaching and feeding the abandoned children of Myanmar.
“The recent changes in Myanmar—the easing of military control and release of some political prisoners—give me hope for the future of this nation of 55 million, largely impoverished people,” concluded Maryknoll Brother John Beeching. “Meanwhile we carry on helping the children, remembering Jesus’ words: ‘For I was hungry and you fed me.’”