“Refugees and Migration,” with stories that reflect Maryknoll’s concern for people and their standards of living around the world, is the theme for the July-August 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.
Among the stories within the current pages of Maryknoll’s magazines is a report about the deadliest famine during the last 60 years that now is gripping East Africa. Writing about the fight of survival for the Turkana people of northwestern Kenya, Kathy Golden, a reporter and producer with Maryknoll’s Voices of Our World radio program, said that people could do nothing but watch “the earth below go from green to brown.”
Elsewhere in Kenya, Maryknoll is engaged with food assistance for hundreds of students at Kenyatta University, water-harvesting and construction projects in the Ukambani region and a food-for-work program in the Kebwezi district.
Church Challenges In Asia
In Asia, issues that affect migrant workers have created new challenges for the Catholic Church.
In Manila, missioners at the Scalabrini Mission Center offer migrant workers a temporary residence along with counseling, legal assistance, information about employment opportunities and pastoral services. Maryknoll Father James Kroeger from Appleton, Wisconsin, has been a missioner in the Philippines since 1987. He said the church’s challenges include providing adequate pastoral care and helping “Filipinos abroad live their missionary role of witnessing to the Gospel.”
Father Joyalito Tajonera, a Maryknoll priest who was raised in the Philippines but considers Brooklyn, New York, as his home diocese, ministers to Filipino migrants who work in Taiwan. He turned a former restaurant in the city of Taichung into a chapel and drop-in center for Filipinos and other migrant workers to help them gain access to better treatment, better wages and a better life.
Puerto Rico’s Mission Spirit
In the Western Hemisphere, the people of Puerto Rico, through parishes, youth groups and other organizations, are finding opportunities to serve in mission to support brothers and sisters at home and abroad. The mission spirit is embodied by the organization Caritas of Puerto Rico, which is one of the 165 national components of the Catholic relief organization Caritas International. Learn more about this program from a new Maryknoll video.
“Our goal is to love the people,” said Father Enrique Camacho Monserrate, who is the director of Caritas of Puerto Rico, “and for the people to see the face of Jesus when they see us and for us to see the face of Jesus in the people.”