Maryknoll Missioners

Published May 11, 2016 by humanlign

Theme: Our assignment from Jesus upon his ascension to heaven.

Scripture Readings:

Acts 1: 1-11

Jesus ascends into heaven after telling his apostles that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them and that they will be his witnesses to the ends of the earth.

Hebrews 9: 24-28; 10: 19-23

Christ appears before God on our behalf and with this single act our sins have been atoned for forever.

Christ’s sacrifice opened the way for us to go forward with a sincere heart and a clear conscience, encouraging one another to love and do good works.

Luke 24: 46-53

Our purpose and our mission is to proclaim God’s forgiveness to all.


Q. How do we go about telling people that they are forgiven by God?

A. One thing we can do is help people that have dedicated their lives to spreading God’s word – the missionaries.

Q. Who are some modern day (living) missionaries?

A. Maryknoll Missionaries.








The first group of Maryknoll missioners went to China in 1918. Now hundreds of Maryknoll missionary men, women, and families serve all around the world.

Father Raymond Nobiletti of the Transfiguration Church on Mott Street was a Maryknoll missionary, having served in mission in Hong Kong.

Built in 1801, Transfiguration is the oldest Catholic church building in New York City.  It originally served Irish, then Italian immigrants. Later, as these groups assimilated and moved to other neighborhoods and the suburbs, China’s 1949 communist revolution sent an influx of Cantonese speakers to Chinatown, where they gradually became the dominant group in the parish.

(Share the following story)

In 1945, Maryknoll Sisters who had worked in China came to Chinatown and staffed Transfiguration Elementary School in a building adjacent to the Transfiguration Church.

Maryknoll Sister Joanna Chan, director of youth services at the church from 1970 to 1986, remembers that in the late 1960s Chinatown had been mostly male for decades.

The men came to the United States to work, but due to strict U.S. immigration quotas for Asians, they left their families behind. “Men lived and died alone,” Chan says.

With the Immigration Act of 1965 and its emphasis on family reunification, wives and children started arriving in Chinatown. Chan remembers one woman who had not seen her husband for 30 years, and arrived in New York with a current picture of him that he had sent her. She later confided to Chan that she had been scared to death to meet him at the airport, because she did not know who this man was anymore. “Many of these men did not know their wives or children,” Chan says. “There were communication issues, family problems exploded and no social services existed there yet.”

Maryknoll Sisters worked to fill that void, taking the women to appointments, translating for them, and helping them adjust to their new country. In the 1970s the Sisters founded a pre-K and kindergarten to help mothers who needed to go to work.


Write a class ‘thank you for your service ‘card to be sent to the Maryknoll Missionary center in New York City.

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