Pastoral Ministry

While all Maryknoll Sisters ministries have a pastoral component, the primary mission focus of many Maryknoll missionaries lies in pastoral work, pastoral care, and spiritual development.

The Maryknoll Sisters serving in our contemplative community in New York describe their ministry as prayer and spiritual accompaniment of Maryknollers and others; in Guatemala, it's prayer and hospitality and outreach to civil war widows, while in Thailand, our contemplative prayer presence is within an ecological-spirituality project for sustainable living.

Some Maryknoll Sisters work in homes for the elderly in Panama and Hong Kong; others do social outreach to the elderly and sick in their homes and in nursing homes and hospitals. Others have a community-based ministry to the elderly. Some Maryknoll missionaries are spiritual directors and give retreats; one is in an interfaith ministry. Some have scripture study groups.

Pastoral ministries range from a social-pastoral ministry with physically-challenged adults to accompaniment of basic Christian communities. Some Maryknoll Sisters work in the education and formation of lay pastoral workers and catechists. Others do art therapy with the homeless. Some do sacramental preparation for adults and youth. Several Maryknoll Sisters offer pastoral care in hospitals, including pastoral care with children who have cancer and with their parents. Some visit prison inmates and accompany those on death row with prayer and letters.

Pastoral ministry for many Maryknoll Sisters means accompanying people in violent situations and wars and working toward reconciliation and peace.

Did You Know?

  • Maryknoll missioners participated in the United Nations' non-governmental Committee on the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
  • Maryknoll missioners are deeply involved with the UN’s Special Session on Children and work to counteract the movement of the religious right in opposition to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.