Monthly Archives: January 2015

Melissa Altman featured in La Roche College Magazine

AltmanFamily_LaRocheCollegearticle1Melissa Altman, serving in mission in El Salvador since 2013 with her husband, Pete and two children, was recently profiled in her college’s publication, La Roche Magazine, as well as on the school’s online Alumni Spotlight. In the magazine article, viewable here, she shares the unique perspective of a family serving in mission. Melissa and Pete are working to provide educational, personal development and recreational opportunities to the youth in the poor community of La India, outside of San Salvador.

Of her experience in mission, Melissa says, “Being a missionary is different from being an expat in another country. It’s about working with the people who are marginalized, who you might otherwise avoid if you were just here on vacation.”

Mission Immersion Trip Reflection

Every year, many people called by faith travel to the mission fields with our Friends Across Borders immersion trips. Recently Richard and Denise Lessard wanted to share with a broader audience their overseas trip to Cambodia and how it has changed their lives. Here is their newsletter, which was published in a recent Maryknoll Affiliate newsletter. Should you wish to know more about Friends Across Borders immersion trips, click here.

A Light Shed into Poverty: Kenya Ministry

Curt Klug together with his wife Anita, co-direct project H.O.P.E for the Diocese of Mombasa in Kenya as Maryknoll Lay Missioners. This ministry seeks to assure that no child orphaned by AIDS on the West and  North Coasts of Mombasa is deprived of basic education needs, as well as to enhance support for orphans and their guardian/family through a holistic approach. The following article written by Curt from a recent Maryknoll Affiliate newsletter, gives a glimpse into the realities of what some individuals face while bound by the shackles of poverty, and how a little help goes a long way.

The Will to Live: Healthcare in Kenya


Written by Judy Walter.

Stephen Lukes was born September 1st, 2014 at home with a traditional birth attendant. He was born into poverty in Kiberani, the poorest section of Bangladesh slum just outside of Mombasa, Kenya. The residents of Kiberani eke out a living by rummaging through the garbage of Mombasa, at the dump site just across the road from where they live.

Because Kiberani is a few kilometres from St Patrick’s Dispensary, we have a satellite clinic there twice a month. (I serve as nurse-in-charge of St. Patrick’s Parish Dispensary, a ministry founded to address the health needs of people living in a slum known as “Bangladesh” on the outskirts of Mombasa, Kenya.) We first met Stephen there eight days after his birth. He was extremely ill with neonatal sepsis, a common infection with home births in the midst of such poverty. He was feverish, jaundiced, dehydrated, emaciated and very irritable. The only positive sign was the irritability, which meant he was a fighter. Even so, our hopes for his survival were very slim. We put him on IV antibiotics, placed him in the Hands of God and advised his mother to bring him to the clinic daily for 2 weeks for treatment. She came faithfully every day.

During that first week of treatment  we saw few signs of improvement, but Stephen was tenaciously clinging to life. Then after two weeks of treatment, it was evident that Stephen’s will to live was stronger than the disease that wracked his little body. By the third week, he??????????????????????????????? started to gain some weight and looked like he belonged to the human race. Now at three and ½ months, he continues to gain weight and has a ravenous appetite. He doesn’t like to be disturbed when he is eating, and becomes irritable if his feeding is interrupted – even for a photo. But that irritability is good and says: “I want to live.” Marian, his very shy, 18-year-old single mother, never gave up on him. She nurtured that will to live in him by her own tenacious and tender love.

They both have an amazing will to live, even in the midst of severely impoverished circumstances. This mother and child are reminders that all life is precious, and that poverty and disease are not as strong as that God-given will to live.

Attempts made to end FGM in Tanzania

What is FGM? This three letter acronym stands for Female Genital Mutilation. A practice still alive in Tanzania today and many parts of the world. Liz Mach, a long term Maryknoll Lay Missioner now in her 39th year of mission, recently wrote an article that appeared in the Maryknoll Office for Global Concern (MOGC), which informs us about this practice in Tanzania and the negative ramifications it has on women.

Click here to read more

Maryknoll Lay Missioners Celebrates a Life Dedicated to Mission – Joe Regotti

OSSINING, NY (January 8, 2015) Maryknoll Lay Missioners (MKLM) pays tribute to Lay Missioner Joseph Regotti, who passed away on Saturday, January 3, 2015. Joe worked as Director of Mission Services at MKLM until this year. Before that, he served with the organization in Mexico from 1997-2001. Throughout his life, Joe was consistently committed to building a more just world based on gospel values. He played a pivotal part in guiding hundreds of U.S. Catholic lay people to realize their call to cross-cultural mission.

“Joe strongly believed that we as laity are called from our Baptism to mission, here at home, as well as crossing borders to other lands and cultures,” states  Sam Stanton, executive director of MKLM. “He represented the kind of role model we all aspire to become, and forever leaves his mark on our hearts.”

After graduating from Notre Dame University in 1982, Joe became involved with its Center for Social Concerns. In the early 1980’s he went to Chile as a Holy Cross Associate and served in the desolate area of Vallanar in the north. He then served the poor and marginalized in Guatemala through the organization Witness for Peace.

Joe joined Maryknoll Lay Missioners in 1997 with Jean Walsh, his wife, and raised their daughters, Hannah and Maria, while serving in Oaxaca, Mexico. As a Maryknoll Lay Missioner, Joe accompanied a Oaxaca community organization and collaborated with them for civil rights and leadership development. Through these relationships, Joe helped to found a hospital that still serves some of the poorest communities in Oaxaca.

While Director of Mission Services at MKLM, Joe helped develop and implement an intense lay missioner 10-week orientation training program, which is designed to give participants many of the elements necessary to have a successful experience in the country where they will be serving. The program includes theology and scripture courses, social analysis, cross-cultural training and information on the respective mission sites. Joe’s U.S. ministry also includes the accompaniment of each mission candidate through the program in an ongoing process of discernment.

An obituary for Joe Regotti, along with details of the funeral services, can be found here:

A Call To Mission

All Are Called To Mission

Bringing Hope and Compassion

Mission Sending Ceremony 2014

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