Lesson Plans‎ > ‎Topics‎ > ‎

Vocations: Many Ways to Hear God's Call

There are many ways that God calls us to service and there are many ways to do God's work. This is often exemplified by stories in Maryknoll Magazine. Because the work of the missioners is so diverse, a classroom full of students with various talents and interests may each find inspiration in this section. 

Study Guides

While all study guides are stories of vocations, these study guides have a greater focus on them.


March 2012

May 2011

April 2011

October 2010
October 2009

March 2010 



Supplemental Articles


Liberation in Ecuador
  • July/August 2011, page 35
  • For grades 9-12
  • Sister Elsie Monge has spent years standing with the poor and oppressed. Prompted by her faith, she fought for human rights and teaching others how to do so too. This article should be used with only the most mature students as it speaks of torture, kidnappings, people forced from their lands, and other tragedies. Despite this, the article is hopeful, as progress has been made in Ecuador. It would be a helpful supplement to any study of human rights, or the history of Central America during the 1970's-80's. Sister Elsie, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, and named "Woman of the Year" in Ecuador in 2005, is a study in herself.

The Magician Priest

  • July/August 2011, page 22
  • For grades 5 and up; for young students, see a brief story on this in Five Minutes with Mission
  • Born in 1917, Father Denis Browne shares stories of his mission life, which includes a pair of patched pants and magic tricks. Despite his reserve in speaking of his own spirituality, his stories are also about his faith and the creative thinking he used to share the Gospel in  Bolivia.  
A Mother's Protection
  • July/August 2011, page 48
  • For grades 7-12
  • Each August in Carthage, Missouri, a gathering of some 70,000 people celebrate Mary. The majority are Vietnamese-Americans. These annual "Marian Days" began in 1977 to honor the Blessed Mother for her help for thousands of Vietnamese boat refugees reach safety a few years earlier. Years later, Mary is still the center of this festival, and it is also a colorful cultural event, and serves as a family reunion. The article also tells of several attendees who are now missioners and the events that led to their decisions to join Maryknoll.

'
He sent them out t
o preach, two by two'
  • May/June 2011, page 22
  • For grades 7 and up
  • The story of  Sister Paulita Hoffman's years in China (from 1938-1951) is challenging, inspiring and filled with history. Hoffman, born in 1914, explains the Maryknoll vision of mission concisely. For more information about Sister Paulita here.    

Mission at the Well
  • Mar/April 11, page 48
  • For grades 9-12
  • Short description of seven new missioners, their backgrounds, accomplishments and their hopes.

Faith in Action at Hungnam
  • January/February 2011, page 23
  • For grades 5-12
  • Father Patrick H. Cleary was chaplain to the US Army X Corps in Korea during the war there. He played a a huge role in the evacuation of about 100,000 refugees. This is a story of heroism, tremendous faith, vocation, and history.

Exploring Mission
  • November 2010, page 12
  • For grades 7-12
  • Two young adults from the United States who won the "Explore My Mission" contest, tell of their life-changing trip to mission in Tanzania.

Happy Birthday, Lay Missioners!
  • November 2010, page 18
  • For Grades 10-12
  • In 2010, the Maryknoll Lay Missioners celebrated their 35th anniversary as a community. The article shows what has results from the Vatican II pronouncement that all Catholics are called to be missioners. Examples of different kinds of work and faith experiences abound in this article.

Man for All Peoples
  • October 2010, page12
  • Grades 5 -12.
  • This is a clear description of a man's journey to priesthood, and the rich experiences he has had and brought to many places. Born in Puerto Rico, Father Jose Aramburu served in Tanzania, Peru, United States and Hong Kong. He speaks of his vision of mission in the future.


Supplemental Articles continued:

"Yes, I'm Back"

  • December 2008, page 19
  • For grades 7 and up
  • This brief article gives a concise picture of the recent past of the Nuba Mountains region of Sudan and how the citizens are rebuilding their lives.
Walking with the People
  • October 2010, page 18
  • Sister Julia Shideler is a young missioner, whose decision to enter Maryknoll was sparked by her participation in a cultural exchange program during college. Now in East Timor, her experiences in these first years in mission include understanding a people who have been traumatized by foreign rule, and her "walking" with the people is remarkable in many ways. 
Dwelling in the Kingdom
  • October 2010 page 24
  •  For grades 7 and up
  • This interview with Lay Missioner Coralis Salvador is two-fold: it shows the creative ways she works with families affected by AIDS and the strength and ingenuity of the caregivers of the many orphans, as well as offers Salvador's wisdom on spirituality and mission.

Feeling the Earth Beneath His Feet

  • September 2010, page 24
  • For grades 7-12
  • Father Thomas Burns' commitment to mission and social justice has led him down a harrowing path at times. When Peru was wracked by violence in the 1980's and 1990's, he survived threats to his safety and later post traumatic stress disorder. His passionate struggles for justice have resulted in great accomplishments. He continues to try "to create a world where people live together as one."
Living Perpetual Prayer
  • July/August 2011, page 36
  • All grades
  • The choice to live a cloistered life filled with prayer is one most people don't understand. This article helps all readers understand what this choice is, why some people feel called to it and the joy they experience.

The Mission of Charity

  • May/June 2010, page 18
  • For grades 6-12
  • For K-5,  go to "Five Minutes with Mission" for The Miracle Dog, a side story from "The Mission of Charity"
  • Saint Theresa Opportunity Center in Taiwan is a vibrant place for people with disabilities, from infancy to adulthood. Director Mei-Hua Yang (also named Charity) is enthusiastic about her work and credits Father Brendan O'Connell with bringing the concept of inclusivity and special education to Taiwan. Also see www.maryknollsociety.org/taiwan2005


"They Call Me Dona Theresia"
  • March 2010, page 12
  • For grades K-12
  • Sister Theresia Ndesoma, from Tanzania, now works in Brazil. She feels loved by God and her definition of mission is to bring God's love to others.

Come and See
  • Jan 2010, page 34
  • For grades 5-12
  • After a presentation from Father Robert Jalbert and reading Maryknoll Magazine, several high school students in a Catholic high school in Massachusetts, expressed an interest in a mission trip to Tanzania. For ten months, students, parents, teachers and chaperones prepared in many ways for the trip. This article tells of the students' experiences, and their reflections.
Formation in Manzanar
  • July/August 2009, page 30
  • For grades 5-12
  • Father Bryce Nishimura was a child when his family was uprooted and sent to a "relocation" camp in the Mohave Desert. In this setting of injustice, suffering and discrimination, he had experiences that led him to become a priest years later. Now in his 80's, he draws on these memories to understand and minister to migrants to Japan. There are some humorous references to being told when he was a child that he might go to hell for his actions which might be disturbing to students. Addressing this may help students see the true value in this story.    
Out of Hong Kong
  • May/June 2011, page 26
  • For grades 9-12
  • Hong Kong native Jessica Ho became a Maryknoll Lay Missioner, working in Tanzania. Returning home, she started the Hong Kong Catholic Lay Mission Association. The work of Ho and others in the article challenge readers with questions such as:                                            
         What responsibility does Catholic laity have to build a            community of faith?  
         In what ways can mission work be an expression of                faith?

  • May/June 2011, page 14
  • For grades 7-12
  • This article opens with information about life in Hong Kong, a prosperous, international financial center where 30% of the 7 million residents live in poverty. However, it is the variety of ministries Maryknollers and others, including Bishop Tong, that can inspire and challenge readers. Look for both past and present work carried out in Hong Kong (e.g. school directors, pastors, researchers, translators, nurses, and social workers).

A Month at Nu Po
  • October 2009, page 36
  • Grades 5 and up
  • Serge Auguste repeatedly returns to Thailand as a short-term Maryknoll volunteer. In Thailand he teaches English to refugees from Myanmar who hope to emigrate to an English-speaking country. This is a concise explanation of the dilemma these people face and the conditions which they live, giving students a clear picture of what it means to be a refugee. But Mr. Auguste also expresses his joy in being their teacher and his decision to just be with people who may feel forgotten. 

The Ties that Bind
  • October 2008, page 18
  • Grades 5-12
  • Sister Ngoc Ha Pham speaks of her childhood in Vietnam during the war there, some of her experiences as a refugee, and poverty and danger in El Salvador where she lives now. Readers learn of the varied ways she reaches out to people of all ages as a missioner and nurse. She also talks of her spiritual path that led her to become a missioner and her way of staying focused spiritually. There is much to ponder in this article!

Related Activities

Activities based on "Dwelling in the Kingdom"