Do you have to be Catholic or meet other requirements?

Maryknoll Lay Missioners welcomes you to apply if you are:

  • Catholic
  • Experienced in direct, volunteer service
  • Age 21 or older
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Single; a married couple; or a family with no more than two children, eight years old or younger.
  • Willing to make a 3-1/2 year commitment to overseas service

Will I be able to come home during my contract?

Yes. Missioners are given four weeks vacation each year. However, you are encouraged not to go home the first year as you are adjusting to a new culture and a new language. Also, you may not be able to take all four weeks together depending on your ministry needs.

Can family and friends visit me overseas?
Absolutely! They are most welcome to visit and to see first-hand the work you’re involved in. It’s a great way to do educate our extended friends and family on mission and missionary work. In fact, we have an entire program called Friends Across Borders devoted to arranging trips for groups that travel to our mission sites. Visit the “Take a Trip” tab of our website to learn more.

How is placement decided? Can I choose what country I go to?
Each year our leadership determines what countries are in greatest need for that particular year. We do ask that you be open to those needs, but we look at your background, experience and interest and try to find the best fit for both you and Maryknoll Lay Missioners.

What are the financial arrangements? Is there a stipend?
MKLM pays your transportation to and from your country of assignment. You will be provided with a stipend sufficient to cover housing, food, local transportation, and personal expenses based on the cost of living for that area.

We ask that you assist MKLM by arranging for and funding your transportation to our Ossining, NY headquarters during the interview process. If you are accepted into the program and invited to join us for the Orientation Program, we ask that you fund those transportation expenses as well.

I have student loans; do you offer any compensation program or can I get a deferment?

Yes! With a brand new Student Loan Repayment Program, Maryknoll Lay Missioners will pay up to 100% of your monthly student loan payment while you are in mission. The program is fully-funded and can help pave the way for you to realize your call to mission.

Alternatively, you can usually obtain a deferment on student loans for up to 36 months. MKLM will provide any supporting documentation required by your lending institution to qualify for deferment. Or, talk with us about applying for the federally-funded Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program, for which MKLM is an eligible employer.

Will I have health insurance?
Yes. We provide health insurance once you have arrived to your mission region and after signing your missioner contract. Retirees who have health insurance are asked to keep their policy and use our coverage as secondary insurance.

What are the living arrangements for lay missioners overseas?
Once you are assigned to a particular country, the Regional Director for the assigned country begins preparations for your arrival. Single people might share a house or apartment with other single MKLM missioners; couples and families usually have a small house or apartment.

Does MKLM facilitate and contribute to retirement savings programs for lay missioners?

Missioners may contribute from their stipend to a 403(b) retirement savings plan from their first day under contract.  MKLM contributes upon commencement of the second and subsequent contracts. Missioners serving more than fifteen years become vested in the Defined Benefit Pension Plan in addition to the 403(b).