Core Values


From a worldwide consultation of Maryknoll Lay Missioners in 1994, when MKLM became an independent organization, eight values emerged as essential to our organizational identity. These values are based in the ministries and lived spirituality of our missioners, and permeate all aspects of MKLM’s mission life.


Gospel Values

Our mission vocation calls us to work for the reign of God as Jesus preached it and worked for it.

Option for the Poor

Jesus made a radical choice to take the part of the poor, marginalized and oppressed in His society. Maryknoll Lay Missioners choose work which puts us into direct contact with the poor, the excluded and the voiceless.


Each step of the mission journey calls us to a deeper experience of both human suffering and human resilience. And as we encounter God among the world’s poor, we are called to repentance, new hope and renewed faith.


We are committed to living positively and non-violently. Our lives are centered on prayer, community and service, and the commitment to bring the whole of our lives under the ordering influence of the Gospel.


We work in partnership with local people. While we seek placements where we believe our skills and experience will make a contribution to the local community, we also ensure that each placement provides an opportunity to interact with the local people and to enter the local culture in a profound and life-changing way.


Community calls us to live reflectively, and invites us into lives that are fully conscious. Community also enables us to discern, as a group, whether we are witnessing to the Gospel, authentically accompanying the poor and whether we are doing all we believe God is asking of us. A life-giving community helps us grow into our mission vocation.

Ecclesial Teams

All Catholics are called, by baptism, to participate in the mission of the universal Church. In response to this baptismal call, Maryknoll Lay Missioners was founded as a mixed association of the faithful, open to lay people, priests, sisters and brothers. Working together, we seek to nourish the vocational choice of each member, while drawing strength and richness from our diversity.

Building Bridges with the US Church

Lay Missioners go to mission as representatives of the U.S. church and are supported by U.S. Catholics. We therefore have a responsibility to communicate our mission experience back to the U.S. We show respect for our supporters through careful stewardship of the resources they pass on to us. And we bring back to them the spiritual riches we have gained through our own on-going conversion among the peoples of the world.