Father Boniface “Bonnie” Mendes lives and works in the Diocese of Faisalabad in the eastern province of Punjab, Pakistan. Born and bred in Karachi, the 80-year-old priest is former executive secretary of the Pakistani bishops’ National Commission for Justice and Peace and former head of CARITAS Asia. The following is an interview with Fr. Mendes, conducted via email by Gerry Lee, Director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, just days after the Dec. 17 suicide bombing attack on a church in Quetta in which nine people were killed and 57 injured.
As Asia’s population approaches four billion, or more than half of the world’s population, the continent presents startling contrasts of wealth and poverty. While its governments range from the autocratic to the democratic, Asia has the potential for exponential economic growth and significant advances in science, health and technology. But the cost of development must take social justice and environmental values into account. In Asia the U.S. encounters ancient cultures and values from which it could learn much, as well as markets and trade opportunities that could benefit both Asia and the U.S. At the same time, robust Asian economies are potential competitors that could challenge the U.S.’s economic dominance in the world. With the U.S., Europe and giants such as China and India competing for critical natural resources, the globalized economy will demand political considerations – and concessions – of the U.S.
The Office for Global Concerns depends on the experience of Maryknoll missioners in Asia, who are deeply involved in many aspects of their hosts’ lives – religious, social, political and economic. Maryknoll personnel act as partners in diverse apostolates – in parish ministry, health work and education. Missioners work with persons with HIV and AIDS and with special needs. They support those living on the margins – people who are displaced, refugees, foreign workers – as they seek to promote peace, social justice and the integrity of creation.
Articles, alerts, events
A Maryknoll missioner on the Korean peninsula demonstrates with his life a culture of encounter and dialogue as the way to dispel fears and build peaceful relationships.
The Maryknoll Sisters and the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers have both sent letters to some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies who are doing business in Myanmar, as a form of investor advocacy on behalf of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.
International news agencies have reported in recent weeks that thousands of people in Myanmar who identify as religious and ethnic minorities and face severe restrictions inside the mainly Buddhist country have fled to the border with Bangladesh to escape fighting between the military and armed members of minority groups, only to be turned back by the Bangladeshi border guards. Faith groups in the U.S. were scheduled to deliver the following letter to Congress in early September in an attempt to halt a provision in a current defense authorization bill that would increase U.S. military cooperation with the government of Myanmar.
Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, in a message published by ZENIT on June 26, calls for an independent investigation of war crime allegations and appeals for an end to crimes against the Rohingyas minority. On June 30, the government of Myanmar, led by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, denied visas to UN investigators.
Fred Goddard, a returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner and former executive director of the Maryknoll Affiliates who works with the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute in the Philippines, wrote the following article on June 26, which was Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic holy day that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Maryknoll Sister Mary Grenough, who recently returned to New York after many years on mission in Myanmar, wrote about Cardinal Bo's appeal and actions to promote an end to state-sponsored violence in Myanmar.
In a new pastoral statement, the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines have unequivocally denounced President Duterte’s war on drugs for creating a “reign of terror” among the poor.
On December 9, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) released the following statement entitled “President-elect Trump Should Repudiate Duterte’s Claims of U.S. Support for His Murderous Drug Policy.”
The people of Myanmar have seen hopes for peace intensified in recent months, only to have them threatened by further human rights abuses and warfare.
Voices of the church continue to denounce the massive wave of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines incited by President Rodrigo Duterte.
In October Taiwan's legislature passed an amendment to the Employment Service Act, which eases a significant burden on the country’s migrant workers.
Kathy Morefield, a Maryknoll Affiliate who served in Cambodia, asks "Who does this Earth belong to?"
Charles Dittmeier, a diocesan priest from Kentucky who is on mission with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Cambodia, reflects on our generous and caring God.
Maryknoll Father James Kroeger, on mission in the Philippines, reflects on seeing the divine in the ordinary.
Maryknoll Father Peter Barry, on mission for many years in Hong Kong and mainland China, reflects on opportunities to share his faith with students in China.
This week's reflection is written by Karen Bortvedt, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Cambodia.
This week's reflection is written by Sr. Mary Ann Smith, who spent many years as a missioner in the Philippines.
Fr. James Kroeger, MM, who served in the Philippines, wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Fr. John Sullivan, MM, who served many years as a missioner in Hong Kong, wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Sr. Luise Ahrens, MM, who served in Cambodia, wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Fr. Thomas J. Marti, MM, a Maryknoll Father serving in Seattle, WA, wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Sr. Helen Graham, MM, who serves in the Phillipines, wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Fr. Jack Sullivan served many years in Hong Kong. "Let us rejoice that our Brother Francis is calling us to awaken and repent; let us rejoice that the nations of the world are finally awakening to the challenge to save our earth, to save ourselves, to love each other and all creatures so loved by God."
Cecelia Aguilar Ortiz, who served as a Maryknoll lay missioner in Thailand, wrote the following reflection.