Open The Door to God
A missionary Brother finds happiness wherever he's sent.
As a young man, Tony López had no desire to enter the religious life. Today, having been a Maryknoll brother for 39 years, he says, “My vocation is the main source of my joy.” Born in León, Mexico, he was raised in Chicago and never thought he’d leave that city. In high school, however, he saw Maryknoll magazine and was attracted to the pictures of missions. That moment, he says, “changed my life.”
Today López opens the door to Mary-knoll House in Manhattan, welcoming people. “My mission is to make people feel comfortable, whether it is for a short stay or for life,” he says. The director of Maryknoll House also serves on the administrative board of the Maryknoll Society and consults for the admissions of lay missionaries.
“When I study the application forms, I try to see if the person is flexible, if he or she respects cultures, religions, and traditions, both Catholic and non-Catholic. I want to see if the person really helps people and has a missionary vocation.
“I try to transmit my love for the missions to others. When I was trained to go as a missionary to Venezuela, I witnessed the deep respect of missionaries toward the people. I saw they learned from the people.” López served in Venezuela in a public housing project.
He had thought he would spend the rest of his life in foreign missions, but God’s plans for him were different, and his vocation has brought him to New York, a truly multicultural field of mission.
—Excerpted from Revista Maryknoll