Open The Door to God

A missionary Brother finds happiness wherever he's sent.

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

Your turn:

  • Have you ever felt that God’s plans for you might be different from your own?

  • Are you ready and willing to listen and to accept God’s ways in your life?

Giving it his all

Despite his parents’ resistance, Aloysius entered the Society of Jesus as an adolescent. He had a vision that he would die young. Instead of giving up and getting depressed, he decided to use all his energy to serve God. When an epidemic devastated Rome, he went to work in a hospital, giving a great example of sacrifice and service. St. Aloysius Gonzaga died at age 23. In contrast with many of us, Gonzaga did not use his young age as an excuse.

  • Do you have excuses that keep you from following Christ?

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