Robert Ellsberg

enlarged by women’s voices, the work of African American and Latinx theologians, and wider attention to such themes as ecology, interreligious dialogue, World Christianity, and the implications of the new cosmology.

            Over time, we highlighted the lives and teachings of modern saints and prophets such as Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and Saint Oscar Romero. Through our Modern Spiritual Masters Series we featured the work of scores of great spiritual teachers from around the world and from many different traditions.

            All of this, in keeping with the charism of our Maryknoll founders, was rooted in a concern for mission. With the election of Pope Francis, our program found a new reference point. In his emphasis on mercy, his concern for peace, for the poor, and for the earth, his exhortation to the church to assume its identity as a community of “missionary disciples,” we found an expression of themes that had always marked our program.

            At first glance, there might seem to be a wide contrast between our first and our most recent catalogs. But from my own perspective of 32 years, I am most struck by the lines of continuity and evolution. Our mandate has always been to “read the signs of the times,” to explore questions arising from fresh horizons, to hold a critical mirror to the world as it is, while pointing toward new and hopeful possibilities.

           The current pandemic has brought new challenges, and not a little sorrow as we have lost many Maryknoll priests and brothers since Easter. With the temporary shutdown of our New York warehouse we struggle to find new ways to keep our books available, whether in digital form or in print-to-order arrangements.

           During this 50th anniversary year, we thank the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers for their loyal support, as well as all the staff, past and present, who have contributed to our mission through the years, all our extraordinary authors, and you, our faithful readers. Together, we look forward to the next fifty years.



Robert Ellsberg