“In the Maryknoll Contemplative Community, the spirituality of the Congregation in its radical nature began to unfold for me. I began to understand that ‘mission’ is as deeply and personally transformative as it is essential to social evolution.”
Sister Grace Corde Myerjack was born in Flushing, NY, and joined Maryknoll from the Brooklyn diocese after graduating from St. Agnes Academy in College Point, NY, in 1953. After her first profession, she worked at the motherhouse and then lived in St. Teresa’s Convent working for the Maryknoll Society.
During college studies at Maryknoll, Sister Grace volunteered and was accepted for the Maryknoll cloister in 1961, a year before the opening of Vatican II. Later, she earned a B.A. in Theology from St. Louis University.
Our founder, Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, described the cloister as “a contemplative community with a different kind of work to do.” An integral part of the Congregation, members live their lives in prayer and sacrifice for the support of missioners, especially Maryknollers, and the missionary endeavor of the universal church.
As Vatican II was implemented, Sister Grace participated in the Contemplative Community’s decision to open their space to Maryknoll Sisters and others, who desired a time apart for reflective living. All who desired were welcomed to share liturgies and prayer. A section of the building was reserved for retreatants. The Maryknoll Sisters helped to establish the Metropolitan Association of Contemplative Communities and supported prayer movements throughout the United States.
In 1986, invitations to begin a prayer presence in Guatemala and Sudan were accepted, and in 1990, Thailand. It had always been the cloister’s hope to be in countries where Maryknoll Sisters work.
In 2000, our Contemplative Community in New York moved into a smaller dwelling in a wooded area adjacent to the Maryknoll Sisters Center near Ossining, NY. Sister Grace continues offering retreats and spiritual guidance there.